Remember what Halloween used to be like? Plastic, jack-o-lantern buckets filled with candy, candy, and still more candy. Today, with nutrition experts warning against too much added sugar, all those fun-sized treats are now frowned upon. What are kids to do? What are parents supposed to do? Bring back the fun—and still keep things healthy—with these homemade Halloween snack ideas.
1. MAKE JACK-O-LANTERN SNACKS AND MEALS
To make every day foods more festive, think like a pumpkin and start carving. Try cutting spooky faces into oranges for a fun lunch box snack. Or carve orange peppers before stuffing them with Mexican-spiced beans and rice, and bake them for dinner. A great party trick: Arrange carrots in the shape of a jack-o-lantern, with olives or cucumbers for a smile, and small cups of hummus dip for eyes.
2. SERVE CANDY CORN FRUIT PARFAITS
Candy corn is delicious, but it’s not healthy—and it certainly doesn’t help kids learn about healthy foods. Make a candy corn-themed parfait instead. Fill a glass with a layer of tangerines, then a layer of pineapple, and top it with a dollop of whipped cream or coconut cream. Finish it off with an actual piece of candy corn for effect.
3. SCARE UP SOME TRAIL MIX
Combine chopped chocolate chips, raw coconut flakes, and almonds, and portion the mixture out into small containers for your kids. It’s a decadent treat without excess sugar or preservatives—I promise, your kids won’t miss those mini candy bars.
4. ENJOY FROZEN BOO-NANAS
Cut bananas in half and add a popsicle stick at the bottom. Take a few chocolate chips and pop them into the banana halves to create eyes and mouths. Then, freeze them for a delicious, spooky dessert.
5. TRY SPOOKY MONSTER GRILLS
My favorite Halloween snack? These Monster Grills, pictured above. They’re healthy, silly, and perfect for kids. I love munching on them after a run for a boost of healthy protein and carbs. Here’s the recipe:
- 2 Granny Smith Apples
- 12 tablespoons All-Natural Peanut Butter
- ¼ cup Peanuts, unsalted
- 1 tablespoon Raisins
Slice apples into 12 equal pieces, and separate into 6 pairs. Spoon ½ tablespoon peanut butter onto each slice.
Chop peanuts in half, and line half the apples with peanut halves. Place raisins at random intervals between peanuts.
Top off with other apple half and serve.
Serves: 6 | Serving Size: one Monster Grill
Per serving: Calories: 244; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 10mg; Total Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 6g; Protein: 8g
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A: 1%; Vitamin C: 7%; Calcium: 3%; Iron: 5%