Before and After Eats to Balance Trick-or-Treat…2020

Halloween 2020 is more mysterious than ever! Will the pandemic take away parades and party treats? Probably. But it doesn’t look like Covid will take away all the candy this year. The store shelves are well stocked with mini candy bars and local neighborhoods seem to be going ahead with Trick or Treat night.

We’re all looking forward to things feeling normal again and having some candy-coated fun, but it’s also good for parents and caretakers to know a few tricks to make Halloween a little healthier. I promise I won’t suggest handing out boxes of hard little raisins (I love fun sized candy bars too!). I also won’t give you a list of “healthier” candy (there is no actual fruit in those little gummies and organic candy can cause all the same health problems as regular candy if we eat too much!) Instead, I’d like to offer fun ideas for meals and snacks you can turn to over the next few weeks that will get some nutrient packed foods into your kids along with all the treats. Links are included where I’ve borrowed images and ideas from other brilliant bloggers.

 

Apple Aliens apple aliens

Spread any nut butter between two apple slices. Add mini marshmallow or blueberry eyes and teeth made of sunflower seeds or rice cereal. from Abbey’s Kitchen

 

Candy Corn Parfaitcandy corn parfait

Layer pineapple, oranges, and a bit of whipped cream or yogurt in a clear container. from Family Fresh Meals

 

Fruity Pumpkins and String Cheese Ghostshealthy pumpkins and ghosts

Draw faces on mandarin oranges, peach cups, or string cheese wrappers with a Sharpie. from Lil Luna

 

Mac-O-Lanterns1500905708227

Having mac and cheese? Serve it in a carved orange pepper. from food Network  If you have an Instant Pot, consider this ridiculously easy and fast mac and cheese recipe from Real Mom Nutrition (made even faster and easier if you omit the bread crumb part like I, the lazy chef, do). It’s basic, but so yummy and my kiddo loves it. I know, the boxed stuff is also pretty darn easy and fast, but this version adds half whole wheat pasta and there’s no standing over the pot making sure it doesn’t boil over. 

 

BoonanasYoplait-Greek-Yogurt-Spider-Web-Dip-with-Boo-nanas-labeled

Make a face with a few chocolate chips. This photo adds a yogurt dip, extra fun if these ghosts were served on a popsicle stick so they could fly and swoop into that bowl.  from Real Mom Kitchen

 

FrankenPestomy frankenpesto pasta

My daughter and I look forward to making this every year! Mix pasta (try whole wheat, or a mix of regular and whole wheat for extra fiber and nutrients) and cucumber or zucchini chunks with store bought or homemade pesto. Decorate with black olives and cheese circles (mozzarella works well). from Super Healthy Kids

 

Halloween Snack Boards

Snack boards are all over the place right now! While they are well suited to the parties many of us are probably giving up (and missing!) this year, they are also a great way to let kids see and try new foods, like moondrop grapes. It’s also a perfect solution for dinner on the go before or after trick-or-treat.

Add the foods from above or try some things from the images below that I’ve been collecting (guac bats?! Brilliant!). No need to include it ALL and don’t worry if yours aren’t picture perfect (here’s my version of those apple aliens…IMG_3430looks like something from Nailed It, but my kiddo loved it)

 

  • Arrange foods on a cookie sheet, cutting board, or plate, or keep things more separate using a muffin tin
  • Add eyeballs! The candy eyes are on the shelves now, but chocolate chips or any circular candy work well too (a few tiny pieces are no big deal, especially if it encourages kids to eat fruits and veggies). Circular cereal like Cheerios or Kix is great too. If you’re looking to make this into an activity with the kids, make a homemade piping bag: by put some plain or vanilla yogurt in a plastic sandwich bag, snip off a small corner, and let them squirt out little circular drops onto something flat that will fit in the freezer. Add a mini chocolate chip if you want, then freeze. Frozen yogurt drops are now edible eyeballs.
  • Get out the cookie cutters. Cheese, sandwiches, even cucumbers and melon become way more fun in Halloween shapes. 
  • Let the kids help! They can place eyeballs, draw faces on the string cheese, use cookie cutters, or arrange the foods. 

halloween boardfrom Fork and Beans

 

IMG_2536from @foodlets on Instagram

 

IMG_2802

 

This one is mine 🙂

 

IMG_5916from @healthyfamilyproj on Instagram

 

Version 2

from The Baker Mama

 

Happy Halloween!

~Lauren

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