Movie theater candy calories

Information compiled by Amy Ramsay with help from Melissa Pryputniewicz.

Contents

POPCORN

At Regal, a medium (left) and a large popcorn each has 1,200 calories and three days’ worth of saturated fat.

“Did you know that popcorn is among the healthiest—and tastiest—snacks around?” asks the Web site of the Popcorn Board, an industry group. “It’s a whole grain

food that’s low in calories and fat and it’s a complex carbohydrate.”

Maybe that’s one reason people fork over $4 to $8 for a bag or tub of popcorn when they enter a movie theater. It sounds like they’re munching on a stalk of broccoli, for goodness sakes.

Turns out the Popcorn Board is right…if you’re talking low-fat popcorn or (fat-free) air-popped. Eating a tub of movie theater popcorn is more like eating an 8 oz. bag of potato chips, and that’s assuming your theater pops in the best oil available and you get it without the “buttery” topping.

Here’s what we found when we sent samples of popcorn and toppings from the three largest theater chains to an independent lab for analysis. (Each gave us nutrition facts for its popcorn. But just to be sure, we analyzed samples from three different theaters for each chain. For two of the chains—Regal and AMC—we went to theaters in the Washington, D.C., area. For Cinemark, our samples came from Texas, Illinois, and Maryland.)

REGAL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

With 548 theaters in 39 states plus the District of Columbia, Regal is the largest chain in the United States. It pops in coconut oil, which is 90 percent saturated. (In contrast, lard is 40 percent saturated.)

Translation: A “small” popcorn (that’s about 11 cups’ worth) with no buttery topping has 34 grams of saturated fat. So even if you split it with a friend (unlikely), you each get nearly a day’s worth of artery paste. And it gets worse from there.

Suggestion: Move your cardiologist’s phone number to your speed dial before the lights go down.

Just kidding. It takes years to clog those arteries…and years for your blood pressure to respond to the salt shock (550 milligrams of sodium—a third of a day’s worth—for a small and 980 mg for a medium or large).

The calories, on the other hand, may show up much sooner…and where you least want them.

Budget 670 for a small and 1,200 for a medium or large. You could think of each small as a Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizza and each medium or large as two. But the two pizzas pack “only” a day’s worth of sat fat—nowhere near the three days’ worth in a medium or large popcorn.

How can a medium and large at Regal each hold the same 20 cups of popcorn?

Simple. The taller medium comes in a bag with straight sides, while the squatter large comes in a tapered tub that’s wider at the top (see photo). The tub sure looks like it holds more. Other than for the free refill (shudder), why else would moviegoers pay $8 for a large (a medium is $7)?

Another oopsy-daisy: According to Regal, a medium has 720 calories, while a large has 960 calories. Both are lower than our lab results. Oh well. What’s an xtra 200 to 500 calories when your snack hovers around the 1,000-calorie mark? They don’t call them tubs for nothing.

Toppings: For customers who think plain popcorn isn’t soaked in enough oil, Regal offers a “buttery” topping. According to Regal and the topping manufacturer, it adds 130 calories to a small, 200 calories to a medium, and 260 calories to a large.

We analyzed the topping to make sure that it had no trans fat. But we didn’t check to see how much topping the concession staff at Regal—or any other chain—adds. Odds are, it varies. And odds are, it’s more than what Regal claims.

AMC Theatres

AMC, the nation’s second-largest chain (with 307 theaters in 30 states and the District of Columbia), also pops in coconut oil. The only good news: AMC’s popcorns aren’t as super-sized as Regal’s. But they’re bigger than the company acknowledges.

According to AMC, a small popcorn contains 225 calories. In fact, the small AMC popcorns that we bought weighed about 50 percent more than the company claimed. Our AMC smalls contained 370 calories and 20 grams of saturated fat—about what you’d get from that classic healthy snack: eight pats of butter.

Based on what we were served, AMC lowballs its other sizes as well.

For example, the company’s 430-calorie medium morphed into 590 calories and 33 grams of saturated fat. And the 660-calorie large became a 1,030-calorie behemoth with 57 grams of sat fat. It’s like eating a pound of baby back ribs topped with a scoop of Häagen-Dazs ice cream (except for the extra day’s worth of sat fat in the popcorn).

What’s next: fun-house mirrors that make you look skinny on your way out of the theater?

Toppings: Fake-butter fans must love AMC. The chain lets patrons pump their own “buttery” topping. No skimpy tablespoon of extra fat on a small or two tablespoons on a large, like Regal claims to use. With 120 calories per tablespoon, you should be able to squeeze another 200 to 500 calories into the bucket of fat cells in your lap.

The OmniHeart diets weren’t designed to melt pounds, even though many of the participants were overweight or obese.

“In fact, we made sure they didn’t cut calories or we wouldn’t have known how much each diet mattered,” says Janis Swain, an OmniHeart dietitian at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

In a separate study, Sacks put 800 overweight adults on diets that were high or low in fat, carbs, or protein. After two years, weight loss was about the same.3 “So there is also a tie for weight loss,” he notes.

However, we’ve tweaked the diet to make it easier for people to lose—or not gain—weight by cutting caloric beverages and eating foods that are less calorie dense.

But those are details. Here’s the big picture of what to eat.

Cinemark

Cinemark, with 296 theaters in 39 states, deserves some applause. The nation’s third largest chain pops in non-hydrogenated canola oil instead of coconut.

Assuming you add no “buttery” topping, your heart can escape a Cinemark popcorn relatively unscathed. Your belly (and blood pressure) won’t be so lucky.

If you share an unbuttered (8-cup) small with a fellow moviegoer, each of you will walk away with about 200 calories (seasoned with 340 milligrams of sodium).

That’s the best you can expect from movie theater popcorn, unless you ask the theater to pop you a batch without salt. (All the Cinemark, AMC, and Regal locations we called said they would do that.)

A medium popcorn (14 cups) at Cinemark reaches 760 calories and a large (17 cups) hits 910 calories (and 1,500 mg of sodium—an entire day’s quota). Since when is half-a-day’s-calories’ worth of corn, oil, and salt called a “snack”? Maybe since America started competing in the Sumo Belly-Lifting Olympics.

Toppings: Cinemark may use the healthiest popping oil, but you can still run into problems at the pump.

At some Cinemarks, the topping is essentially the same “buttery” non-hydrogenated soybean oil used by other chains. So for each tablespoon that you (or the servers) pour over your popcorn, you’re adding another 130 calories that (we’re guessing) you won’t burn by the end of the day.

At other Cinemarks (especially in the West), the topping is made from real butter. Would you add butter to your French fries?

Each tablespoon of the butter topping delivers 9 grams of saturated fat—half a day’s limit—plus 0.4 grams of naturally occurring trans fat, which will boost your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol as much as manmade trans does.

So get out the calculator…and that extra dose of Lipitor. You just turned your large popcorn into two Big Macs.

Sodas and Combos

A bag or tub of popcorn can make you thirsty, and theaters aren’t about to let their customers suffer. So they offer sodas to wash down the salt and oil.

At Regal, a medium combo (a medium popcorn plus a medium drink) has 1,160 calories. That’s like eating six scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, four bacon strips, and four sausage links before the lights come up.

A small ranges from 16 ounces (2 cups) at Cinemark to 32 ounces (4 cups) at Regal. Assume that about a quarter of it is filled with ice. Even so, you’re talking 150 to 300 calories’ worth of sugar (unless you get a diet soda or water).

A large is only for those who possess a reinforced bladder (or arrive with a supply of Depends). It ranges from 44 ounces (5½ cups) at Cinemark or AMC to 54 ounces (nearly 7 cups) at Regal. Okay, so you may not need an extra 400 to 500 calories—and 26 to 33 teaspoons of sugar—right now. But who knows? Maybe a famine is just around the corner.

To save you money (how thoughtful), theaters offer combos. For example, for a mere $12, Regal hands you a medium popcorn and a medium soft drink, and AMC dishes up a large popcorn and a large soda. Where else can you be so distracted (by the movie) that you don’t realize you’ve just swallowed 1,400 to 1,600 calories?

A combo for two people is even more economical. At Regal (1 large popcorn and 2 medium sodas) and AMC (1 large popcorn and 2 large drinks), you pay about $17 for roughly 2,000 calories. What a deal. You’ll still have money left over for dinner and dessert after the movie.

True, you might be a tad less hungry if you go back for a free refill. The problem is, you have to walk all the way to the concession stand for it. That’s dozens of steps!

Maybe someday theaters will have employees walk up and down the aisles offering free refills of popcorn and soda during the movie. In the meantime, they could at least offer bigger buckets. Maybe garbage bags would work.

Moviehouse & Eatery has just launched their first DFW location in Keller (with another one set to open in Flower Mound Spring 2015 and Craig Ranch (date TBD)) , and this lucky gal got to attend their grand opening celebration. This Austin based dine-in theater concept is begging to be moved to the top of your date night list. For a fun twist on your conventional “dinner and a movie”, Moviehouse & Eatery features eight dine-in theaters, complete with suhhhhweet, comfy reclining seating and a dedicated waitstaff. Oh, and a full-service bar.

You will definitely want to arrive plenty early to your movie in order to fully utilize Moviehouse & Eatery’s impressive full-service bar in the lobby. The bar menu features a respectable wine list, an interesting beer selection with a focus on local craft brew offerings, and a creative cocktail menu. I had the opportunity to sample two tasty libations at the opening; first, the Blueberry Ginger Sangria ($7.50). The sangria was bursting with berry flavor, and was dangerously easy drinking. Secondly, I sampled the light and refreshing Cucumber Strawberry Mojito ($8.50), which was chock full of lovely, fresh strawberries with just the right hint of mint. Don’t worry, friends; the drinks do not stop flowing when the movie starts; the entire bar menu is available during your show. Whew!

Cucumber Strawberry Mojito

I also had an opportunity to sample some of the menu items Moviehouse & Eatery has to offer, and believe me when I tell you that we are not talking about the neon-yellow, cheese covered, circular nacho chips of your childhood. Moviehouse & Eatery’s menu features a wide variety of creative dining options, ranging from shareable appetizers and pizzas, to salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Take a peek at the menu here to learn more about their tantalizing offerings.

If, by chance, you’re a little less hungry (or a little more focused on liquid calories), Moviehouse & Eatery has plenty of snacking options at the M&E Treats Candy Bar in the lobby.

In addition to traditional offerings like popcorn and classic candy, M&E Treats offers a variety of gourmet sweets for your face stuffing pleasure. Case in point: I don’t think you’ll be munching on chocolate covered Oreos at your neighborhood dollar theater any time soon.

I had the opportunity to enjoy a movie at the grand opening event (“Big Hero 6”- it was really cute- I am 30- I don’t have kids- don’t judge me), and I can totally vouch for the ridiculously comfy reclining chair situation they’ve got going on in their theaters. Holy moly, this was an amazing way to watch a movie, and every other theater I’ve ever been to is doing it all wrong and I didn’t even know it ’til now. So basically, you’re kicked back in a big, plush chair with your feet up, sipping on a beverage of your choice, and chowing down on some seriously tasty vittles.

I will leave you with this final warning: watching a movie whilst seated upright, drinking an $11 Dr. Pepper, and munching on a Totino’s Party Pizza is going to be a *little* disappointing the first time you do it after your get spoiled by Moviehouse & Eatery. Trust me.

Moviehouse & Eatery DFW
250 Rufe Snow Dr., Keller, TX 76248
(817) 518-9091

Ticket reservations available online at themoviehouse.com/keller

For specials and upcoming events, visit Moviehouse & Eatery on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoviehouseDFW

The Moviehouse & Eatery, Keller: Address, Phone Number, The Moviehouse & Eatery Reviews: 4.5/5

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Movie Tavern Menu Prices

The menus and in-seat service for Movie Tavern have standardized across all locations. See here for Movie Tavern’s ticket prices.

Going beyond the typical popcorn, soft drinks, and candy, Movie Tavern has created a chef-driven menu with high quality food and drink. The variety of offerings is impressive and include appetizers, burgers, pizzas, salads, entrees, vegetarian options, and more! Before or with your dinner, enjoy a beer, a glass of wine, or a specialty or classic cocktail. As with food at pretty much all theaters, you will be paying a premium, but it may just be worth it for the quality and convenience.

Below are latest Movie Tavern menu prices:

Movie Tavern Food

As you can see from the extensive range of food and drinks offered by Movie Tavern on their menu, you’ll be paralyzed by all the amazing options to choose from.

How about the Loaded Bacon Mac & Cheese (awesome name!) which includes:

Cavatappi pasta, three-cheese sauce, tomato, sweet jalapeño and red pepper relish, applewood-smoked bacon, crispy onion strings

Pretty damn good for $12.00. Craving more than that, though? Maybe something to share, like the Game Day Platter for $19.00:

Three mini cheeseburgers, half-pound of chicken wings, seasoned fries with cheddar cheese sauce and applewood-smoked bacon

Now we’re talking! Or are you looking for the movie theatre staple? No problem. Stick with a Classic Bucket of Popcorn with some Odell’s Real Butter on top for $10.50. Mmmmmmmm.

Vegetarian and Reduced Gluten

Movie Tavern aims to please as many patrons as they can, which is why they’ve included plenty of reduced gluten and vegetarians options in their menu.

Many of the starters are completely vegetarian, as well as some of the pizzas. There are a few reduce gluten options, but not as many as vegetarian.

If you are looking specifically for more information on these two menu options, we recommend giving your local Movie Tavern a call, or discussing with the waiter before you make your order.

Not convinced yet? Check out this awesome video they’ve put together!

For more information about Movie Tavern, visit their official website.

5 Healthy Snacks You Can Carry Into a Movie Theater

Ever since I was old enough to buy my own movie tickets, I made a point of avoiding the outrageously expensive concession stand and bring my own snacks instead. Maybe it was because I grew up in Manhattan where an average movie ticket costs more than $16, but—even knowing it was frowned upon—sneaking in contraband goods became a regular occurrence. (Sorry, not sorry.)

But bringing your own snacks isn’t just a way to save money. It can also be a much healthier option. For example, a medium-size popcorn with butter racks up more than 800 calories and 36g of saturated fat as well as 600mg of sodium.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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We asked our assistant nutrition editor, Jaime Vespa, MS, RD, to check out the snack aisles of pharmacies and major retailers to find the most satisfying and nutritious picks for your next movie. Here are the snacks she recommends.

Single Serving Sabra Hummus Cups

Image zoom sabradips.ca

These powerhouse snack packets are sold individually and in bulk in different snack sections (I recently picked one up in a 7-Eleven!), and they’re compact enough to pack into any bag or pocket. Pair with a bag of baby carrots or whole wheat crackers—the Sabra hummus cup is a great low-calorie option at just 160 calories for an entire serving.

Dang Sticky Rice Chips

You’ll love these faux potato chips that are coated in a savory and spicy sriracha flavoring—you can split a whole bag with your friend and rest easy knowing it’s just about 250 calories.

Justin’s Single Serve Peanut Butter Packet

Image zoom

You can find these squeezable, snack-sized servings of organic peanut butter near checkout at retailers like Target for $1 or less. They can easily be spread onto veggies or crackers of your choice and a serving of the peanut butter will only cost you 190 calories.

Annie Chun’s Gochujang Seaweed Crisps

These are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy—plus, the entire pack is just 160 calories. And the resemblance to the flavors of a full-on nori roll are striking. It’s like a spicy salmon roll in a bag.

Eat well. Lose weight. Live healthy, with the Cooking Light Diet.

Waterloo Sparkling Waters

Image zoom SergZSV/Getty Images

If you think movie-sized popcorn bags are bad, the beverages are even worse. You can still get your fizzy fix with Vespa’s favorite sparkling water on the market—Waterloo’s cans tout a lovely row of zeros on the nutrition label, meaning you can have refills and feel good about it, too.

Healthy Snacks at The Movies

Going to the movies can be a full sensory experience. For many people, the aroma of buttered popcorn conjures up memories of climactic cinematic moments. Unfortunately, many movie theater concessions are full of salt, saturated fat, or sugar. Despite this, a trip to the movies does not have to destroy the balance in your diet. Finding creative ways to enjoy wholesome snacks at the movies will allow you to indulge your inner movie critic while still staying healthy.

Considerations When Considering a Healthy Trip to the Movies

Concessions are a major part of a movie theater’s revenue (Lobb, 2002). This leads many movie theaters to forbid moviegoers from bringing outside food or snacks. While it’s certainly possible to sneak in a small snack in your purse or coat, it is best to follow the movie theater’s official policies to avoid any trouble. Although many theaters follow the “no outside food” policy, it is possible to find theaters that permit outside snacks. Most movie theaters’ websites have their policies stated online. Check independent theaters in your area as well as big box chains to find one that permits outside food.

If you do bring your own food to the movies, be considerate of your fellow moviegoers. Choosing snacks that are extremely crunchy or packages in crinkly wrapping can be very distracting for the people around you. For example, it is considered a movie etiquette breach to bring a bag of potato chips or individually wrapped candies, both of which make a lot of noise. If you simply cannot do without your favorite snack, repackage it in a small baggie to prevent the sound of crinkling packaging.

It’s also important to consider the smell of your food. Everyone expects a movie theater to have a scent of the buttered popcorn sold at the concessionaire. If you bring your own more pungent snacks, however, this may be off-putting to others. For example, the scents of onion, tuna, or corn oil can waft through an entire theater in minutes. Limit your snack selection to those with a neutral or modest scent to avoid upsetting your theater neighbors.

Navigating the Movie Theater Concessions

Movie theaters are not known for their healthy snack options. In fact, the moviegoing experience facilitates the type of mindless snacking that can be bad for your health. However, informing yourself ahead of time allows you to make healthier choices at the theater (MacMillan, 2015):

  • Drink water. Movie theater sodas may be 54 ounces or more, and some theaters even offer free refills. A large soda may have 96 to 174 grams of sugar and up to 696 calories (Consumer Reports, 2012). Drinking water is a healthier option that is better for your teeth and waistline. Ask if the concessionaire has a lemon wedge to add some flavor.
  • Choose popcorn wisely. A large buttered popcorn may contain 844 to 1,591 calories and more than 54 grams of fat (Consumer Reports, 2012). Additionally, movie theater popcorn is often laden with sodium, which is bad for heart health. Lighten this snack up by choosing the smallest size and foregoing butter. Adding a small sprinkle of salt is okay, but it’s best to share your popcorn with a friend to keep the portion healthier.
  • Nachos and cheese. There’s something satisfying about nachos and cheese, but this sense of satisfaction is certainly not a reflection of the snack’s nutritional value. A large movie theater nacho portion may contain 907 calories and 54 grams of fat (Consumer Reports, 2012). Opt for a soft pretzel instead. A small soft pretzel with no cheese is 480 calories, making it a more reasonable snack (MacMillan, 2015). Brush off any extra salt and share with your neighbor to satisfy your craving for a savory movie snack.

Bring Your Own Movie Snacks to the Theater

If you find a theater that permits you to bring your own snacks, this can be a great way to indulge without disrupting your diet. Good savory snacks include pretzels, trail mix, roasted chickpeas sprinkled with sea salt, or pita chips. If you have a sweet tooth, package a small handful of your favorite candy in a small baggie. Yogurt-covered raisins, gummy candies, chocolate peanut butter popcorn, or graham crackers make great treats.

Perhaps the best way to indulge your need for creative movie snacks is to recreate the theater experience at home. This allows you to enjoy the pungent, crunchy snacks that would drive your fellow theatergoers crazy. Plus, it makes for a more budget-friendly option. If you’re enjoying a movie at home, expand your imagination with creative popcorn toppings (think smoked paprika, blue cheese, buffalo style, powdered cheese, or chili seasoning).

Healthy Recipes to Make Your Own Movie Snack

The recipes below offer simple ways to create your own snacks with sweet or savory flavors and a wide variety of textures to accommodate any taste. Each treat can be easily transported in a small plastic bag or container and supplies a wholesome means of satisfying your cravings for movie munchies!

Pumpkin Granola Bars Recipe {gluten-free}

For a pleasant pumpkin palate that is both portable and discreet, these bars provide the perfect snack for nibbling in the midst of a crowded theater. Each bar features a soft texture that can easily be broken into small pieces ideal for casual snacking.
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, pumpkin puree, cashew butter, honey, maple syrup, dark chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin spice.
Total Time: 45 minutes | Yield: 8 bars

Homemade Granola Bars Recipe {gluten-free}

A crunchier treat of a similar savor, these homemade granola bars supply a sweet yet nutty flavor. While making the treats, you can also cut them into smaller, bite-size bits to make them more accommodating for the type of snacking done in the theater.
Ingredients: Dried mulberries, dried strawberries, raw cashews, organic peanut butter, ripe bananas, raw sunflower seeds, hemp protein powder, gluten-free rolled oats, chia seeds, flaxseed meal.
Total Time: 40 minutes | Yield: 12 bars

No-Bake Granola Bars Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

Another delectable granola bar, this variety supplies a sweeter taste and texture than either of our other options. Cutting this into smaller bits produces a candy-like treat that is sure to delight your sweet tooth while still satiating your stomach.
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, peanut butter, dried tart cherries, pistachios, flaxseed meal, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, agave syrup. unsweetened applesauce, melted cacao nibs or dark chocolate.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 8 – 10 servings

Blueberry Chia Jam Bars Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

These delectable berry bars are ideal for those that prefer a treat that is more strictly sweet with an underlying crumbly consistency that adds to the snacking experience. While cutting these treats up, be sure to monitor portion control by only packing up as much as you and your party plan to eat.
Ingredients: Raw almonds, gluten-free rolled oats, chia seeds, maple syrup, water, vanilla or almond extract, blueberries, cacao powder, coconut oil.
Total Time: 30 minutes | Yield: 16 mini bars

Chocolate Goji Berry Bars Recipe {gluten-free}

Another blend of sugary goodness and savory substance, these bars offer a taste of chocolate that is tempered by a wholesome blend of superfoods quinoa and goji berries, as well as the flavorful and wholesome combination of dates and pistachios.
Ingredients: Pitted dates, almond butter, quinoa puffs, goji berries, raw pistachios, coconut oil, dark chocolate chips.
Total Time: 20 minutes | Yield: 8 bars

No-Bake Pistachio Cookies Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

These pistachio cream cookies are a dive off the deep-end into dessert-like delights. Fans of malted melt balls and other classic cinematic snacks that favor distinctly sugary sensations will love the sweetness of the coconut filling that defines these wholesome snacks.
Ingredients: Pistachios, unsweetened shredded coconut, gluten-free rolled oats, maple syrup, moringa powder, water, vanilla extract, cashews, almond butter, vanilla, coconut oil.
Total Time: 20 minutes | Yield: 16 cookies

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Truffle Recipe

Another substitute for conventional candies, these delectable truffles use a base of date fruits to offer the same satisfying texture with a natural source of sweetness that is much more wholesome than traditional varieties.
Ingredients: Jumbo Mejdool dates, almond flour, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, cacao powder, agave or maple syrup, almond milk, unsweetened shredded coconut.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 24 truffles

Almond Truffles Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

For those that don’t fancy chocolate but are still seeking something sweet, these truffles use a similar blend of healthsome ingredients to create a tart treat with a raspberry flavor that features a hint of almonds.
Ingredients: Pitted dates, almond flour, almond butter, water, flaxseed meal, freeze-dried raspberries, unsweetened shredded coconut.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 14 – 16 truffles

Healthy Movie Snack Suggestions

Searching for a snack that requires less preparation and that comes in a bag ready for snacking? These scrumptious selections provide a healthier alternative to typical theater treats. Find a bite to suit your palate with the diverse array below!

Garlic Pita Chips

$5.99/lb

For garlic lovers seeking a subtle hint of their favorite spice, these scrumptious chips supply a superb savor that is distinct due to its absence of an overpowering aroma. Enjoy your favorite flavor without upsetting your neighbors and grab a bag today!

Half Popped Popcorn

$6.99

For those that prefer to stick to the classics, satiate your craving for popcorn with a more health-conscious variety that adds an even more delightful texture. Each kernel has been “half-popped” to supply an added crunch while light seasoning provides familiar flavors with a fraction of the fat!

Mini Pretzels

$4.99/lb

For those that love the savory crunch of salted pretzels but prefer to eat to their heart’s content, these miniature pretzels offer a portion that can be savored more slowly. The snacks also contain a gram of fiber and 4 grams of protein per ounce to fill you up quick.

Sriracha Chickpeas

$6.99/lb

For fans of spicy snacks, these sriracha chickpeas are saturated with the spicy sauce to create a potent portent of piquancy. Each crunchy bean offers a healthy helping of protein to help fill you up, while an ounce of the snacks contain less than one hundred calories.

Dark Chocolate-Covered Almonds

$10.99/lb

These candy coated almonds are a delectable blend of the rich bitters of a crunchy nut and the smooth sweetness of their dark chocolate coating. These candy pieces provide a mix of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that elevate them above comparable chocolate candies.

CB&J Mix

$9.99/lb

This blend of berries and nuts is a superb mixture of crunchy and soft, sweet and savory, and indulgent and healthsome. The combination includes roasted and butter toffee cashews in addition to various dried fruits to provide a truly unique flavor.

Graham Cracker Cookie Gems

A small snack that takes the classic tastes and textures of common graham cracker and packs its palate into a compact cookie, these miniature wafers are a satisfying sweet that can be enjoyed remotely without issue. Mix them with your favorite dried fruits for an extra special treat.

Organic Gummy Bears

For those that love to savor their sweets, these gummy bears offer a chewy texture that can be enjoyed longer than your average treats. Unlike other gummies, however, these bears rely on organic sources of sweetness from plant powder, vegetable juice, and organic cane sugar.

8 Healthy Snack Ideas for Movie Night

Hot summer days call for cooling off with the latest blockbuster in a dark theater or on your living room couch. Unfortunately, typical concession stand fare tends to be filled with some of the worst offenders when it comes to ultra-processed foods: sugary drinks, neon candy, and “buttery flavor” topping. Not-so-fun facts: A large buttered popcorn can set you back 1,640 calories, 126 g fat, and 1,945 mg sodium. It’s often popped in coconut oil (read: saturated fat) or canola oil, which may be a few days old. And that topping is actually soybean oil, pumped with artificial colors and flavors. Still want to share a bucket with your date (shudder)?

Skip the fake butter bomb in favor of these healthy snacks. You can sneak a zip-top plastic bag of popcorn or veggie chips into your bag before hitting the mall—or whip up homemade slushies before settling in for a movie night at home.

1. Healthy Homemade Popcorn

Underneath all of the salt and grease, popcorn is still a whole grain! And it can definitely be a healthy, crunchy, and satisfying snack. Make it fresh at home, and treat it right with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of sugar and spice, a little parmesan and black pepper, or any of these healthier ideas for toppings.

2. Frozen Grapes

If your movie candy of choice is gummies (62 g sugar), chewies (90 g sugar), sours (65 g sugar), or any other fruit-flavored candy, one theater-sized box is easily double to triple the recommended daily limit for sugar! Frozen grapes are the more natural choice. They’re cool, easy to pop in your mouth, and a sweet-tart solution to sugar cravings. Spread grapes out on a baking sheet, so they freeze separately, before tossing them into a zip-top plastic bag.

3. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Chocoholics can really rack up the calories on movie night—chocolate caramels can set you back 595 calories, peanut butter pieces at 600 calories, and malted milk balls at 665 calories. Consider nibbling on an ounce or two of quality dark chocolate, instead. You can savor it longer and get in a serving of fresh fruit—strawberries and bananas love a dunk.

4. Crispy Crunchy Beans

Both chickpeas and edamame are doing a pretty good job of pretending to be popcorn these days, and they offer some satisfying plant protein. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and roast until crunchy. You can roll them around in some Italian-inspired garlic, oregano, and parsley, or Indian-style coriander, cumin, and cayenne, to up the savory edge.

5. Garlicky Kale Chips

Sweet potato, kale, and zucchini chips are one of those on-the-fence foods. They’re probably better for you than plain old potato chips, but before grabbing a bag, check the label for fat and sodium. Roasting at home is really the best option—you have more control over the ingredients and can preserve some of the nutritional benefits of the veggies. Toss kale leaves with olive oil and garlic, and toast until papery and crisp in a hot oven.

6. Tortilla Chips & Guacamole

Nacho cheese is another mystery sauce that can mean almost anything—is it cheese? Wait, what kind? You can make your own at home with skim milk and sharp cheddar, so at least you know what’s going in the pot. But better yet, reach for nature’s butter: avocados, of course! Mash them into a homemade guac, and serve with veggie sticks and whole-grain chips. (As with veggie chips, keep an eye on fat and sodium and look for tortillas made from real and recognizable ingredients, starting with whole-grain corn—you might also see multigrain wheat, barley, or rye.)

7. Chicken Dogs with Grilled Veggies

There are a lot of good reasons to avoid processed meat—starting with that foil-wrapped dog. But if you love your summer sausages, there are for sure some better alternatives. Fitbit nutrition expert, Tracy Morris, feeds her kids all-natural chicken dogs, made with real boneless, skinless meat. Put them on a whole-wheat bun, and pile on grilled onions and peppers.

8. Homemade Slushies

The number one ingredient in that electric blue drink? High-fructose corn syrup. But homemade slushies, made with real fruit, are so much fun! Blend cherries or raspberries with ice, sparkling water, a squeeze of lemon, and only if it needs it, a touch of honey. Then make your way to your seat for some living room theater.

If you’re setting out a spread at home, dips and dippers, like veggies and hummus, or fruit and yogurt, are also a great option. If you need something quick to throw into a bag, take a handful of spiced pecans, rosemary almonds, or olive-oil granola to go. What’s your favorite healthy movie snack?

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

Becky Duffett

Becky Duffett is a contributing nutrition editor for Fitbit and a lifestyle writer with a passion for eating well. A former Williams-Sonoma cookbook editor and graduate of San Francisco Cooking School, she’s edited dozens of cookbooks and countless recipes. City living has turned her into a spin addict—but she’d still rather be riding a horse. She lives in the cutest neighborhood in San Francisco, spending weekends at the farmers’ market, trying to read at the bakery, and roasting big dinners for friends.

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