5 Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Treats
For some of us, the scariest part of Halloween is all the sugar our kids are going to eat. It's the biggest sugar rush of the year, and we're not excited for the tummy aches and sugar crashes that come along with it. But never fear! Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party or just looking for ways to add spooky spirit to the holiday, we dug up 5 tips to make Halloween a little healthier for you and your family. No tricks, just (healthy) treats!
1. Candy-free alternatives for trick-or-treating
Want to know how to skip all the candy and still impress the trick-or-treaters on your block? Give out small toys or prizes instead. Temporary tattoos, glow sticks, slime, mini flashlights, silly sunglasses…we could go on. Your local dollar store or party supply chain are a great place to stock up on favors that are so cool, your kids won’t even wonder where the candy is. And the best part? Less leftover Reese’s cups calling your name on November 1st.
2. Incorporate pumpkin in your menu
Pumpkins are good for more than carving Jack-o’-lanterns. They’re rich in vitamins and minerals yet low in calories, so they’re an easy way to add some heartiness to a special Halloween celebration.
- Roasted pumpkin seeds are packed with fiber and can be made sweet (cinnamon + maple syrup) or savory (spicy cajun, garlic pepper…so many possibilities).
- Pumpkin hummus – Add a can of pumpkin puree and a dash of cinnamon to your favorite hummus recipe for a creamy, delicious and unique snack for an at-home Halloween movie night. (Make sure you’re using pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling, which comes with added sugar.)
3. Themed Halloween Treats
Make the Halloween season feel extra eerie with one (or all!) of these adora-boo ideas.
- Cut a peeled banana in half, then give it a ghostly new look. Give it eyes made of mini chocolate chips and an open mouth with a single full-sized chocolate chip.
- Bake your favorite trail mix, then add candy corn for the sweet component.
- Assemble Spooky Monster Sandwiches, complete with olive eyes and pickle fangs.
4. Rethink the drinks
Ditch the sodas for these ghoulish gulps. More fun, AND better for you!
- Brew up a batch of hot apple cider in your slow-cooker (find a low- or no-sugar recipe) to keep everyone warm on a cold October night.
- Blend up a spooky smoothie and decorate the jar to match the theme: raspberry bat’s blood, a green Franken-smoothie, or a Superfood Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.
- Infused sparkling water is a refreshing drink for any holiday. Make it creepy by mixing in “blood” (cranberry, cherry, or pomegranate juice) using a party shooter syringe.
- Create Halloween punch by mixing your favorite combo of fruit juices. Garnish with plastic spiders!
5. Easy ways to “spookify” traditional treats
Sometimes all your favorite healthy dish needs is a little Halloween spirit. Use buffet signs to make regular treats spooktacular: serve a super garlicky dip with veggies and pita crisps as “vampire repellent” or grilled asparagus as “witch fingers.” Use an edible ink pen to draw a jack-o’-lantern face on the peel of a Clementine, draw Minions “costumes” on bananas or turn grapes into creepy eyeballs! You can also use a Sharpie on prepackaged snacks: the flat side of a mandarin fruit cup becomes a scary pumpkin face, or a clear bag of popcorn becomes a ghost.