October 21st, 2009
Am I the only one who feels tricky trying to make Halloween healthy? Don’t get me wrong—I’m loathe to feed my ChowBaby packaged candy and heaps of refined sugar confections. At the same time, I’d feel pretty lame offering up most of the “treats” suggested under the “Healthy Halloween” banner. So, when I was asked to write an article for—you guessed it—healthy Halloween treats, I knew I had some serious soul searching to do!
After a lot of thought and consideration using “natural” ingredients like carob (eww!), hiding veggie purees (just for a hot second—you know I wouldn’t actually go there!), and swapping sweet treats for spookily decorated apple slices and carrot sticks, I decided that moderation is the key. (Duh!) So, instead of choosing between (or, if you have older kids, balancing) two extremes, consider my quick and easy, homemade, lower sugar treats that are wholesome but can still satisfy a sweet tooth.
Make these mini versions for little ‘uns or full size muffins for adults and big kids. The cream cheese filling earns you extra points for ooze factor and larger muffins can be decorated ala cupcakes. See my masterpieces above (ha!)? Martha serves up tons of decorating inspiration, too!
An easy way to mix and match healthy ingredients with sweet treats to your liking (and in an age-appropriate way!). Makes for great Halloween party goody bags.
Chickpeas are a nutritional powerhouse that easily take on the sweet, fall flavor of maple syrup. These are a surprisingly tasty and good-for-you finger food that everyone will love.
Chocolate dipped fruit is a classic, and ridiculously easy to make! Try using anti-oxidant rich dark chocolate and/or combine with coconut (coconut swathed bananas look remarkably like ghosts!!). Or, for 8- to 12-month olds (or kids who haven’t yet had chocolate), coat with a combo of softened cream cheese and coconut, crushed O’s, or wheat germ.
Another classic! Check out my ideas on how to make these treats extra Halloween-y for kids over 12 months and ways to make these age appropriate for kids even as young as 10 months!
Use dates—nature’s candy!—to make these all natural treats that are as sweet as candy. These morsels are chock full of peanut butter protein and calcium rich cream cheese. And, the best part: with some lace licorice legs, these buggers look remarkably like creepy crawlies.
A chocolaty take on classic milk and honey balls, these bon bons are a dead ringer for peanut butter cups. Best off all, they take all of 15 minutes to make. No baking, no freezing… just mix, roll, and serve.
What could be better for a Halloween party than a gooey, chocolaty pie? And with a fluffy, ghastly white topping, a perfect canvas for spooky decorations.