Pediatric Nutrition

Diabetes Candy Exchanges

Candy is not good on a daily basis for any child, not just children with diabetes. Candy does not provide vitamins or minerals, is not healthy for teeth, and in the form of chocolate, can add extra fat. However, small amounts of candy can fit into a diabetic meal plan in the form of a starch, fruit, or carbohydrate exchange.

The following servings of candy have 15 grams (1 serving) of carbohydrate:

M&Ms, plain or peanut 1 fun size bag
Twix bar 1 fun size
Starburst 4 pieces
Mars, Milky Way, or Three Musketeers 1 fun size
Hershey Kisses or Hugs 5 pieces
Gummy bears 8 pieces
Hershey mini chocolate bars (with almonds, Krackle, or dark chocolate) 3
Tootsie Pop 1
Tootsie Roll midgies 3
Charms Blow Pop 1
Kit Kat 1/2 of large or 1 fun size
Baby Ruth 1 fun size
Butterfinger 1 fun size
Nestle Crunch 1 fun size
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup 2 small
SweeTarts 8 pieces
Jujyfruits 8 pieces
  • Never use chocolate candy to treat low blood sugar. The fat in chocolate can slow digestion, making you feel like you have low blood sugar, and causing you to eat more. Then bllod sugar can end up too high.
  • Candy is never recommended as an exchange for the bedtime snack. Fruits and starches are more healthy and will give a better blood sugar throughout the night.
  • As parents, you know your child best. Sometimes it's better to not have candy in the house at all.