Halloween is chock full of spookiness, creepiness, and...calories. We all know that candy is a sure-fire way to a few extra pounds for you or your kids. In fact, on average kids put on just about 2.2 pounds from Halloween each year! That's why thinking about healthy Halloween candy is so important.

But here's the rub: Halloween just isn't the same when you're passing out bananas and Tic Tacs. In fact, your house will become mighty unpopular if you're doling out the truly healthier stuff. So where's the happy medium? What are the brand name healthy Halloween candy options that'll keep the neighborhood kids from yelling "Trick!" every time they leave your door?Hershey's Special DarkCredit: Amazon.com

Below are a few of the healthier candy choices you can make. They straddle the desire for fun candy while being some of the healthier options in the category. Choosing them can help you, your kids, and your neighbors eat at least a little healthier while still having a totally fun trick or treat Halloween night!


Choose Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Minis

Dark chocolate trumps milk chocolate in health.

Hershey's Extra Dark Chocolate Assortment, 24 oz. bag
Amazon Price: $13.40 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 31, 2013)

The calorie difference between choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate is small--maybe around 7 to 10 less calories for dark in similarly bite-sized pieces. But dark chocolate is still the much healthier alternative. Dark chocolate is closer to the original cocoa bean than its milky cousin. That means more of the good stuff that cocoa has to offer. It's chock full of antioxidants which combat free radicals and help prevent disease. 

And white chocolate? Forget about it. It's the most unhealthy option of the bunch. So when you choose your candy bar miniatures, go dark like the Hershey's Special Dark option. It's still candy, it's still a big brand name, and it's still really tasty!

Choose York Peppermint Patties

Of the popular candy bars, by far the healthier choice.

York Peppermint Patties, 175-Count Changemaker
Amazon Price: $23.94 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 31, 2013)

Everyone knows the name. York Peppermint Patties have some great TV commercials and a big following among candy eaters. And best of all, it's an incredible alternative to any other candy bar you might consider giving out on Halloween. York Peppermint PattyCredit: Amazon.com

How much better? They have 25% to 50% less calories than most other candy bars. There are 140 calories in a York Peppermint Patty compared to 210 to 280 calories in other candy bars. They have only 2.5 grams of fat. Compare that to a Mr. Goodbar at 17 grams. They have 1.5 grams of saturated fat. Consider that against a Mounds Bar at a whopping 10 grams. They contain no transfat and they qualify as gluten-free. Plus it uses dark chocolate instead of milk, so there's the antioxident benefit as well. 

When pulling together your healthy Halloween candy selection, you can lean heavily on York Peppermint Patties. They've got the brand name and the popularity to make your kids and trick or treaters happy while still maintaining a healthier stat line. 

Choose Twizzlers

A low-fat candy, but be careful on the portions.

Twizzlers- Red Licorice Twists, 180ct Tub
Amazon Price: $7.96 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 31, 2013)

Everyone knows Twizzlers; they're a very popular movie candy. And as a healthy Halloween candy, they have merit. They are lower in fat than most other options: around .5 grams in total fat for four Twizzler sticks, and no trans fats at all. That makes these candies a very viable choice for a healthier Halloween. TwizzlersCredit: Amazon.com

But be careful on portions. People see Twizzlers and they eat a 10 pack. That's a lot more than a normal serving, and it really starts negating the benefits. Twizzlers are not low on sugar and carbs, so it can all add up. If you stick to giving out a few individually wrapped sticks, though, it's much better than passing out most candy bars. 

And a did you know: Twizzlers are actually vegan. So if you've got vegan families in your neighborhood, stocking up on Twizzlers on Halloween is an excellent choice. 

A Choice Of Lesser Evils

It is Halloween after all. Kids are going to want their fun and tasty candy. But as you can see, you can make some better choices even among the name brands that they so much love. It may seem like a choice of lesser evils, but if there's one day a year where a little caloric candy sin is worth it, it's Halloween.

And these aren't the only choices you can make for healthy Halloween candy that kids still love. There are more out there. Tootsie Rolls and Peanut M&Ms come to mind. Be smart, but also have fun. You, your kids, and your entire neighborhood will have a much better time for it. 

Tootsie Roll Midgees Candy 5 Pound Value Bag 760 Pieces
Amazon Price: $21.99 $11.16 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 31, 2013)