Happy Halloween! Or as I like to think of it, happy “treat time”. Halloween marks the beginning of a season of sweets that begins with a frightful amount of candy in October and ends with holiday cakes and cookies come December.
Our team at Guiding Stars has offered tips over the years that balance Halloween fun with healthy ideas that include ideas like a Berry Scary Shake and Spooky Eyeballs, as well as several creepy ways to play with your food. Our Halloween roundups abound with super suggestions ideal for creating a picture perfect party that celebrates the spooky spirit (while sneaking in some Guiding Stars rated foods too!). This year, we’re building upon the past with a roundup of new ideas that are sure to delight and fright this Halloween.
Honey Mustard Snack Mix: If you can find big enough creepy crawly toys that they won’t present a choking hazard, mixing them in with the snack mix is a fun way to hand out favors.
Frankenstein Pasta: Don’t feel like you have to stick to Frankenstein! Use pasta, a little low-sodium sauce, and a bounty of colorful vegetables to turn a dish into a creative monster mash.
Sweet Spinach Muffins: Sure, these are technically tasty anytime, but the vibrant green color imparted by the spinach will look creepy on any Halloween party table.
Candy Corn Fruit Pops: Fruit, yogurt and a little freezer time can produce a treat kids will adore.
Butternut Brains: Get creative with your spiralizer! Veggie noodles of all kind can add delightful color and texture to play with.
Candy Corn Parfait: Begin with a layer of yellow fruit such as pineapple or champagne mango, followed by a layer of orange fruit like cantaloupe or mandarin orange and finish with a layer of vanilla Greek yogurt (and possibly a sprinkling of coconut too!).
Green Smoothie: Your kids will love the green color. You’ll love the 2 cups of spinach that make it that way!
Roasted Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup: The rich orange color of this soup is perfect for your Halloween table.
Ghostly Banana Pops: Replace crushed almonds with shredded coconut, and add mini chocolate chip “eyes”, to turn these Banana pops into a ghostly great treat.
Spooky Fruit: Check out these spooky ideas or turn an ordinary clementine into something more by “carving” it like a pumpkin and then using it to serve fruit salad or greens.
Sloppy Sweet Potatoes: A vegetarian seasonal dish your guests are sure to love. Serve the potatoes sideways with black olive eyes and the lentils spilling out as either “vomit” or “guts” for the ick-factor fans at your party.
Black Wild Rice Chicken Soup: Making chicken and rice soup? Try using black wild rice to turn the chicken broth into a dark and stormy color.
Pumpkin Pudding: A seasonal twist on a classic.
Black Bean Spaghetti: Spook your family and friends with a bowl of black pasta.
Hummus Pumpkin: Serve hummus in a round bowl with a sliced celery stem.
Sweet Potatoes Wedges with Apple Cider Reduction: Arrange your wedges on a dark plate to look like a scaled creature shimmering up out of the deep. Drizzle with the reduction to make it look good and slimy.
Pumpkin Popovers: The spicy kick in these little gems will surprise you! Top with a little length of green onion to make them look like little pumpkins.
Let’s face it…this “treat” season is tough for us parents. While we work hard to remind our kids of “everyday” versus “sometimes” foods, they are preoccupied with counting their trick-or-treat loot and asking to bake the cute cupcakes they saw on Pinterest.
When it comes to Halloween candy, I recommend these tips for managing the amount of it in your home. I also suggest that we help our kids be more mindful about treats, including doing what we can to help them balance sweets with more nutritious foods. I recognize that it’s challenging to monitor your child’s sweets, and that keeping inventory of your Halloween candy may not top your list of fun things to do, but I assure you that if you help your kids become more aware of their consumption of these foods today, it will truly benefit them tomorrow.