MALVERN, Pa.--(ACME is committed to providing options for kids and parents that are both healthy and fun in order to make Halloween a truly “spooktacular” event.)--Halloween is every kid’s favorite holiday, but with all of that candy it’s not just the costumes that can scare parents. However, with a little ingenuity and some advance planning, it’s possible for parents to swap in more nutritious offerings for the usual Halloween fare.
“Kids who eat balanced meals tend to be less likely to overindulge on candy, even on Halloween”
Jennifer Shea Rawn MS, MPH, RD is the registered dietitian for ACME and encourages parents to prepare ahead and to keep kids’ tummies full with nutritious items throughout Halloween day to prevent them from overloading on sugar once the trick-or-treating commences. Just like any other day, Rawn says it is important to start things off right with a healthful breakfast, followed up by a nutritious and delicious lunch and dinner to keep kids properly fueled for the night's activities. “Kids who eat balanced meals tend to be less likely to overindulge on candy, even on Halloween,” she says.
With a cool nip in the air, Rawn recommends taking advantage of warm foods and the season’s harvest to create filling fall meals. Think apple walnut oatmeal for breakfast; a turkey, cheese and avocado wrap with carrots and hummus plus low-fat milk for lunch; and a hearty bowl of soup or chili with some crusty whole-grain bread for the perfect pre trick-or-treating dinner.
Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party for little ghouls and goblins or simply looking for unique ways to fill the trick-or-treat bag, Jennifer Shea Rawn has put together a complete list of culinary treats and “tricks” for Halloween:
- Mix-Up the (Healthier) Treats: Offer fun, delicious and new snacks for trick-or-treaters that just happen to be healthier – including sunflower or pumpkin seeds, granola bites, mini bags of pretzels, 100% fruit snacks and mini trail mix bags. Also consider having an allergen-free bowl of candy for kids with peanut, gluten, milk or other food allergies.
Ingredients for Halloween Parties that Pop!:
- Mini Pumpkin Muffins – Top the muffins with a dollop of light whipped topping to make a spooky fall-flavored ghost and add two chocolate chips for eyes.
- Mini "Poison Apples" – Cover with a drizzle of dark chocolate, caramel and pistachios, or peanuts. Use tree branches or Popsicle sticks as a handle.
- Ghoulish Guacamole with Toasted Pita Ghosts – Use a ghost-shaped cookie cutter on whole wheat pitas and toast until browned. Serve with your favorite guacamole recipe.
- Ghosts (cauliflower pieces), Witches Nails (red pepper slices) and Fingers (baby carrots) Served with Rotting Pumpkin Guts – Slice off the top of a mini pumpkin. Hollow out the inside and fill, overflowing, with light onion dip or hummus. Replace the pumpkin lid. Use baby carrots, red pepper slices and cauliflower to enjoy the pumpkins innards.