The leaves are changing, a cool nip is in the air, fall mums and pumpkins are popping up on doorsteps across town, and Halloween candy is beckoning you from every corner. Odds are those fun-sized treats have been staring a hole through you since early September, and understandably by now your self-control defenses are weak—especially if you have excited kiddos in tow.
So how can we turn a holiday centered around one night of sugar-filled fun into a month-long celebration that that inspires kids to eat (gasp) healthy?
I set out to find an answer to that question, and below you’ll see some inspiration and ideas I collected from friends and family.
Author's Note: For sanity's sake I’ve broken these projects down by required time and skill level. If you're like me and tend to overestimate your craftiness (as a whole host of Pinterest fails will attest), start at the top and work your way down as you build confidence.
Start Off Simple
Ghosty Bananas and Pumpkin Clementines
As promised, we're starting off at a walk—not a run—with this one. All you'll need to add some spook and charm to your snack are bananas, chocolate chips, clementines, and celery. Voila!
It's 6 a.m. and your morning coffee hasn't kicked in—no worries! With just some cocoa powder, cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice you can turn a bowl of oatmeal into a smiling surprise. Use a spoon or create a template from scratch paper to get your jack-o-lantern face just so. The best part is if things go south, just stir it in and your little one(s) need never know of your failed attempt.
Let's Up the Ante Just a Bit, Shall We?
Monster Teeth Mash
What better way to offer an in-season fruit while also creating an opportunity to talk about the benefit of healthy teeth? With apple slices, peanut butter, and yogurt-covered raisins or mini marshmallows, you have yourself some snack-worthy monster teeth! Want to take it up a notch? Use sunflower seeds (no shells) for smaller teeth on both the top and bottom slices and add a strawberry tongue!
Little monsters so cute you may not want to eat them...err, well hopefully you do anyway! If you can successfully skin a kiwi, then gently slice it up, stack it back together at a slight zigzag (for monster effect, of course), and stick a little strawberry slice towards the bottom to act as the tongue. Use mini marshmallows and some melted chocolate for the eyes. Hint: you can use chocolate as 'glue' to keep your eyes in place.
Ghost, Spiders, and Pizza: Oh My!
Maybe the evening didn't go as planned, and you'll need to engage the emergency frozen pizza you have stashed in the freezer—we've got you covered. This spooktacular creation can be pulled together in minutes! Cook your frozen pizza as directed, pulling it out of the oven several minutes early. If you don't happen to have a small ghost cookie cutter on hand, just use a knife and carve some cheese slices as best you can (ghosts are supposed to be blob-like anyway, right?) and transform some creatively sliced black olives into creepy, crawly spiders. Add your Halloween toppings, and cook until your ghosts start melting.
I am a Master Crafter, Let's Do This
Near Life-Like Owl Pancake
They say the devil is in the detail, and so is the case with this elaborate pancake idea. If you can pull it off, it will be a hoot for both you and your kiddos (see what I did there?). All it takes is some clever fruit placement and intricate cheese arranging. You'll need: pancakes, a banana, an apple, a blueberry, a clementine, a pretzel stick, sliced cheese, and a plum.
I hope you enjoy—and most importantly have fun—with these Halloween-inspired snacks! And while it might be nice to surprise your child(ren) with them, it could be even more fun to create some of them together. Here's to a happy and healthy Halloween from all of us at IGA!