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How to Treat Right

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Candy may be able to promote a sense of well-being, but only if we treat ourselves right—to an overall balanced lifestyle sprinkled with just the right amount of fun snacks.

Candy is a little pleasure in life—a treat. For it to be a positive factor in our health, we need to enjoy it in moderation: in portions of 50 to 100 calories a day. Just think of the fancy chocolates you received as a special gift and how much fun they were to savor.

A recent scientific paper aims to define moderate consumption of candy as part of a healthy lifestyle. Remember to eat nutritious foods first. Fill up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, switch to lower-fat dairy foods, and keep meat and poultry portions small and lean. Then you’ll have some flexibility to choose other foods like candy. Balance all calories with regular physical activity and practice mindful consumption of all foods.

Learn how to make the most of your sweet treats—and how to treat yourself right!


Good Guides and Fun Tools:

Moderation Infographs:

Easy-to-use tools with visuals of the most popular candies: chocolate, jelly beans, hard candies, gum, and more, with guidance on portion size per day and per week. Our daily and weekly charts show examples of what moderation looks like as part of a healthy lifestyle.


Tips for Enjoying Candy in Moderation

Quick, easy suggestions for including candy into a healthy diet:

  • Choose nutritious foods in recommended amounts from all food groups to allow room in your diet for an occasional chocolate or confection.
  • Share a full-sized bar or package of candy with a friend. Or portion out one-third to one-half to enjoy now, and save the rest for another day. Hint: Look for candy options in re-sealable wrappers.
  • Keep chewing gum handy—at home, in the car, when you’re on the go—for a five- to 10-calorie treat any time!  Or go sugar-free for even fewer calories!
  • See more tips!

You can also use this handy nutrition calculator to estimate your daily nutrient needs to maintain a healthy diet and weight.


Sample Menus:

These meal-planning guides give examples of ways to eat nutritious foods with occasional candy snacks: sample menus with small treats.


More Sweet Reading:

The following websites have resources and tips on being healthy and enjoying candy in moderation: