Trick or treat, who wants to sleep tonight??
Halloween may be a little different this year but we’re betting the kids at your house will still be loaded down with all that sugary goodness they love so much. Snickers, Butterfingers, Reese’s, what’s not to love?
But how does all the sugar after your kids’ sleep – and yours?
Eating sugar causes a rapid increase in blood glucose levels, forcing your pancreas to pump out insulin in an effort to equalize things. If everything’s working as it should, your blood sugar drops. But you’ll pay the price with possible sudden headaches, irritability, increased heart rate, along with fatigue.
When it comes to sugar before bed, you can imagine that with your pancreas working overtime, sleep is going to be challenging. The rollercoaster ride of blood sugars increasing and decreasing quickly will make it hard to fall asleep – and stay asleep.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 100 calories per day of refined sugar for women (the equivalent of 10 jelly beans) and 150 calories for men (equal to 15 jelly beans).
On average, Americans consume more than five times the recommended sugar on a daily basis – never mind a special holiday like Halloween.
But if too big of a snack can interrupt your sleep, too little can cause gnawing hunger pains that will wake you up in the middle of the night. “I recommend limiting yourself and children to one to three bit-sized candy bars after the night’s festivities,” says Ranine Carter, a registered dietitian from at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Ranine also advises giving the kids a light, healthy snack before allowing the candy treat, just to balance things out a bit.
Just remember, the mountains of candy don’t need to be consumed quickly – or even by you and your kids. Check these creative ideas for working through all that Halloween candy.
- Find a Halloween candy buyback nonprofit near you that ships candy to troops overseas.
- Freeze some of the candy and use it later for impromptu milkshakes and cookies.
- M&M’s and other candies make a great addition to healthy trail mix.
- Use the candy as a learning tool or when helping with homework or for chore incentives
Best & worst candy choices, according to dietitians
Shape Magazine ranked the healthiest (and not so healthiest) candy choices. Check out which treats topped the lists
Healthy candy choices
- Hershey’s Miniatures. Special Dark (Serving Size: 5 pieces) 200 calories; 13g fat; 7g saturated fat; 25mg sodium; 24g carbs; 18g sugar; 3g protein
- Raisinets, Snack Pack.(Serving Size: 1 box) 150 calories; 6g fat; 3.5g saturated fat; 10mg sodium; 25g carbs; 22g sugar; 1g protein
- 3 Musketeers Minis. (Serving Size: 7 pieces) 170 calories; 5g fat; 3.5g saturated fat; 80mg sodium; 32g carbs; 27g sugar; 1g protein
- Snack Size York Peppermint Pattie. (Serving Size: 1 piece) 60 calories; 1g fat; 0.5g saturated fat; 5mg sodium; 14g carbs; 11g sugar
- Now and Laters. (Serving Size: 9 pieces) 120 calories; 1g fat; 0g saturated fat; 40mg sodium; 28g carbs; 22g sugar; 0g protein
- Skittles Original Fun Size Mini. (Serving Size: 1 pack) 60 calories; 0.5g fat; 0.5g saturated fat; 14g carbs; 11g sugar; 0g protein
- Milk Chocolate Kisses filled with Caramel. (Serving Size: 9 pieces) 190 calories; 9g fat; 6g saturated fat; 75mg sodium; 27g carbs; 23g sugar; 3g protein
Not-so-healthy candy choices
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures. (Serving Size: 5 pieces) 220 calories; 13g fat; 5g saturated fat; 130mg sodium; 26g carbs; 23g sugar; 4g protein
- Twix Caramel Cookie Bars. (Serving Size: 2 cookies, 1 pack) 250 calories; 12g fat; 9g saturated fat; 100mg sodium; 33g carbs; 24g sugar; 2g protein
- Milk Duds. (Serving Size: 1 regular-sized box) 230 calories; 8g fat; 5g saturated fat; 135mg sodium; 38g carbs; 27g sugar; 2g protein
- Snickers Bar Miniatures. (Serving Size: 4 pieces) 170 calories; 8g fat; 3g saturated fat; 80mg sodium; 22g carbs; 18g sugar; 3g protein
- Fun Size Baby Ruth. (Serving size: 2 bars) 170 calories; 8g fat; 4.5g saturated fat; 85mg sodium; 24g carbs; 20g sugar; 2g protein
- Brach’s Milk Maid Caramels. (Serving Size: 4 pieces) 150 calories; 4g fat; 3g saturated fat; 90mg sodium; 25g carbs; 15g sugar; 2g protein
- Brach’s Candy Corn. (Serving Size: 19 pieces) 140 calories; 0g fat; 70mg sodium; 36g carbs; 32g sugar; 0g protein
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- So many reasons to get more sleep
- 40 dietician-approved bedtime snacks
- 8 foods that will NOT help you sleep better
Jimmy Kimmel’s, “I Told My Kid’s I Ate All of Their Halloween Candy” videos below. You’re welcome 😊
For the past few years, Kimmel has challenged parents to pretend they ate all their kids’ Halloween Candy, shoot video of it, and upload that video to YouTube. While there’s a whole lot of heartbroken kids (for a couple of seconds until their parents fess up to the truth), there are a few adorable kids who immediately forgive their parents.