It’s Halloween time. I love seeing my kids get excited about their costumes. They remind me of my childhood memories of Halloween. My friends and I were like Halloween tour guides; we mapped out the whole neighborhood to get as much candy as possible. We made a strategic effort to avoid the homes that never had candy and the people who dared to give us fruit. One of my friends took notes for our plans in a trapper keeper. Our schemes always paid off; we routinely had a ridiculous amount of treats.
After trick-and-treating was over; I would come home and throw candy in the air while jumping on the bed. I was making it rain—candy rain (I’m ‘soul’ for real). My Pops, a dentist, would give me his yearly speech about rotten teeth and gingivitis. The fear of changing my name to ‘ruthless toothless’ only added a sense of danger to my love Halloween candy.
Now fast forward 20-30 years to the present; I’m now a father and a gastroenterologist with a weight management clinic. Unlike my Dad (no disrespect Pops)—I’m less concerned about tooth decay, but more concerned about Halloween candy calories in some of these treats. Childhood obesity is a problem in the US if you haven’t heard. Plus, parents, you know you steal some of your kid’s treats; so the Halloween calorie load should be on your radar for yourselves, not just your kids. I’m not saying that people should avoid trick-or-treating or just give out juices and berries instead of candy. I just want people to know the amount of calories in some of the typical Halloween favorites so that we can make some informed decisions about how much candy we should eat.
I am a physician and trained chef. I specialize in gastroenterology and nutrition. Currently I work as the Associate Director of Adult Nutrition at the University of Chicago.