It’s that time of year! Time to scare the pants off of your friends and neighbors or impress them with your use of black lights and MAD (bwa-ha-ha…) decorating skills! But just because Halloween involves sugary substances for the young ones in the neighborhood (and, let’s be honest, for us adults too!), Halloween doesn’t have to be frightening from a nutrition standpoint!
Here are some ideas that can make your Halloween both fun and nutritious! Thanks go out to healthylivingmadesimple.com for some of these wonderful ideas.
For more information on the ideas listed below and other nutrition and wellness strategies, stop by YOU.Better! Studio at 2475 South Howell Avenue in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood on October 28, 2017, from 5pm to 8pm, or on October 29, 2017, from 1pm to 3pm. You're invited to contact us via the contact sheet at the bottom of the home page with your favorite Halloween joke (G-rated, please) which we'll use as a non-candy treat for the kids (we promise we will never use your email address or contact information for anything other than YOU.Better! Studio updates).
Nothing puts the fun in fall like a Halloween party. It’s a great time of make believe that the whole family can enjoy. These treats are also a great, nutritious addition to any party, whether for kids or grownups.
Please note, it is recommended to use high quality ingredients and substitute, as appropriate, in the event of any food allergies, lack of product availability, preferences and the like. In an effort to aim for the highest quality, most nutrient-dense products and absence of any agricultural insecticides, herbicides and/or GMOs, we recommend using certified organic products whenever possible.
Fun with food
Though candy is the main attraction for this holiday, below are some alternate takes on snacks that make for a “ghoul’d” time:
Banana ghosts: Cut several ripe bananas in half. Using chocolate syrup, draw little faces on each banana. You may also melt some organic chocolate chips to create your own chocolate syrup.
Mini pumpkins: Wash and peel several Clementine oranges, but do not break apart. Wash and cut several celery stalks to make the stems. Place each stem in the center of the Clementine and enjoy.
Apple bugs: Coat apple slices with peanut butter and attach some pretzel sticks for legs and or antennae. Use raisins and nuts for eyes. These work especially well with bright red apples as “ladybugs”.
Witches’ smiles: Core and cut a red-skinned apple (leave skin on) into long, vertical slices, about ½″ wide. Spread one side of apple with a small amount of peanut butter and place on top of a second slice, so it looks like the two lips of a mouth. Stick raisins between the red “lips” for “decayed teeth.” Or, if you prefer to take the route of Glenda the Good Witch, use organic marshmallows (or even homemade marshmallows) for the teeth. If you prepare ahead of time, coat any exposed flesh of the apple with a little orange or pineapple juice to keep apple from turning brown.
Mix together canned pumpkin (3 Tbsp.), low fat vanilla yogurt (1 cup) or Greek yogurt, orange juice concentrate (1 Tbsp.), cinnamon (1/2 tsp.) and maple syrup (1 Tbsp.). Dip in graham crackers or sugar cookies cut into fun shapes.
As a healthy treat, without the “Ugh! Broccoli!” reaction, you might try giving these out when those ghosts and goblins come by:
Organic Pops from YumEarth:
You can purchase these online, and they come in 40-count bags, or a 5 lb. (300-count) bag. The pops are organic, all natural, vegan, gluten free, verified non-GMO and Kosher! They are also free of common allergens and come in fun flavors, like: Pomegranate Pucker, Wet-Face Watermelon, Strawberry Smash, Googly Grape, Very Very Cherry, Perfectly Peach, Razzmatazz Berry, and Mango Tango. For more information on where you can purchase these delicious treats, click here.
Non-Candy Fun Treats:
As a treat that doesn’t involve candy (or will give more bang for the buck so you can use discretion when passing out treats), try these on for size:
* Finger/Pencil Puppets
* Fun and colorful pencils
* Gift certificates of $1 to a nearby toy or variety store
* Halloween jokes (for children’s eyes, mind you!) and print out slips on orange paper that you may purchase at a printing retailer or office supply store. Cut the strips of paper upon which the jokes are printed and hand them out with the treat (we invite you to send us your joke ideas which we'll use during Bay View and Milwaukee's designated Trick or Treat times. Just click here and go to the bottom of the page--we promise not to sell your email address or contact information--or send it to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Vitamin C Packets:
This could be a sure hit with the parents, and is a tasty treat that will come in handy as sniffles abound after a hard evening of trick-or-treating. You can purchase these in boxes from your local Whole Foods or other natural foods retailer. There are brand names available (such as Emergen-C), but retailers may also have private label brands available for sale.
Managing the sweets
Although the holiday is great to show off your creativity, for the kids candy is really the name of the game. If the kids are out and about in the neighborhood, you won’t be able to avoid the commercially mass-produced, non-organic candies being handed out by most households. Moreover, there are a lot of ways these sugary calories can get out of control for adults and children alike. Follow these tips to help keep the sugar in check:
* Don’t buy your candy too soon. It’s tempting to do, but the temptation to eat it before the holiday is even greater. Have your family’s “Candy Curmudgeon” do the hiding and hope they have a good memory about where they hid the goodies!
* Set expectations early with your kids on the treats. Let them know ahead of time the candy is going to be spread out over several days. Set a limit, with your child’s input, on how much will be eaten.
* Use mini snack baggies to help divide up the candy.
* Try filling up on healthy foods before venturing out for tricks and treats.
* Consider buying back some treats from your children. This acknowledges the candy belongs to the child and gives them a little extra spending money.
It’s a fun, creative holiday. Make it safe, and take the scariness out of the treats by making them nutritious and fun! Have a Happy Halloween!