Kids look forward to Halloween all year, and parents maybe not so much (unless they are looking forward to the sweet treats just as much/if not more than their kids!). Creating rules and regulations around your child’s candy consumption at Halloween, or any food for that matter, usually leads to kids feeling a sense of urgency to eat as much of that candy or food as possible when it is in front of them, not knowing the next time they will get it will be. A practical alternative might be to fill your kids up with the healthy stuff before hand. Creating an environment which promotes healthy food in a fun way is crucial step in empowering your child to make healthy choices on their own by listening to their own body. Try serving up some of these fun recipes before the kids head out for the treats, or as a dish to contribute to a Halloween party!
5 Dates (pitted)
5 Tbsp. sunflower seed/almond/cashew butter
10 whole-wheat pretzel sticks
1 Tbsp. granola
Cut each date in half and smear 1 Tbsp. nut butter in between the two halves. Stick 2 pretzel sticks on top of the nut butter, and place 2nd halfback on top. Stick 2 pieces of oats from granola onto top of “bug” as eyes.
2 frozen bananas (cut in half)
4 Tbsp. organic shredded coconut flakes
¼ cup orange juice
8 chocolate chips
Cut bananas in half before freezing. Remove from freezer, dip each half in orange juice, and roll in coconut flakes. Poke 1 chocolate chip through top of each banana half as “ghost eyes.”
10 “Mary’s Gone” Gluten Free crackers (any variety)
5 Tbsp. shredded organic, whole milk mozzarella cheese
30 black beans
Salsa for dipping (optional)
Place strands of cheese over each cracker in “mummy” pattern (criss-crossed). Place 2 black beans for eyes, and leave an oval shape without cheese near the mouth. Place cracker with cheese in microwave for 15 seconds of until just melted. Serve with salsa!
Brains and Bugs
1 spaghetti squash (to cook: poke holes throughout, and cook in microwave on high for 7-10 minutes or until soft on outside)
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup chia seeds
Slice off top of the spaghetti squash, and scrape out the seeds and flesh with a fork into spaghetti-like strands. Separate seeds from flesh and place the strands of the squash into bowl. Mix the strands with the syrup, chia seeds, and walnuts, leaving a few Tbsp. of each to “garnish” the brains. Put the squash mixture back into the empty squash and garnish with remaining walnuts and chia seeds. Serve with top of squash slightly ajar.
5 hardboiled eggs
20 black beans
Small handful of spinach
Cut ½ inch off of the bottom of each egg to create a flat and stable bottom. Carve tiny wedges into the egg white for eyes and a mouth on each egg, varying the placement to allow for the appearance of different shaped mouths. Squeeze a black bean or two into the mouth and eyes of each egg; serve on top of pieces of baby spinach.
5 whole milk, organic mozzarella cheese sticks
4 Tbsp. hummus (any variety)
1 small green and red bell pepper, cut into 1″ squares for “finger nails”
Cut each mozzarella stick in half. With a small and sharp knife, make small, careful divots about 2″ below the top of each stick and about 3″ down, representing the knuckle indents of fingers. Carve out a nail shaped “U” on the top of each stick, fill with a dab of hummus and stick a bell pepper on top as a fingernail!
2 ripe avocados
Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, 1 tsp. lemon juice
1 whole tomato (optional); chopped
Combine avocados, sat, pepper, garlic, and lemon juice until smooth. Add tomato chunks. Stick “witches fingers”, celery, and carrot sticks out of Monster Mash.
Remember, these are great snacks for your kids all year round! The key to a healthy snack is combining a protein (egg, cheese stick, etc.) with a bit of carb (fruit, cracker, etc.) and some healthy fat (but butter, olive oil, avocado, etc.)..