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Do You Greet Trick-Or-Treaters With—gulp—healthy Candy?

Nutritionists are all over "better-for-you" candy alternatives. Do they have a place in your trick-or-treat bowl come Halloween?

We get all kinds of PR emails offering "better-for-you" (BFY) alternatives to tasty treats. Now that Halloween's around the corner, the BFY candy companies are out in full force offering low-sugar alternatives to Snickers and Twix. Sure, some so-called "health snacks" are more "trick" than "treat." (Don't even utter the word "carob" in my home.) But some nutritionists are making the case for BFY Halloween candy alternatives, including a few that don't sound half bad.

Case in point: last year, TODAY published an article that listed the "best and worst candies for your health." The writer updated the list earlier this week, and among the "worst" offenders were Skittles, a so-called "sugar and food coloring bomb." (Yes! That's the point! That's what we want!) Starbursts were also listed as one of the worst Halloween candies for your health. "There is just no nutritional value here, friends," writes the nutritionist behind the article. Yes! Correct! We like that!!!

The updated list also suggests a few BFY candy alternatives; for example, Tootsie Pop, which are lauded for their built-in "portion control." (This doesn't account for the fact that I have very strong teeth and can easily gnaw my way through four of these in the span of 15 minutes.) Also on the list are Project 7 Gummy Bears, which are a trendy newcomer that are made with allulose, a sugar alternative which is still the subject of some ongoing research. Here's hoping this one doesn't ignite apocalyptic flatulence like some other sugar substitutes on the market.

Personally, if I'm going for Halloween candy, I'm intentionally reaching into the nutritional void. But I know lots of folks have very legitimate reasons for leaning into BFY options. Maybe you're keeping an eye on a health condition; maybe you just don't like the way sugar makes you feel. But when All Hallow's Eve rolls around, are you inclined to distribute healthier stuff to the neighborhood kiddos? If so, what are your favorites?

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