Let’s Talk Candy!

Let’s Talk Candy!

Feb 01, 2023Paige Green, RD, LD

Let’s chat about candy, shall we? It may make your mind spin that these sweet treats can fall into a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but it’s true. All foods are meant to be enjoyed. Yes, that includes the chocolate bar that you never thought you could have again (New Year’s resolution, anyone?). What’s key here is how we approach these indulgences, both mentally and nutritionally. Candy won’t make or break your healthy lifestyle, but abusing it can. Take a second to evaluate why you want candy at any given moment, and then make a health-informed decision from there. After all, it’s candy, not kryptonite.


  1. Balance is Key – Everything in moderation, right? Even the sweet stuff. Do note, however, that our bodies thrive when we provide them balanced, complete meals. When we consume a combination of carbs, protein and fats within the correct portions, we can accurately assess our candy cravings correctly. An 80/20 rule is a good guide to follow – enjoying nourishing foods 80% of the time, and indulging in fun foods 20% of the time.
    1. Product Highlight: Smart Sweets Peach Rings
  2. Normalize Sweets – The last thing you want to do is deem candy – or any sweet, for that matter – as the evil guy. A great plan on normalizing treats is planning your day, or week, with these sweets sprinkled in – after supper, for example. Start by quieting the “food rules” you’ve made with yourself and start fitting in these options, just like you would your meals. You’ll be amazed with how much pressure is taken off your shoulders.
    1. Product Highlight: Cocomels Organic Plant Based Sea Salt Coconut Milk Caramels
  3. Portion control – Candy, just like with every other food group, deserves a proper portion. Eating your favorite chocolate or fruit gummy is not the problem here – what matters is how much we are consuming. It’s time to think critically about your candy portion, because when it comes down to it, we don’t have to eat a large portion to satisfy our craving. For example, instead of eating the entire chocolate bar, you may find that you can experience the same satisfaction from a 2-ounce piece. Controlling our portion size with candy allows us to cut down on calories without leaving us feeling deprived. What a delicious win-win.
    1. Product Highlight: Theo Organic Salted Almond 70% Dark Chocolate
  4. Enjoy Treats Mindfully – Before you’re left with just the wrappers, let’s take a step back. Enjoying our sweets more mindfully can help us feel more satisfied with our candy choice without devouring our treats entirely. Try taking smaller bites, slowing down, and noticing the flavors and textures as you eat. Don’t let your candy disappear without a true, joyful experience.
    1. Product Highlight: Yumearth Organic Strawberry Licorice


Remember: When it comes to candy, never say never. Check in with your body and eat balanced, wholesome meals. However, when that craving does come knocking, enjoy your favorites in a mindful way, portioned out and – above all else – without the guilt.


Connect with your local Hy-Vee dietitian on our virtual nutrition services platform. To learn more, head to https://www.hy-vee.com/health/hy-vee-dietitians/default.aspx and schedule a complimentary Discovery Session with a Hy-Vee dietitian. We offer a variety of services to help you meet your weight loss goals, including one-on-one consultation packages, personalized menu plan programs, virtual nutrition store tours and more.


The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

About the Registered Dietitian 

Paige Green RD, LD, pursued her passion for nutrition at Iowa State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics in 2015. Paige strives to educate individuals on finding a healthy balance in life. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, learn more about healthier food options or have questions about a certain medical condition, Paige is happy to help you attain your health goals.

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