Candy makers delight in the surge in sales that comes every fall in anticipation of Halloween. Conscientious dentists remind parents and kids to minimize their candy intake, particularly chewy sweets such as taffy and caramel, which can stick to fillings and pull them away from teeth. Sour candies, because of their acidity, can wear down tooth enamel. Don’t rule out chocolate, however. Dark chocolate—coated raisins or almonds, for example—is a healthier option.
There are plenty of ways to promote healthy eating and fun this Halloween. Here are some easy ideas to get you started.
- Eat beforehand. If you have a healthy dinner before you head out, chances are pretty good you won’t be needing to reach into the treats to answer pangs of hunger. Think of it as topping off your tank.
- Nix the pillowcase. You don’t need a huge sack brimming with candy. Opt for a smaller treat bag and keep the haul to a minimum.
- Sort through your treats and keep just your favorites. Consider donating the rest to an organization such as Operation Gratitude, which sends Halloween candy to military members overseas as part of its give-back program.
While there are scores of elaborate Halloween dishes across the internet, we’ve come up with a handful that are truly simple and fun while steering clear of super sugary, unhealthy fallbacks.
With a bowl of oranges or clementines and a permanent, nontoxic black marker, you can create mini jack-o’-lanterns. Simply draw scary pumpkin faces directly onto the skin of the fruit. There’s nothing to it.
Hard-boiled egg ghosts: Hard boil some eggs. Peel them, then cut a jagged bottom on each one. Either punch into the eggs with a wooden skewer for eyes and mouths (the yolk should show through), or decorate them with black food coloring; permanent, nontoxic markers; or black sesame seeds. If you don’t have time to hard boil the eggs yourself, our iO organic hard-boiled eggs are great in a pinch.
Pumpkin and ghost tortilla crisps: Cut tomato- and spinach-flavored soft flour tortillas into Halloween shapes—pumpkins and ghosts—and bake until crisp. Serve with your favorite salsa or dip.
Creepy crawlers: Use dried apricots, raisins, and dates as bodies and banana chips, sliced and slivered almonds and chow mein noodles for wings, antennas, or legs, and create a world of tasty creepy crawlers.
Skeleton crudités: Assemble a veggie skeleton using a large sliced section of a cauliflower for the head; snap peas, carrot stick and red and yellow peppers for bones and joints. Serve it up with your favorite organic hummus or dressing.
Baked brie mummy: The ubiquitous baked brie gets dressed up for Halloween with strips of puff pastry arranged across the top to create a wrapped mummy’s face. Use slices of pimento-stuffed olives for eyes and serve with organic crackers or chips. Oooh. Scary.
Inspired Organics offers a haunting range of organic (and often gluten-free) Halloween ideas from traditional and “dessert” hummus, and pumpkin seeds to popcorn, tortilla chips, salsas, nuts, dressings, and dried fruit.