By Renell Cronk, RDN, LD
Does Halloween have you scared? Scared of falling off the broomstick due to the endless amounts of candy and baked goods that are jumping out at you and echoing your name?
Don’t be frightened, follow these seven tricks to spook your Halloween fears away.
- Try non-food goodies. Buy non-food goodies from the party aisle instead like glow sticks/necklaces, spider rings, bounce balls, stickers, colorful pencils, stamps, fun erasers, balloons, fake tattoos, bubbles, slime, hand finger puppets, etc.
- Buy candy the day of your trick or treat event. Buying candy on the day of helps to avoid temptation of snacking on that candy in the house. If you have leftovers, donate, toss or take it to work with you the next day. Some dentist offices even do a buy back or trade in program, too.<
- Pick candy you don’t like. When you buy candy, pick candy you don’t like. It’s not for you anyways!
- Find balance. Eat a well balanced meal of protein and veggies before heading off to trick or treat with kiddos or before heading to the party. This will help with the temptation of sneaking a bite of your kids candy or overindulging at the party.
- Be mindful. Each bite size candy ranges from about 80-100 calories per bite. It only takes 100 calories extra a day to lead to an extra 10+ pounds by the end of the year. So those one or two pieces of bite size candies can really add up.
- Be active. Instead of staying at home giving out candy, walk (instead of drive) with your kids while they trick or treat. Its okay to leave the candy bowl out on the porch while you enjoy this activity with your kids.
- Make healthy Halloween themed snacks. Instead of taking the same old sugary treats to the party, try a healthy Halloween snack instead like the recipes below!
Healthy Halloween Recipes to Try
- Mini chocolate chip
Directions: Peel Bananas and cut in half. Stick 2 mini chocolate chips, horizontally, 1-2 inches from the non-cut end of the banana.
- Clementine / tangerine
Directions: Peel the clementines and slice up celery into small, skinny strips. Pull out the center part of the clementine but don’t pull apart the pieces. Then stick celery into top of clementine/tangerine.
- Green apples quartered
- Sunflower butter
- Sunflower seeds
- Strawberries sliced
- 1-2 googly eyes per apple bite
Directions: Cut the middles out of each quarter of the apple to create a mouth. Don’t worry about perfection, you are filling this gap with sunbutter anyway so if you cut too deep, you can always just cover it up and no one will know. Coat the inside of the cut gap with a filling of sunflower butter. Place four sunflower seeds on the top of the “mouth” for the teeth. Place one sliced strawberry inside the mouth for the tongue. “Glue” each eye above the mouth with a dab of sun butter to stick. Serve.
Carrot Witch Fingers
- Slivered almonds
- Cream cheese
Directions: Peel carrots (or leave unpeeled if you prefer) and cut into finger-length sections. Use the peeler to shape the end in to fingertips (there should be a flat area were the nail/slivered almond goes). Use a little bit of cream cheese as your glue to secure the nail/slivered almond in place. Serve by itself or with a dip.
- Cheddar cheese, cubed
- Black olives
Directions: Assemble your skewers alternating between the cheese cubes and the black olives. Display on a Halloween themed plate or standing up in a glass.
Bloody Hot Dog Fingers
- 12 hot dogs
- 1 sweet onion
Directions: Cut hot dog in half and with a small paring knife, carefully cut off a small layer off each half of the hot dog at the tip (this will be the area where the fingernail would be). Right below the area where the fingernail will be, make 3 small cuts on an angle, then again in the opposite direction and again where the knuckle would be. Once the hot dogs boil, this will give them a more realistic look. Do this step with each hot dog until all your fingers are made. Cut the onion in half and remove the 2 layers of onion skin. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, drop the onion pieces and the hot dogs into the pot. Boil for about 5 minutes, and then drain. Using a knife, cut the onion into strips and then into small pieces that look like fingernails. (Try to keep them the same size as the hot dog so they look real and the onion fits properly.) Add a few drops of ketchup on the tip of the hot dogs, then place the onion “nail” on top, creating the finger. Once all your fingers are done, garnish with ketchup, and serve.
Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits
- 12 clementines/tangerines, peeled and separated
- 3 cups fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
- 1 large container Plain Greek yogurt
- 3 to 4 drops stevia or sugar alternative
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions: Into a decorative glass, layer fresh pineapple on the bottom and mandarin orange slices on top of it. Mix yogurt with stevia/ sugar alternative and vanilla extract. Top fruit with yogurt mixture and serve.
About the Author
Renell Cronk is a Registered Dietitian with PsyMed, Inc. She helps educate and prepare Nicholson Clinic patients before and after surgery with meal planning, recipe ideas, nutrition education and more. Nothing gives Renell a greater feeling of accomplishment and joy than helping individuals achieve their health, lifestyle and nutrition goals.