Childhood, it is so magical. The first thing that comes to mind when we think of Halloween is an awesome costume. But, maybe more like candy. Ok, mostly candy with a side of costumes. How many of you remember going Trick or Treating and coming home to divide or steal the better candy with your siblings?
But, could there be a way to participate in the fun of the holiday without a boat load of processed sugar and artificial colors? But also avoiding being the mom who hands out crossword puzzles? Why not have a Halloween party for your kids and their buddies? Costumes mandatory, excessive sugar optional.
As a health professional with a Masters degree in Nutrition, I see patients who have a difficult time navigating the holidays and festive foods, especially when kids are involved. Let’s take a look at some fun, festive snack ideas that your kids are bound to love.
Peel clementine oranges or mini nectarines so that they look like pumpkins. To create a “pumpkin stem,” poke the top of the “pumpkin” with a sliver of a celery stick. Your kids won’t even know the difference since you probably give them clementine oranges anyway! A “cutie” for them so you don’t end up with another kind of “cutie” after too much sugar.
Slice 4 large organic apples in thin slices and arrange them onto a platter like a place of nachos. Extra points if you use organic apples. Conventional apples are treated heavily with pesticides.
Drizzle the apples with toppings of your choice – Greek yogurt, melted chocolate, and melted peanut butter (or infused peanut butter). Consider topping the drizzle with crushed pretzels or nuts for a fun, mouth-watering crunch.
Crunchy Snack Mix
Combine your favorite non-GMO popcorn, pretzels (gluten-free if you are allergic) and salty peanuts into a bowl. If you have a peanut allergy, I may suggest adding your favorite dried fruit. Mix really well and sprinkle on a few chocolate chips like buried treasure!
Real Food Roll-Ups
If you’d like to serve a snack with some substance at your party, you can’t beat a roll up. Roll one piece of your favorite deli meat and one slice of organic cheddar cheese into a little roll. I like Applegate Naturals as they are hormone and additive free. Instead of spearing the roll with a toothpick, use a small pretzel rod. It’s a little more fun and totally edible! Plus, your floor won’t be littered with sharp toothpicks.
Chocolate lovers adore Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups. These are often sold individually wrapped in a large bag around Halloween season. These delicious peanut butter cups are 100% organic, gluten-free and contain fewer grams of sugar than Reese’s. A little secret is that they are actually even more delicious than your regular Peanut Butter Cup. True story.
Another healthier candy option is Annie’s Fruit Snacks. These come in a variety of flavors and are certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and do not contain any artificial colors or flavors which are prevalent in most gummy treats.
Who doesn’t love suckers? YummyEarth Organic Lollipops are made in a facility free of the eight most common allergens, are sweetened with rice syrup rather than high fructose corn syrup and are flavored and colored with organic and natural ingredients. Plus, the flavors have fun names like Googly Grape.
Having sweets and special treats for special holiday parties can be both healthy and delicious that even kids will enjoy. If prepared with amplifying the flavor in mind and choosing high-quality natural ingredients, a healthy Halloween can be both easy and fun for the entire family.