Celebrating Halloween with your little monsters is often all about feeding them treats loaded with sugar and having to deal with the ‘sugar-highs’ – and crashes! But could you still celebrate Halloween without those sugar-nightmares? Sidonie from our Health Information team shares her healthy Halloween tips.
Strange things happen on Halloween… we encourage children to load up and eat as many sweets and treats as they can in just one day! And though it is just one day, all of these calories and sugar add up, on top of other celebrations and parties throughout the year.
Even on these occasions, you can encourage healthy eating and limit the amount of high-calorie food that children eat. This is important to help your children be a healthy weight so that they are more likely to be a healthy weight as an adult, which is one of the most important ways to protect themselves against cancer.
If you’re providing food at Halloween, why don’t you try these ‘hell-thy’ alternatives to the usual Halloween snacks.
Boo-st their 5 A DAY by dressing these carrots to look like Frankenstein’s fingers! Using low-fat cream cheese, stick a whole almond to the top of the carrot.
Beetroot and mint dip
Perfect for dipping the Frankenstein’s fingers – and the red from the beetroot goes perfectly with your spooks theme. Recipe details can be found here.
Get creative and decorate wholemeal muffins to look like mummies. Slice the muffins in half, mix three tablespoons of low-salt and sugar ketchup with tomato puree for the sauce, add black olive slices for eyes, then cut low-fat cheddar cheese slices in to strips (or use grated cheese) for the ‘mummy’ effect. Kids will have fun decorating them and they’re getting some fibre from the wholemeal muffins.
Take the yolk out of some hard-boiled eggs. Then fill each hole with smashed avocado and a black olive. Dip a cocktail stick in some ketchup and draw on some wiggly, bloodshot lines (see below on the right).
Wicked witch pears
Cut a pear in half lengthways, then cut a small piece from the top of the pear where the hat will sit – this piece will be used to make a nose. Carve a small hole where you want the nose to be and push it in. Use raisins for the eyes and the wart. Add a small piece of strawberry for the mouth, and some strips of carrot for the hair. Make a witch's hat out of black card and a pipe cleaner to finish it off! (See above on the left.)
Spiced apple squares
To wash it all down..
A soft drink for the kids that doesn’t give them too much added sugar. Simply squash a few blackberries with a fork and put them in some red fruit juice that doesn't have added sugar, like red grape or raspberry juice.
Blend five strawberries and five blackberries with skimmed milk to make a smoothie.
These healthy Halloween swaps are simple, but fun to create – and you can get your children involved with making them too! Our Digital Projects Officer, Penny, loved making them with her son. Bon appetit!