Note: if you are practicing candy-abstinence, this may not be the post for you. Perhaps you would like to (re)read The Healthy(-ish) Recipe Fairy instead.
Halloween can be a tough time for anyone trying to lose or manage their weight. The stores trot the candy out two months ahead of time, banking on buyers taking it home, gobbling it all down before the holiday, and coming back for more. Not that I’ve ever done that.
These days, I don’t usually buy Halloween candy. Our neighborhood kids go to the “Trunk or Treat” function at a community church, and I have a year-round stash of something chocolate in my freezer in the form of Hershey’s Kisses, Ghiardelli squares, Bliss, Dove, or anything else available in individually wrapped bite-sized pieces. Two dark chocolate Kisses are only about 50 calories, perfect for the wee indulgence.
Since I’m starting to run low of my chocolate-y freezer stash, I visited the candy aisle at Target the other day. Rather than automatically go with one of my tried-and-trues , I picked up a bag of Halloween candy. At first I was horrified by the calorie content (I didn’t even look at the ingredient list), but then I noticed something odd. I picked up another bag. And then another and another. It was the same on all of them: the calorie counts displayed are for multiple bars or packs! I don’t want multiple servings at a time–okay, I do, but I know that wouldn’t be healthy or smart–I just want ONE every day or so!
As it turns out, the calories for a single bar or pack just aren’t that awful, usually 100 calories or less. I had figured out the quirk of the serving size on the Kisses, et al. The serving size on the package is 9 pieces, but ONE Kiss is 25-30 calories. I had never looked at Halloween candy to see if I could fractionate the published serving size.
So now I’m hell-bent on having Halloween candy. I just can’t decide which ONE to buy. As an aid, I have prepared a handy reference chart, which I shall be taking to the store with me. You are welcome to clip-n-save, if you are also an indulger:
I don’t know which candy (if any) I’ll buy eventually. I’m probably having more fun evaluating my options than I will eating the candy. Okay, that might be a stretch.
This has all served as a gentle reminder to me of lessons I had already learned but managed to forget:
1) Fractions are our friends. The calorie count on a food may seem high (or low, for that matter), but the serving size we choose gives us wiggle room (or send us to our doom).
2) Questioning is good and calorie-free. (Answers may not be. Proceed with caution.)
Will you be having Halloween candy in moderation? Or are you staying on the straight and narrow?