Costumes, and candy, and sugar! Oh my! That’s what comes to my mind when I think about Halloween. Children enjoy dressing up as their favorite characters, going door to door in the neighborhood, and filling a bag or bucket with candy. But with all that candy comes a lot of sugar. Children in the US consume up to 17% of sugar in their diet daily. Sugar is often hidden in packaged foods and drinks and is highly processed. It is often labeled with different names like high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, honey detoxes raw sugar, and other names. Candy is a known culprit for its high sugar content. Too much sugar, especially in young children, can lead to issues with obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, and other health problems down the road.
In lieu of a bucket of candy, here are some healthy Halloween-themed snacks you can make with your children that don’t require baking:
- Apple Monsters
- Grab an apple of your choice and cut it into slices (green apples are a good choice)
- Take two slices and spread your choice of nut butter onto one side of each slice.
- Place the edges of the slices together to look like an open mouth.
- Use your choice of seeds (slivered almonds are a good choice) to use as teeth by sticking them into the nut butter at the open edges of the apple slices.
- Take a slice of cheese and cut it into a triangle.
- Place the cheese slice into the nut butter on the bottom apple slice with the pointed end of the cheese sticking out like a tongue.
- You can also place a small bit of nut butter on the top of the top apple slice and place candy eyes on the nut butter.
- Banana Ghosts
- Peel a banana and cut it in half.
- You can get fancy and cut the bottom of the banana into edges.
- Use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips and push the tip into the banana to create eyes and mouth. Vegan chocolate chips are also an option.
- Cheese Stick Witch’s Broom
- Cut a mozzarella cheese stick in half.
- Pull the bottom part of the cheese stick apart enough to look like a broom.
- Stick a pretzel stick into the top of the cheese stick.
- Clementine Pumpkin
- Peel a clementine.
- Cut a celery stick into small, thin ribs.
- Place a celery piece into the top of the clementine.
There are many healthy options to enjoy the Halloween holiday. Find a snack that uses your child’s favorite foods and involve them in the prep. Make multiple to pass out in their classroom or to passing trick-or-treaters. Happy Halloween!