With the excitement of Halloween surrounding us, here are some ‘Tricks’ and ‘Treats’ to ensure a healthy, happy holiday!
Plan in Advance and Help Out. Offer to bring nutrient-rich treats to Halloween parties regardless of where they take place. You can also encourage a shift of focus from food to entertainment—arrange for magicians or performers who will keep the kids amused!
Dinner First. On Halloween night, give children an extra-nutritious dinner before Trick-or-Treating; it will reduce their appetite for sweets. A homemade macaroni and cheese made with whole wheat pasta and low-fat milk served with some veggies would be a great pre-Trick-or-Treat meal!
Power Trick-or-Treat. Encourage your kids get enough physical activity! Trick-or-Treating can be a fun way to incorporate walking and exercise—plan to make a couple extra loops around the neighborhood.
Here are a couple simple, kid-friendly Halloween treat ideas to help you get started…
Place low-fat cheese slices (I recommend Colby Jack or Cheddar cheese) on sun-dried-tomato tortillas. Roll the tortillas up and cut them into 1-inch sections. Use a toothpick to secure each roll-up, topped with a sprig of cilantro or parsley.
Candy Corn Parfait
Layer 1/4 cup pineapple chunks in the bottom of a clear cup, followed by a layer of 1/4 cup cantaloupe chunks. Top with 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt for a tasty and nutritious ‘candy corn’ treat.
Spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto half of a whole wheat English muffin. Set olive slices in place for eyes and add round pieces green pepper for pupils. Lay strips of cheese across the muffin for the mummy’s wrappings–I recommend to use strips from a low-fat mozzarella cheese stick. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the mummy is created!
Since chocolate milk is the official drink of Halloween, be sure to stock your refrigerator with the great tasting, wholesome beverage. Low-fat chocolate milk provides nine essential nutrients and is a drink your family is sure to enjoy!
Before you open the string cheese, put a pair of plastic gloves or baggies on your hands to prevent smudging the cheese. Use a paring knife to cut low-fat string cheese to about 4 or 5 inch pieces. Carve a shallow area for a fingernail just below the rounded end of each ‘finger.’ Mark the joints by carving out tiny horizontal wedges of cheese. For the fingernails, cut a green bell pepper into nail shapes and stick them at the ends of the fingers with dabs of cream cheese.
by Amy Viselli, RD. Amy is a graduate of Michigan State University, and a registered dietitian.