Hi! My name is Amie Mencer and I am a dietetic intern from the University of Oklahoma currently working with ONIE! First, something important to know about me is that I love learning about nutrition, but I also have a major sweet tooth. Chocolate is my weakness but any sweet or sugary item will do. I always get excited when Halloween rolls around because the shops are stocked with extra candy and treats and I’m pretty much in candy land heaven.
However, being the sweets fanatic and dietetic intern I am, I know that too much candy doesn’t fit into a healthy and nutritious diet. In fact, 4% of the entire United States yearly consumption of candy is consumed on Halloween alone. Therefore, I like to stock my house with lots of festive treats that don’t overload my diet on sugar and fat but still let me celebrate the holiday. One way to do this is to start dressing up your daily fruit. Of course I cannot take credit for all of these ideas but from a ‘hope to be dietitian’ standpoint I think these hit the “A” list for Halloween treats. Also remember that when you are enjoying some candy this season, a little bit is okay in moderation.
Here are some simple tips to not over do the candy crazy2:
- Buy what you need.
- Eat carbohydrates and proteins together to keep you full before going out trick or treating
- Get creative with fruit
- Watch out for trans fats in cookies or crackers
- Buy in bite sized pieces
Try these easy, healthy and cheap treats to help you start the holiday off right!
Frozen Ghost Bananas!
Ingredients: Bananas, non-fat greek yogurt (any flavor), chocolate chips, cheerios, raisins, popsicle sticks, baking sheet, wax paper
How To: Place wax paper on baking sheet for easy clean up. Take banana out of peel and cut banana straight down the middle so that you have two even sides. Cut each side across the middle so you are left with four even slices. Stick one popsicle stick in the bottom of each banana slice. Next, dip banana in yogurt and cover well. A spoon might be helpful for this step. Place banana on baking sheet and add chocolate chips or raisins for eyes and cheerios for mouths. Place yogurt covered banana on wax paper and baking sheet in freezer for a few hours until frozen.
Tip: Use firm bananas so they can be covered with yogurt easily.
Mini Clementine Pumpkins!
Ingredients: Clementine’s, celery sticks
How To: Peel clementine’s completely and throw away skins. Take one washed celery stalk and cut in half length wise. Cut stalk into ¼ to ½ inch pieces and push into middle of clementine.
Tip: Cut the bottom of the celery piece into a point to stick celery more easily into the clementine.
Ingredients: Grapes (red or green), raisins, chocolate chips, peanut butter, shish kabob skewers
How To: Wash grapes well and let try. Take skewer and slowly load individual grapes onto skewer either horizontally or vertically. When skewer is full take two raisins or chocolate chips and attach with a teeny bit of peanut butter for eyes on the last grape.
Gross Goblin Teeth!
Ingredients: Apples (any kind), peanut butter, raisins, knife
How To: Wash apple, cut into fourths and slice out core. Slice each fourth apple into three small slices. Using two slices, spread peanut butter onto one side of each apple slice. Stick one row of raisins upright in the peanut butter across the apple slice to look like teeth. Complete smile by adding the remaining apple slice, peanut butter facing down to the top of raisins.
Tip: Use large apples for easier preparation, this one is messy!
Dirty Band Aids!
Ingredients: whole grain graham crackers, cream cheese, red jelly (any flavor)
How To: Break graham cracker on cracker indents into fourths. Spread cream cheese in a square shape in just the center of the cracker piece until smooth. Add a small drop of jelly for fake blood.
Tip: Non fat yogurt can substitute for cream cheese or whole grain cracker can substitute for graham cracker.
Other healthy and easy ideas for Halloween can be drawing pumpkin faces onto peel away fruit skins such as bananas and oranges, wrapping fruit or fruit juice boxes in paper towels as dressed up mummies, cutting sandwiches into tombstones or ghosts, make a veggie skeleton with left over vegetables around the house or add eyeballs onto almost anything for a touch of Halloween!
Have a Happy and Healthy Halloween!