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Halloween Shocker! Parents Often Pilfer Kids Candy.

By Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY: Trick-or-treaters are gearing up to rake in treats this Sunday.

Halloween is the biggest time of year for candy consumption, says Harry Baltzer, vice president of the NPD Group, which does research on eating trends.

About 5% of all candy consumed for the year occurs on Halloween and the week afterward, Baltzer says. The most popular types, in order: chocolate, chewy candies and hard candy.

If you've noticed that some children take more than one goodie when they come trick-or-treating, consider this a possible explanation: Parents eat one candy bar of every two the child brings home, Baltzer says. And adults are most likely to take the chocolate.

So how can you enjoy Halloween candy for a few days without being haunted by it for months to come?

Many fun-sized candy bars pack 60 to 80 calories each, so having several a day can add up to weight gain or derail weight loss, says Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietitian in Reading, Mass., and mother of three girls.

To avoid some of the post-holiday excess, Ward and her family give some of their candy away. "In our town, the Girl Scouts organize the candy collection and bring it to the senior center to serve as dessert at lunchtime."

The rest should be hidden away or frozen so the kids aren't constantly clamoring for it, she says.

Have the kids sort their candy into piles: One for the treats that they don't like much and the other for the sweets they love, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian in New York City with three sons.

Then, parents or children can give away or throw away their least favorite types and put the rest in a basket to enjoy for the next few days, she says.

"After a few days, the novelty wears off, and most of the candy can be discarded," she says.

Taub-Dix offers this advice to adults: Don't buy a big bag of candy bars you love for your trick-or-treaters. Instead, get candy you don't like that much and buy just one candy bar you adore.

"On Halloween, eat that one candy bar slowly, loving and tasting every bite," she says.

"This way you get to participate in the holiday without guilt and without the extra sugar, fat and pounds it'll bring."

CALORIES IN CANDY:

Snickers
• Serving: Fun-size bar
• Calories: 80
• Fat: 4 grams

Hershey's Milk Chocolate snack-size bar
• Serving: 1 .49-ounce bar
• Calories: 67
• Fat: 4 grams

Tootsie Rolls
• Serving: 6 midgee pieces
• Calories: 140
• Fat: 3 grams

Skittles Original Bite Size Candies
• Serving: Fun-size bag
• Calories: 60
• Fat: 0.7 grams

M&Ms
• Serving: Fun-size bag
• Calories: 73
• Fat: 3 grams

Butterfinger
• Serving: Fun-size bar
• Calories: 85
• Fat: 3.5 grams

Tootsie Roll Pop
• Calories: 60
• Fat: 0 grams

Starburst Original Fruit Chews
• Serving: 2 pieces
• Calories: 40
• Fat: 0.8 grams

Brach's Candy Corn
• Serving: 20 pieces
• Calories: 150
• Fat: 0 grams

 

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