Kidney Diet Tips

Kidney-Friendly Halloween Treats

Ghosts, goblins, ghouls and candy! The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Halloween is all the candy. If you are following a kidney-friendly diet, then you might be wondering what candy you can eat. Read on to see which candies and treats are better in terms of phosphorus and potassium, and which ones you should limit or avoid.

The main ingredient in candy is sugar. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting calories from sugar to no more than 10% daily. That’s about 12 teaspoons or 200 calories for a 2,000 calorie diet. The American Heart Association recommends a stricter limit of 100 calories or 6 teaspoons sugar for women and 9 teaspoons sugar or 150 calories for men. For people with diabetes, sugar may be even more limited to help manage blood sugar levels. Keep these recommendations in mind when planning candy into your diet.

Kidney-Friendly Candy

These candies are considered kidney-friendly because they are low in phosphorus and potassium, as most people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) need to limit the amounts of these nutrients. It is still important to read the nutrition label on the candy’s package to see if it lists the amount of potassium, phosphorus and sodium. However, potassium and phosphorus are not always listed. You can look at the ingredient list to see if there are phosphorus or potassium additives. Watch this video for a quick lesson on how to spot hidden phosphorus on nutrition labels.

Here are some kidney-friendly treats to eat in limited amounts.

  • Sweetarts®
  • Jolly Ranchers®
  • LifeSavers®
  • Lemonhead® candies
  • Lollipops (Dum Dum Pops®)
  • Sugar free hard candies
  • Smarties®
  • Jelly beans
  • Gummy bears and gummy fruit slices
  • Starburst®
  • Mike and Ike®
  • Runts®
  • Hot Tamales®
  • Gumdrops
  • Peeps® marshmallows
  • Air Heads®
  • Laffy Taffy®
  • Skittles®
  • Sour Patch Kids®
  • Candy corn
  • Rice Krispies® treats

Candy to Limit

Candies that contain some chocolate or caramel can be eaten in moderation. These candies contain more phosphorus and potassium than the list above, so it is best to eat these in even more limited amounts than the candies listed above.

  • Toffee
  • Caramel apples
  • Werther’s Original® hard candy
  • Caramel-coated popcorn
  • Chocolate wafer candy bars
  • Chocolate-covered peppermint candies

Candy to Rarely Eat in Small Amounts

Chocolate and nuts contain high amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Candies that contain mostly chocolate and nuts are not recommended and should rarely be eaten.

  • Chocolate candy bars (including Hershey’s®, milk and dark chocolate)
  • Snickers®
  • PayDay®
  • Reese’s® Peanut Butter cups and pieces
  • Peanut brittle
  • Chocolate covered nuts

If you do wish to eat these, then consider buying the bite-size version and have one piece occasionally. You can also talk with your dietitian and nephrologist about taking your phosphorus binder with a chocolate and nutty candy.

Another great way to enjoy a kidney-friendly Halloween treat is to make your own. Check out these 16 tasty, kidney-friendly Halloween recipes from


Some candies contain high amounts of phosphorus and potassium. There are candies that you can enjoy on Halloween while following a kidney-friendly diet. Your dietitian can help answer any questions you may have about your favorite candies.


Kidney-Friendly Candy for Dialysis Patients. DaVita. Accessed on August 13, 2021.

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Sarah Alsing, MS, RD, CSR

Sarah Alsing, MS, RD, CSR

Sarah has been a dietitian since 2016 working in acute care, including transplant, and currently works in dialysis with in-center and peritoneal dialysis patients. She loves staying up-to-date on the latest nutrition research and discussing it with her patients. Sarah also has a passion for fitness and cooking healthy meals, as well as baking sweet treats for family and friends.