As soon as spooky season arrives, kids are often clamoring to get their hands on all the candy they can get. While indulging is acceptable in moderation, it’s important that kids have the opportunity to enjoy healthy Halloween treats throughout the entire month of October without the sugar rush, tummy aches, and ultimately, lack of nutrients in most candy. To make this daunting task a little easier, and hopefully even more fun, we have crafted a list of our favorite healthy Halloween candy alternatives. So this year, you can offer your little ones treats that are so fun and scary they would pick them over the sugar-packed processed variety. Ready, set, get spooky!
To indulge your little one’s sweet tooth the right way, we recommend opting for fruits, but with a freaky twist! For citrus-loving kids, peel a clementine or orange and orange and pop a small slice of celery in the hole at the top for a mini pumpkin sweet treat. Make it spooky by piping small dark chocolate triangle shapes to create a jack-o-lantern! For another healthy Halloween candy alternative, use the tip of a banana instead to create mini ghosts! Break off one end and create a face with dark chocolate or dip in yogurt and chill first.
Looking for something even scarier? Use apple slices to create little mouths that look like monsters. Want more? Make a mummy out of a slice of fruit like a banana or use a granola bar instead. A layer of yogurt or nut butter can provide a sticky base for toasted coconut chips that give your treat a wrapped up effect. And you can add raisins or blueberries to make eyes and your snack is sure to be boo-tiful!.
For a creepier twist on your crunchy favorites, try these healthy Halloween candy alternatives. Instead of ants on a log, fill a celery stick with nut butter and after it chills, dip in a low-sugar chocolate (feel free to use natural juices to add color), put a sliced almond at the top, and chill to get snacks that look eerily like little monster fingers. For another scary swap, take your basic dirt cup and switch out pudding for chocolate yogurt, avocado pudding, or chia pudding. Add nuts for a dirt-like crumble, fruit or veggie spiral worms, and a chilled and shaped nut butter tombstone just like a creepier peanut butter cup!
For kiddos over 5 years of age and who love classic popcorn, make monster munch instead! Try drizzling freshly popped kernels with crushed freeze dried strawberry or raspberries. The colorful powder can turn the mixture red to make it look a little spooky but taste sweet! Crank up the creepy by using a little white chocolate to make the mix sticky like brains. Try different freeze dried fruits or veggies for even crazier colors while retaining maximum nutrients and flavor! For kids younger than five, remember that popcorn may pose a choking risk, so be sure to wait until they’re old enough before you start popping those kernels.
The biggest trick of the season for many parents is to convince kids to eat their veggies! So spook them up this season to make them much harder to resist. You can start simple by roasting a mix of healthy foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, and any other favorites. Use a Halloween cookie cutter to get a spooky shaped veggie treat. If your child won’t budge, try making veggie fritters in these fun shapes or opt for a raw veggie platter formed into a creepy character. Carrots and olives can come together to make a jack-o-lantern or bell peppers, cucumber, and celery stalks can look like a green skeleton.
For a smoother spook, try shaping a pumpkin hummus to look like a jack-o-lantern in the bowl with a green veggie stem. Or you can drizzle greek yogurt on the top of your hummus dip to create a spider web effect. Make it more monstrous with a deep red colored beet hummus, black olive eyes and seeds for teeth to create a scary little veggie vampire. These healthy Halloween treats are sure to get your costumed-cutie munching on even the most nutritious foods!
At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we are thrilled to see families embrace the holiday spirit with a healthy twist. We believe that simple, positive changes, like healthy Halloween candy alternatives can make a massive impact on children’s value for staying healthy and eating nutritious foods. For more ideas, advice, or help promoting a healthy diet for your little one, make an appointment with your passionate Coastal Kids Pediatrician by visiting us at www.coastalkids.com. We hope your family’s spooky season is no tricks and all treats!