Halloween is edging closer and with it, all the sweet treats. Why not take advantage of the holiday with scary good family meals that make healthy eating frightfully fun? Kids will get the nutrition they need to balance out the extra treats, and parents can side-step some of the meal time battles—plus, everyone will get wrapped up in the fun of Halloween.
By Sara Lucero
Whatever Halloween recipes you choose, make sure they focus on fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. While this is a smart way to make the best choices throughout the year, it’s especially important now when so many less nutritious choices like candy and cookies are up for grabs. Check out our Pinterest boards for some ideas.
Do make the healthy choice the easy choice! Whether that’s getting recipe ingredients and snacks prepped ahead of time or heading out to a local restaurant for their healthier options, keeping the family on the nutritious track doesn’t have to be complicated and time-consuming.
There’s still time to get in some scary good choices before Halloween comes and goes! Recipes like these can help get everyone into the Halloween spirit:
- Mashed Potato Ghosts – They may often get a bad reputation, but potatoes are packed with potassium and are a kid favorite. Try replacing higher calorie ingredients like butter and cream with lower fat dairy or vegetable broth or swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes to create a healthier version of these un-boo-lievablly delicious little ghosts.
- Jack-o-Lantern Peppers – Sweet bell peppers make the perfect little Halloween Jack-o-lanterns and can be made with your family’s favorite fillings. Try lean proteins like ground turkey or chicken and whole grains like quinoa or rice to pair with the vitamin C-rich peppers.
- Spider web pizza – For the pizza fans out there, this is an easy one that everyone can help make. We recommend using whole wheat pizza dough for added nutrition. Whole wheat English muffins can also be an easy option. For more adventurous kids, add some spinach leaves, bell peppers or other vegetables for a be-witch-ingly nutritious meal.
- Halloween sweet potato fries – These customizable, baked sweet potato fries are terrifyingly tasty and nutritious. Sweet potatoes are packed with filling fiber and vitamin A. Turning them into these fun shapes takes the chore out of eating your veggies.
- Spider Web Pancakes – Whether you’re getting the day off to a good start or turning things upside down with breakfast for dinner, this recipe is sure to be a little monster-pleaser. Use your favorite whole wheat pancake mix and top with fresh fruit to boost nutrition.
How do you balance out the sweet stuff with more nutritious choices without sacrificing Halloween fun?