Your children will have plenty of candy on Halloween. That much is a given.
But what do you do if you want them to eat more nourishing food as well? How do you offer children a healthy treat without them thinking it is a trick?
The answer is to make healthful food fun. Halloween is the most wickedly enjoyable holiday of the year, anyway, so kids will devour good-for-you snacks when they are presented in the spirit of the day.
With a bit of creativity, an assortment of vegetables can be turned into a spooky and vitamin-rich skeleton of fun. A few chocolate chips turn a banana into a delicious ghost. String cheese and a pretzel stick make a delightful witch’s broom. Put the right shape of celery on top of a peeled clementine, and presto! – you have juicy pumpkins that are high in vitamin C.
The possibilities are endless. Just use your imagination and some edible craftiness to create haunting snacks your little ghosts and goblins will crave.
They may even forget all about the candy.
TANGERINE PUMPKINS AND BANANA GHOSTS
Yield: 8 servings
8 regular-sized chocolate chips, and 16 mini chocolate chips
8 clementines or mandarin oranges
1 rib celery
1. Peel the bananas and cut them in half. Place the cut side down so the banana halves stand up.
2. Use small chocolate chips to make ghost eyes and large chocolate chips to make ghost mouths.
3. Peel the clementines or mandarins.
4. Cut the celery lengthwise into thirds and then across into ½-inch pieces. Insert the celery pieces in the tops of the peeled clementines to resemble pumpkins.
Per serving: 132 calories; 2 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no cholesterol; 2 g protein; 30 g carbohydrate; 20 g sugar; 4 g fiber; 9 g sodium; 37 mg calcium.
Adapted from weelicious.com.
Yield: 6 servings
3 sticks of string cheese
6 pretzel sticks
Fresh chives or celery
1. Using kitchen scissors, cut the ends off each string cheese stick (about 2 inches long).
2. Cut one end of the cheese into strips, being careful not to cut all the way to the top. Fan out cheese strips as best you can.
3. Take one side of the scissors and gently stick it into the uncut side of the cheese, to make a little hole for the pretzel. Slowly twist the pretzel stick into the hole, being careful not to tear the cheese.
4. Tie a string of fresh chives around the top of each cheese piece.
Per serving: 43 calories; 3 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 8 mg cholesterol; 4 g protein; 1 g carbohydrate; no sugar; no fiber; 128 g sodium; 100 mg calcium.
Adapted from navywifecook.com.
Yield: 8 servings
½ leaf lettuce
1 cup ranch dressing
4 cups assorted cut-up fresh veggies: red and yellow bell pepper strips, cucumber slices, snow peas, mushroom slices, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets
1 pitted black olive, sliced
1. Take a small bowl for the ranch dressing and line half of it with lettuce (for the skeleton’s hair), then fill the bowl with ranch and place it at the head of a large tray or baking sheet. Use two slices of black olive for the eyes.
2. Arrange your veggies on the tray to resemble a skeleton.
Per serving: 80 calories; 4.5 g fat; 9 g carbohydrates; 93 g sugar; 380 mg sodium; 1 g fiber; 1 g protein; 10 mg cholesterol
See a photo at biosanes.com/recipes/veggie-skeleton.