As Halloween grows closer, supermarket store aisles are lined with bags of ‘fun-sized’ candies for trick-or-treaters. And who can resist these perfectly-sized treats? You might not think twice about them, but you should. Miniature Halloween treats may be convenient – wrapped in snack sized packages and sold in huge bags – but they aren’t always healthy, warns theHuffington Post.
Besides the obvious fact that candy bars and similar treats offer no nutritional value, it’s not the fat that you should be worrying about. What’s worse, many ‘fun-sized’ candy wrappers don’t list full nutritional information, forcing parents to guess about what’s inside the snack their child is begging to unwrap, unless they’re willing to go as far as calling the manufacturer for an ingredient list.
What other ingredients could be hiding in the candies your child brings home on Halloween night? Artificial colors and flavors, chemical preservatives, MSG, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar are just a few of the potentially dangerous ingredients in your child’s treat bags. Many of these have been linked to food sensitivities, and even ADD/ADHD, hyperactivity, and autism. But some are even more dangerous, for those with food allergies.
The number of candies containing milk, peanuts, tree nuts, and other common allergens is astonishing. Some are obvious – Snickers bars, for example, clearly contain peanuts. But these ingredients can be lurking in trace amounts in nearly every candy variety, especially when you consider that varieties which don’t contain nuts are often processed on the same lines used to make varieties that do.
What can you do to avoid giving out unhealthy or downright dangerous candies this Halloween? If you do opt for the traditional route of ‘fun-sized’ candies, read the ingredient list before picking out the candy. You can always opt for boxes of raisins and other healthy snacks instead of candy – though your house might not be so popular next Halloween. Another popular option is to stop by the local dollar store or party supply store for small toys like stickers and glow stick bracelets. Whatever you choose, have fun and stay safe this Halloween!