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What is the Best Candy For Trick-or-Treating?

What is the Best Candy For Trick-or-Treating?

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We want you to vote for your favorite Halloween candy

Which sweet is king of all candies?

Aside from the ghoulish costumes and horror movie marathons, Halloween night comes down to one thing for the little ones: candy. Trick-or-treating is a rite of passage and a holiday tradition for families all across the country. Neighborhood lore spreads like wildfire as the kids make their rounds and dish about which house is giving out the big candy bars or which one is passing out dental floss.

Click here to vote for your favorite Halloween candy!

At The Daily Meal, all we think about this time of year is finding and sharing the best spooky treats (and tricks) for our readers to try at home. There are so many classic candies that must make it into trick-or-treaters' bags, from candy bars to beloved bubble gum. But it got us wondering — when it comes to Halloween night, what is the BEST candy to get in your trick-or-treat bag? We pit some of the most classic and beloved candies against one another in a battle extraordinaire to discover which sweet is the ultimate Halloween treat.

May the tastiest treat win.

For more spooky tricks and treats, visit The Daily Meal’s Guide to Halloween!

50 Healthy Trick Or Treat Ideas

Halloween is such a fun holiday and definitely one of our favorites. Our kids love to dress up, go to parties, and definitely trick-or-treat! It seems like it is the beginning of the holiday season and sometimes that means that nutrition goes out the window. After a fun night of trick-or-treating, my kids come home with HUGE bags of candy! But more than just the sugar overload, there are a few different reasons to handout something a little healthier to the trick-or treaters that come to your house:

  • Food Allergies. There are more and more kids that have food allergies. If you haven’t heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project, it is a really great thing for kids with food allergies. The purpose is to raise awareness of food allergies and helps to include all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. If you will be providing non-food treats to trick-or-treaters, then you put a teal colored pumpkin on your porch to let parents and kids with food allergies know they can come to your home to get a safe treat.
  • Dye Sensitivities. A lot of different candy contains food dyes which many parents are concerned about. Food dyes can have an effect on some children with hyperactivity, mood swings, and inability to concentrate.
  • Dental Health. Dentists agree that the worst type of sweets for kids’ teeth are the sticky or gummy type. The sticky material coats teeth, and cavity causing bacteria have an opportunity to grow and spread. Dentists recommend to limit sugar intake, consume healthy foods that strengthen teeth, and brush regularly.

If you don’t pass out candy, then what can you do on Halloween? Non-food items can be really fun and just as much of a ‘treat’ as any type of candy they would get. These ideas are things that kids really love and will get excited about!

This Candy Chute Is The Most Genius Halloween Hack For Socially Distant Trick-Or-Treating

As Halloween quickly approaches, many people have already started getting creative in order to preserve beloved traditions while still maintaining good habits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Namely, we're working on finding ways to keep up the most sacred of all of them: trick-or-treating. Luckily, there are some true geniuses out there. like the person who created a candy chute you can easily replicate this Halloween.

Ohio dad Andrew Beattie posted a photo of this six-foot-long orange and black candy chute that he attached to his handrail. The idea is that you'll put candy at the top, it'll go through the chute, and kids can open up their bags to collect the candy from a safe distance as it comes out the bottom of the tube. Andrew clarified that he also plans on wearing a mask and replacing gloves often just to be extra safe.

It's made from a 6' x 4" cardboard shipping tube that he decorated in the spooky Halloween colors and he plans to put a sign at the bottom so everyone is clued in to how it works. Although we love the super intricate (and very creepy!) candy slide we posted about a few weeks back, this is a great option for those who want to keep things a little more simple. but don't get me wrong: still extremely cool and smart and good. And it seems like commenters agree.

"I think this is awesome! Have fun with it. I may copy your idea!" one person wrote on the post. "Really love this idea.. I might have to go out and get some stuff to do the same. It doesn't just keep the kids safe it also keeps u safe," another said.

If you're looking for more tips on how to stay safe this Halloween, you can check out our posts here and here and get excited for a safe and happy Halloween, no matter what that looks like this year!!

Children With Diabetes Can Enjoy Halloween's Sugary Treats

Oct. 30, 2001 -- Halloween can be a difficult time for children with diabetes, but with careful planning, these kids can enjoy tricks -- and treats, say diabetes experts.

"Proper planning is really the key to making sure that Halloween is as fun a holiday for kids with diabetes as it is for all children," says Margie Lawlor, MS, in a news release. She is coordinator of pediatric research and education and helps lead the Joslin Diabetes Center children's programs.

"We emphasize to parents of youngsters with diabetes that their kids can fully participate in Halloween and other holiday festivities, but it does take planning ahead -- including counting the number of grams of carbohydrates and using extra insulin such as Humalog [a very rapid-acting insulin] to match with food intake," she says.

Carbohydrate counting allows kids with diabetes to actually enjoy that candy bar that they found on their hunt for sugary treats. This allows your child to tantalize her taste buds without sending her blood sugar through the roof.


Many people think that diabetics must avoid all types of sugar. But this is not the case. For example, on occasion, a small piece of candy can be incorporated into your child's daily carbohydrate diet by replacing the sugary treat with another type of carbohydrate, such as potatoes.

It's true that your child won't be able to chow down his whole pumpkin bag full of treats. But there are ways to have fun while staying healthy, Lawlor says, by being creative and offering kids tasty alternatives to sugary snacks.

For example, parents can serve ants on a log (made with celery, peanut butter, and raisins), carrot sticks and dip, pretzels, party mix snacks, or fresh apples. And small amounts of sweets can even be included.

But how do you deal with that bag full of treats that your child brings home?

Susan Perry, registered dietitian and diabetes educator at St. Barnabas Ambulatory Care in Livingston, N.J., says that children should enjoy trick-or-treating and then parents should ask their child to pick out some of their favorite treats. These snacks should then be incorporated into the child's overall diet plan.


"Another great option is to have parents buy back some candy so that kids can get money to get a non-food fun treat, such as a game of cards or a small toy," she says in a news release. "We never want children to feel deprived or that they have to sneak candy."

The Joslin Diabetes Center says that sweets in moderation are OK. Candy equal to about 15 grams of carbohydrates includes:

11 candy corns
4 Starbursts
1/2 stick Twix
2 sticks Kit Kat
30 Reese's Pieces
1/2 pack of M&Ms (plain or peanut)
1 piece of Fruit by the Foot
6 Hi-C Gummy Fruits
5 LifeSavers GummiSavers <
3 Twizzlers
3 Tootsie Rolls (small)
6 Junior Mints
16 Good & Plentys
15 Skittles
9 SweeTarts
2 Jolly Ranchers
1 Tootsie Pop

The Joslin Diabetes Center also offers a sampling of carbohydrate gram counts for various candy bars:

Baby Ruth (2 oz) 37
Butterfinger (2 oz) 41
Hershey's Almond (1.45 oz) 20
Nestlé Crunch (1.5 oz) 28
Milky Way (2.15 oz) 43
Snickers (2.07 oz) 36
3 Musketeers (2.13 oz) 46
Heath (1.4 oz) 25

This Man Invented a &ldquoCandy Chute&rdquo to Help Keep Trick or Treating Going

I don’t know from firsthand experience, but I would hazard a guess that 2020 hasn’t been the easiest year for parents. Between virtual schooling and keeping kids entertained while so often cooped up inside, the pandemic has piled on some serious stress. With Halloween approaching, families are faced with even more anxiety about how to handle socially distanced trick or treating in the midst of a pandemic that’ll probably get worse before it gets better.

Thankfully, there’s one man out there who’s seemingly developed an ingenious idea that might just make Halloween a bit more feasible in 2020: the candy chute.

It’s deviously simple: essentially, Andrew Beattie put together a six foot-long Halloween-colored tube that can attach to a handrail to sort of just slide candy to eager trick or treaters with the barest minimum of human contact. As Beattie’s caption (with clarifying updates) suggests, the purpose of the candy chute is to slide factory-sealed candy out of a gloved hand (or perhaps tongs) directly into the waiting bag or bucket of a socially distanced trick or treater, using gravity and a little directional guidance to make it work.

Based on Beattie’s description of the construction process, the candy chute sure seems like the kind of simple DIY project that many folks can make at home. Designed from what he describes as “throwaway materials,” specifically a 6’ x 4” cardboard shipping tube that can attach to a railing.

While candy companies are already providing their own guidance for October 31, the candy chute could be clutch for those who want to maintain some semblance of a normal Halloween while following current health and safety guidelines. After all, it doesn’t matter how the candy gets to trick or treaters as long as they’re safely having fun.

The Best Candy Is: Reese's, But You Already Know This

It doesn’t matter how old you are—everyone knows that the best part of Halloween is the candy, whether you’re trick-or-treating or buying it in bulk “for the office.” Every day this week, Bon Appétit staffers defend their absolute favorite candy, a thing we have very strong opinions about.

I feel like I could write that Reese's are a candy made of chocolate and peanut butter, and rest my case right there. What better ingredient combinations exist? But since I've been asked to write about 300 words, I'll keep going.

Reese’s are not a threat to your jaw, like Starburst or Tootsie Rolls. On the contrary: It’s smooth sailing as you bite through two supple layers of chocolate and a creamy peanut butter filling.

Unlike, say, Nerds or Pixy Stix, Reese’s are more than straight sugar—there’s saltiness and depth to the peanut butter that balances out the sweetness (that’s what we in the food biz call “nuance”).

They are a candy we collectively agree is so good, they’re worth eating year-round, unlike Krackel, which seems to appear just once a year in pumpkin buckets in miniature form. (Has anyone ever even seen a full-size Krackel?)

In fact, they’ve basically spawned their own cottage industry, with Reese’s cereals in the supermarket aisle and Reese’s ice cream in freezer section, not to mention countless fancy restaurants knocking off the dollar candy. (A word to these restaurants: Chocolate and peanut butter are always a good thing, but peanut butter mousse with chocolate ganache just don’t have the same magic as the original candy. You’re better off putting a Reese’s cup on a large circular plate for me in fact, please do that. )

They are not disgusting, like candy corn or mellowcreme pumpkins. No, they are creamy and nutty, sweet and satisfying, the candy I’d save as a kid until after I had plowed through the Dots and Jolly Ranchers and other candies that weren’t nearly as wonderful.

One closing note: I am obviously not talking about the mini Reese’s, which have a grainier texture and a worse chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio than the full-size singles. But, come on, even those are better than candy corn, or pretty much anything else.

The Best Candy Is: Nerds, the Gravel at the Bottom of Your Fish Tank

It doesn’t matter how old you are—everyone knows that the best part of Halloween is the candy, whether you’re trick-or-treating or buying it in bulk “for the office.” Every day this week, Bon Appétit staffers defend their absolute favorite candy, a thing we have very strong opinions about.

Every summer day as a mildly sunburnt redheaded child, I approached the snack bar at my local swim club. I fished 75 cents from the pocket of my bathing suit and waited for the girl in front of me to receive her Choco Taco, an amateur and predictable order in my eyes. Once she was finished, I slid my change across the counter and pointed to a glorious row of brightly colored rectangular boxes. “Nerds, please.”

Each little piece of beautifully balanced sweet and tart candy was an explosion of flavor, a never-ending assault on my teeth and taste buds. There was no stopping the bliss. And why would you want to?

What even are Nerds? If you tried to explain them to someone who had never seen or tasted them, you’d sound like a complete idiot. “Well, they’re crunchy, and uh, there are hundreds of them in a box. They’re kind of tart, but not really. They look like little boogers or bugs or the gravel at the bottom of a fish tank, and they get all over the place when you eat them. You tear a hole in the top of the box, but you can close it with these weird flaps. They’re the best though, I swear.”

The pink and purple (strawberry and grape) boxes are the most common, mostly because those are the boxes that get handed out on Halloween. There's nothing wrong with those, but any Nerds fanatic knows that the greatest Nerds flavor to ever exist was the Double Dipped Lemonade Wild Cherry and Apple Watermelon, which came in red and yellow boxes. Those sent off miniature sugar fireworks in my skull. (But I could also write dissertations on Nerds Ropes. It’s like someone heard me say, “Nerds cannot get any better,” and was like, “Hey, you simple-minded child, try this.”)

These days, I pick up a pack of Nerds at any corner store in New York City that’s genius enough to carry them. There aren’t many of those stores, but they have my business for life.

I was back at the Wenonah Swim Club in New Jersey this past summer and bought a giant box of Rainbow Nerds at the snack bar. I’d like to think that 1999 Alex would be proud that he turned into the kind of guy who lives with enough reckless abandon to splurge on the jumbo pack of Nerds.

These days, if you bump into a tall redhead in a baseball hat on a Saturday afternoon, with his eyes on his candy instead of the sidewalk, please, excuse me. Because I can still carry that box in my pocket for hours, opening and closing the flaps until they fall right off. Pointing the bottom of the box to the sky and taking a swig of the addictive, crunchy sugar pebbles is still a triumphant declaration of happiness. It doesn’t matter if a few still escape down my shirt to be found later that night. Because even if they happen to land in your belly button, Nerds are the greatest candy there ever was.

Don’t Forget to Read This …

*Always check the ingredients before consumption. If potential cross contamination is a concern for your needs, always contact the manufacturer to discuss their processes. Never rely on lists or product packaging exclusively when dealing with a severe food allergy. “May contain” warnings are unreliable and unregulated, so they should not be used to assess whether a product is safe. These lists are for informational purposes only and should not replace your own due diligence. Ingredients and processes are subject to change at any time, and without our knowledge. If you notice that a product is no longer dairy-free by ingredients or if there is an error, please kindly comment to let us know.

**We saw a “made in a facility …,” “made on shared equipment …,” or “may contain …” statement for milk on this product. This does not mean the product is “unsafe” or that the other dairy-free candy on this list is “safe.” As mentioned above, “may contain” warnings are voluntary, and are sometimes added for liability prevention. And packaging and processes can vary by region, even with the same candy. You might see a “may contain” warning, and we might not. If dealing with a severe food allergy of any kind, you must contact the manufacturer!!

***To help you read those candy labels, see our Dairy Ingredient List.

No one is sure when or where trunk-or-treat began.

Though the origins of this Halloween tailgate remain a mystery, we do know that some communities have been doing it since the '90s. "In Graeagle, Calif., an unincorporated town of 800 residents northwest of Lake Tahoe, trunk-or-treating has been a Halloween fixture at a local church&rsquos parking lot for at least a decade," the New York Times reported in 2006.

The Times also notes that trunk-or-treat events are popular with schools, churches, and other groups because families can keep a closer eye on their kids as they go from car to car than they would if they'd just release their kids into the neighborhood. (It also quotes one happy kid, who added that he can go around to each car more than once without getting tired.)

The Best Halloween Candy of All Time, Super Scientifically Ranked from Trash to Tasty

Remember that neighbor from your childhood who gave out such terrible candy (or worse, boxes of raisins) that by fourth grade, you didn&rsquot even bother with their house anymore and basically avoided eye contact from August through November? Don&rsquot be that person. To ensure you&rsquore giving out the good stuff (Psst: Check out the CDC guidelines on trick-or-treating this year) or eating it on your own while you binge a bunch of Halloween movies, we&rsquove carefully ranked all the best Halloween candy, from best to worst. You&rsquore welcome.

The 5 Least Healthy Candy Options

1. Candy Corn

It has a reputation as being one of the most hated candies, and an October 2018 survey on the best and worst Halloween candy suggested this festive confection is indeed the second-most hated — second to Circus Peanuts. But regardless of whether you agree, candy corn certainly isn’t the most nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth. “It contains more than double the sugar of a Snickers or Reese’s,” says Gorin.

What’s Inside 110 calories for 15 pieces, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 22g sugar

2. Smarties

Yes, they’re low in calories, but those are purely empty calories, meaning “it’s devoid of nutrition,” says Syn. “They give your body energy it needs from calories but not the nutrition it needs, like protein and fiber,” she says.

What’s Inside 25 calories for 1 roll, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 6g carbohydrates, 6g sugar, 0g protein

3. Gummy Bears

Again, it’s pure sugar, so it’s unlikely to keep you as satisfied as chocolate, says Gorin.

What’s Inside 140 calories for 17 pieces, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 33g carbohydrates, 18g sugar, 2g protein

4. Jelly Beans

The package may get you because it says it’s fat free, but unless you absolutely love jelly beans — and can keep your portion reasonable — they’re still just sugar, says Gorin.

What’s Inside 100 calories per oz, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 25g carbohydrates, 20g sugar, 0g protein

5. Airheads

Packed with artificial colors and flavors and pure sugar, these may take you back to when you were a kid, but they won’t satisfy.

What’s Inside 60 calories per bar, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 15g carbohydrates, 11g sugar, 0g protein

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