Halloween Tricks or Treats for Kidney Disease

Two jack-o-lanterns surrounded by other Halloween decorations.

If you have kidney disease, you can still enjoy many Halloween treats and candies, but moderation is key. Here are some general tips if you need to limit the amount of dietary potassium and phosphorus. Chocolate-covered candies without nuts, coconut, peanut, peanut butter or raisins can be eaten in small amounts (1 ounce). The “fun size” portion is just right!

Be careful with these Halloween treats if you have diabetes. Try the sugar-free versions or limit to small amounts of these high-sugar foods and opt for a fruit instead. Please speak with your physician and renal dietitian to see what’s right for you and your body. If you have diabetes, please note that these candies consist of mostly sugar, so consult with your dietitian regarding carbohydrate counting before consuming any of these sweets. Happy Halloween!

TREATS to choose:

  • Hard candies: sour balls, Life Savers, lollipops, candy canes, lemon drops, butterscotch, Werther’s Originals, cinnamon balls, Jolly Ranchers, and Starlight mints.
  • Gummy candies: Gummi bears/worms, sour apples, Jujyfruit, jellybeans, and Dots.
  • Marshmallow candies: Halloween pumpkins, Rice Krispies treats, and Peeps.
  • Chewy candies:  Candy corn, Tootsie Rolls, chewing gum, Starburst, and Skittles.
  • Chocolate-coated candies: The Three Musketeers, chocolate coffee fondant, York Peppermint Patty, Junior Mints, Skor Toffee bars

TRICKS to avoid:

Some candies are high in potassium and phosphorus because they are made with solid chocolate, nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, caramel, coconut or dried fruits. Examples:

Almond Joy, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Cadbury chocolate bars, Chocolate covered: nuts, cookies, raisins, pretzels, caramels, heath bars, Hershey’s chocolate bars, Hershey’s Kisses, Jordan Almonds, Kit Kats, M&Ms, Milky Ways, Mounds, Nestle chocolate bars, Oh Henry! Bars, Payday bars, peanut brittle, Pearson’s Nips, Pralines, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Rolo caramels, Snickers, Twix, and Yogurt nuts.

Adapted from Renal Dietitians Dietetic Practice Group, 2012.

This information is meant to be used as a resource and is not meant to replace medical advice. For more information, contact programs@kidneyhi.org.

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