Halloween is one of the most popular holidays among kids, as dressing up as their favorite character and hand-making bags for trick-or-treating can be an exhilarating feeling. You get to be whoever you want to be, walk around the neighborhood with your best buddies, and end the night with a floor covered in candy. Whether you’re taking your kids around the block to get candy, or staying home and handing out your own, make sure you think about what you’re giving your trick-or-treaters, and what your kids are bringing home. Candy is delicious but can be extremely unhealthy, especially if consumed in mass amounts. This doesn’t mean that candy should totally be off limits, but if you can, watch out for these candies and their most harmful ingredients.
Ingredients to Watch For
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Corn Syrup
- Partially Hydrogenated Oils
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Artificial Colors, Flavors, and Sweeteners
- Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #2, etc.
- This includes sodium benzoate, sulfites, polysorbate, nitrates, etc.
- Gluten and Dairy Allergies
- It’s very important to stay cautious of allergens, as there are hidden sources of gluten and dairy in specific ingredients. Watch out for maltodextrin, modified food starch, caramel coloring or flavoring, citric acid, “natural flavorings,” skim milk, milk fat, and lactose.
Candies to Avoid
- Candy Corn –> Even though this is one of the most popular candies to eat during Halloween, it is pretty much nothing but sugar. Candy Corn contains artificial coloring, flavoring, corn syrup, sugar, confectioners glaze, and many other different names for “sugar.”
- Taffy –> This can be especially dangerous for children, as taffy is very hard to chew and disintegrate. The taffy not only gets stuck deep in the teeth, but it can be very hard to swallow and poses a risk of choking. Taffy is built-up bacteria and cavities waiting to happen!
- Malted Milk Balls –> Aside from being mostly sugar, milk balls contain sorbitan tristearate, which is an additive that is worse than it sounds. Also, chocolate isn’t even an ingredient on the list. So, how do they taste the way they do? Sugar.
- Sour Candy –> This is another candy that is pure sugar, and also gets stuck in teeth very easily.
Now that you know what to watch for, you can be sure to feel better about what you’re kids are consuming, and letting them enjoy one of the most fun nights of the year. It’s important for our kids to have fun, but it’s also important to keep them healthy.
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