By: Katie Kissane, MS, RD, CSSD
It is October, and that means Halloween is just around the corner. Halloween is known for pumpkin carving, dressing up, and trick or treating. Halloween is not the healthiest holiday and usually involves large amounts of candy and other festive treats. Halloween candy is full of sugar and, in some cases, artificial coloring and preservatives, which is not the best thing to be consuming in large amounts.
Many parents wonder how to decrease the consumption of treats this Halloween. It may not be feasible to get rid of all of the Halloween candy completely, but perhaps by offering healthier holiday treats and snacks, parents can help decrease the intake of junk food and help foster new and healthier Halloween traditions.
These tasty treat and snack ideas can get kids excited about eating healthy this Halloween. This can also be a great way to be creative and have fun with your kids.
Idea #1: Apple Spiders
You will need pretzel sticks, peanut butter, apples, and mini chocolate chips. Slice the apples so that they are a nice round shape. Take two apple slices and sandwich with peanut butter. Stick the pretzel sticks in the sandwich as if legs were coming out of the sides. Add two mini chocolate chips for eyes.
Idea #2: Easy Clementine Pumpkins
This one is simple because all you need is a clementine and a sharpie. Just draw jack-o-lantern faces on the clementines.
Idea #3: Cheese and Pretzel Broomsticks
Cut string cheese into 3–4 chunks ½–1 inch in length. Slice the end of each string cheese chunk to resemble the end of a broomstick. Use pretzel sticks and stick them in the cheese to make mini broomsticks.
Idea #4: Fun Halloween-themed Vegetable Tray
Take several different types of veggies and make a fun vegetable tray. A few ideas include the shape of a pumpkin using carrots or a skeleton using several types of veggies and dip.
Idea #5: Green Monster Smoothies
Make green smoothies with fruit and spinach or kale. Then draw monster faces on clear plastic or glass cups and pour the smoothie mixture in the cups.
Idea #6: Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe for the pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting:
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup of maple syrup or honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- Sprinkle of cloves
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 15 oz. pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup butter or coconut oil, melted
– Preheat oven to 350º F.
– In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
– In a medium bowl, add in pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, and butter or coconut oil. Whisk together.
– Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.
– Grease muffin tin with cooking spray and fill 12 muffin cups ¾ of the way full.
– Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
- 12 ounces of reduced-fat cream cheese at room temperature
- ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
– Beat cream cheese, sugar, yogurt, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.
Do you have any favorite Healthy Halloween snacks? Share with us! Find more healthy nutrition tips on the blog.