Tips for Healthy Halloween Treats


Children eagerly await their halloween treats

Halloween and sweet treats are practically synonymous. While sweets aren’t bad in limited amounts, it is all too easy for one night of Halloween treats to balloon into a week-long sugar spree.

Between the piles of trick-or-treat candy (that might hang around well into November) and the various Halloween parties and events a child may attend in the days leading up to October 31st, it is especially important to cut through all that sugar with some nutritious substitutes that will appeal to kids.

Here are some tips for creating healthy treats that aren’t loaded with added sugar and still evoke the fun spirit of Halloween. Teachers and educators can serve these in class or recommend them to parents.

A Fresh Face for Familiar Foods

These snack ideas don’t require much assembly time; perfect for the busy teacher or parent. The fun Halloween theme comes from arranging them properly on the plate.

These are great for classroom parties and gatherings because it’s easy to scale the amount of food up or down, depending on how many people you’re feeding. You can make an individual plate for one person (after-school snack, anyone?), or a big platter to feed an entire group of hungry little monsters.

All of the recipes below are vegetarian and can be made vegan depending on the ingredients used in the dip. Remember, presentation is key to give these snacks the Halloween look and feel.

Veggie Skeleton

Serve up a nutritious skeleton made out of vegetables. Use a small, round cup of healthy veggie dip (such as hummus or a yogurt-based dip) as the head. Construct the rest of the skeleton’s bone structure from slices of various veggies. Straight veggie sticks, such as carrots and celery, work well for arms, legs, and a nice bony spine. Curved bell pepper slices are perfect for representing ribs.

You can even sneak in a lesson about how eating healthy food helps keep your bones strong — so it’s cute and educational!

Veggie Spiders

Even simpler than the veggie skeleton, this spider’s body is formed by a round bowl (or large round scoop) of veggie dip or black bean hummus. Simply arrange veggie sticks strategically around the dip to form eight legs (carrots and celery are excellent for this one).

Veggie Pumpkin Patch

Spread your choice of veggie dip or hummus on a plate (or large platter, for a group setting). Slice large carrots into round slices and set them upright in the field of veggie dip. The effect works best if you use a green dip, such as one with spinach or kale in it, to evoke the vines in the pumpkin patch — or, add leaves of fresh baby spinach amid your hummus ‘field.’

Bugs on a Raft

This snack gives a Halloween spin to a classic favorite: Ants on a Log. Instead of a log of celery, this treat features a raft made out of an apple. Cut an apple into round slices. Spread the round apple slices with nut butter, then add raisins or seeds (such as pumpkin or shelled sunflower seeds) to represent bugs. Get the kids involved in making this one, by letting them add their own bugs to your ready-made rafts.

Snacks in Costume

Halloween is all about playing dress-up, and dressing up healthy food can make otherwise boring snacks feel extra special. It can also help to get kids in the mindset of thinking of these nutritious food choices as fun treats.

Some of the following suggestions require a little more time and effort than the quick ones above, but we promise, the results are worth it. Depending on the age of your children, they may be able to help decorate and assemble their own snacks!

Clementine Pumpkins

This is an easy one to do with students during class, or at a children’s Halloween party. Let kids use markers to decorate the peel of a clementine with a jack o’ lantern face (oranges and tangerines work just as nicely). Or, decorate them yourself ahead of time and arrange them as a basket of jack o’ lanterns.

Alternatively, you can peel the clementines and stick a piece of celery in each as a stem, to make “pumpkins” before serving.

Fruit and Veggie Jack o’ Lanterns

These are a bit more labor-intensive, but the results are downright adorable. Carve a jack o’ lantern face into a small fruit or vegetable, such as an apple or bell pepper — treating it like a tiny pumpkin. For a group, you can make several ahead of time and present them on a platter for the kids to admire before slicing them up to share.

Super Fruit Heroes

Using paper templates, trace and cut out small masks and capes from colorful construction paper that can be assembled and placed around an apple or similar fruit. This could be a fun classroom project to encourage students to bring home a superhero costumed apple — maybe it’ll steer them away from binging on too much candy after trick-or-treating.

Boo-nanas and Ghostly Graveyard Cups

Turn peeled bananas into tiny ghosts. Peel and cut a banana into segments about three inches long. Form a ghost face at the end of each banana segment, by pressing miniature chocolate chips to create two eyes and an open mouth. Set each boo-nana in an individual cup of healthy yogurt, add small chunks of chopped fruit if you wish, and serve with a spoon!

We hope these ideas spark your imagination, inspire sensible snacking, and help your students to have a happy and healthy Halloween!

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