Taking the scary out of eating Halloween candy

Connie Diekman, RD, director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis and past president of the American Dietitic Association, has several tips for enjoying Halloween candy, but doing it in a healthier way.


“Candy is ok if kids have an overall health balance in their diet,” Diekman says. “You can put about 10 percent of your daily calories into sugar. So, they can have some candy, but it is a small portion.”

Parents shouldn’t feel guilty if they want their children to enjoy Halloween candy, Diekman says. But they certainly need to plan how to do that.

One solution is to divide up the candy and “combine it with whole grain cereal, some nuts, maybe some chopped fruit, so you’re making your own trail mix,” Diekman says.

“So you take a cup of whole grain cereal, you take a half cup of dried fruit, a fourth cup of nuts, then you maybe use an eighth cup of chocolate or sugar candies. Now you have a nice little trail mix that’s going to put some good nutrition into the whole family and also give you some great flavor.”

Diekman is available for media interviews on this subject. For assistance, contact Neil Schoenherr at (314) 935-5235 or nschoenherr@wustl.edu.