Should You Give Out Sugar-Free Candy on Halloween?

With Halloween approaching, many parents are wondering whether they should offer sugar-free candy to trick-or-treaters. Nutrition Diva scares up the facts.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

 Trick or Treat?Most of the parents I know are trying to cut back on the amount of sugar their kids are consuming. But here comes Halloween, a holiday that's virtually defined by candy.  What's a responsible adult to do? Perhaps you found yourself pausing over the sugar-free candy selection at the store.

Popular brands including Jolly Ranchers, Twizzlers, Hershey's, LifeSavers, Dove Chocolate, and Werther's have all introduced sugar-free versions. Although it might seem as if sugar-free candy would be a healthier choice, handing it out to trick-or-treaters might be more of a trick than a treat. (And if you're one of those who eats one piece for every one you give out, the trick might well be on you!)

Sugar-free candies are usually made with sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol or xylitol, which will cause diarrhea if you overdo it. One or two pieces of sugar-free candy is unlikely to be a problem. But if every health-conscious parent in the neighborhood were to have the same idea, it might be a long night for everyone!

See also: Nutrition Diva's Halloween Survival Guide

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.