You can add Easter to the list of holidays on which Americans are willing to abandon their low-sugar and low-carb diets. In fact, spending on Easter candy increased 5.6 percent between 2006 and 2007. Easter typically ranks as the holiday with the second-highest spending on candy, right behind Halloween. If these trends continue, an excess of bunnies and eggs is likely right around the corner. But not all of these treats are equal when it comes to nutrition. Here's where eight of the most popular Easter candies land on the calorie scale. They range from a demure 130 to a whopping 1,050 calories. (For the scary truth about Halloween treats, check out the 8 Most Fattening Foods of Fall.)
1. Peeps. A few of these fluffy, sugar-filled treats can add up quickly. Go through a row of four bunnies and you're at 130 calories. Peeps are fat-free but do weigh in heavy on the carb count--each little rabbit has 8 grams of sugar alone, adding up to 32 grams in a serving of four.
2. Jelly Beans. These can be your worst foe or your best friend in the Easter basket, depending on how many you eat. Each individual bean is pretty low in calorie count, with usually around 5 or 6 calories, but munching through a handful or worse, an entire bagful, of Jelly Bellys adds up quickly. The recommended 35-bean serving comes in at 140 calories from 37 grams of sugar. To avoid jelly-bean overdose, it's probably best to grab a handful and then keep the Easter basket out of reach.
3. Cadbury Chocolate Eggs. These eggs may look tiny, but their calorie count is anything but. A handful of 12 eggs comes with 190 calories and 8 grams of fat. You might want to skip over these high-cal eggs if you come across them on the hunt.
4. Cadbury Creme Egg. It's possibly the quintessential Easter treat, but most people won't be surprised to find out that the creamy egg packs in the calories. The 1.2-ounce egg comes with 150 calories, 5 grams of fat and 25 grams of carbs. If you're looking for an excuse to indulge, there is a slight silver lining: the tasty milk chocolate comes with 40mg of calcium, which is about 5 percent of the recommended daily value.
5. Reese's Peanut Butter Egg. This egg slightly edges out its creme-filled rival in the unhealthy Easter-egg competition. All three varieties of the Reese's egg--milk chocolate, fudge and white chocolate--have a calorie count of 180. The fat content weighs in around 10 grams, double that of the Cadbury Creme Egg, with the white-chocolate egg the worst, at 11 grams. Stick to the traditional Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, which, though it lacks the festive Easter element, has nearly half the calories of its egg-shaped relatives.
6. Lindt Chocolate Carrots. In a sea of eggs and bunnies, chocolate carrots are one of the more unusual Easter candy options--Lindt only started offering them seven years ago. Sadly, they have little nutritional value in common with their vegetable counterparts: a box of four carrot-shaped chocolates has 210 calories.
7. Hershey's Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg. This might come as the biggest surprise: one hollow Hershey's egg (4.65 ounces) has more than three times as many calories as the Cadbury Creme Egg. The shell alone has 570 calories. Start munching on the four Hershey's kisses included inside and you're up to a whooping 660 calories and 41 grams of fat. This may be one of the few Easter offerings that makes a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg look like health food.
8. Large Chocolate Bunny. Not surprisingly, the bunny reigns as king when it comes to Easter calories. But the calorie count may still raise a few eyebrows: the average seven-ounce rabbit clocks an impressive 1,050 calories. Smaller bunnies are better--rabbits of the one-ounce variety only rack up 140 calories.