Written by Nina Hasemann, RD, LDN
Halloween has always been the time of year to carve pumpkins, dress up in your favorite costume and go door to door collecting as much candy as your bucket can hold. As we get older these traditions may change, but one that continues to hold true is the increase in consumption of sugary snacks near the end of October. Yet, research continues to show us the negative effect too much added sugar can have on our health no matter our age. So, what is a parent to do and how can we still let our kids enjoy the spirit of Halloween? Make some homemade Halloween treats of course!
- “BOO” nana Pops
Cut Banana(s) in half and insert a popsicle stick into each half at the bottom. Place on parchment paper and freeze for one hour. Melt a couple ounces of white chocolate and dip frozen bananas in chocolate. Lay back on tray with parchment paper and place in freezer for one to two more hours. Place two mini chocolate chips for eyes and enjoy!
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.
- Jack O’ Lantern Peppers
Carve off the top of the bell pepper and remove seeds/scrape away the insides. Carve a Jack O’ Lantern face into the side of the pepper. Prepare, whole wheat spaghetti, zucchini noodles, and/or lentil spaghetti and sauce of your choice. Mix together and pour into cut out bell pepper. Place top back on pepper and enjoy.
Repeat Bell Pepper steps above. Substitute pasta for brown rice or quinoa and add cooked black beans to peppers.
- Candy Corn Parfait
In a clear glass add cubed pineapple chunks to cover the bottom, next add slices of mandarin oranges to cover the second layer. On top add a layer of Fat-Free Greek yogurt. Optional: add a piece of candy corn on top to complete.
- Scary Trail Mix
Combine chopped chocolate chips, raw coconut flakes, raisins, dried cranberries, and almonds, and portion the mixture out into small containers for your kids.
- Monster Teeth
Slice apples into 8 or 12 equal pieces (varies by size of apple). Separate into pairs and place ½ tbsp. natural peanut butter onto each slice. Chop peanuts into halves and line half of the apple slices with peanuts. Place raisins randomly between peanuts. Top with other half of the apple slices and enjoy!
Note: While it’s okay to enjoy some treats on Halloween keep in mind the American Heart Association states the Upper Limit of added sugar per day for Women is 25 grams (6 tsp.) and for Men is 36 grams (9 tsp.)
Have a Healthy and Happy Halloween!