Hey Busy Moms & all caregivers!
I can’t believe Halloween is already around the corner! It just seems like summer ended yesterday yet we are almost in November. My kids always love Halloween and trick or treating is one of the highlights of this season. I try to live and raise my kids using my 80/20 rule, where approximately 80% of the time, we eat clean and healthy and the other 20% we allow ourselves to splurge. Halloween night definitely fits into the 20%. While they do partake in candy that you would never find in my house on the other 364 days of the year, I try to minimize the Halloween candy overdose in 3 ways that I’m happy to share with you in this week’s blog. Also, I’m excited to share a new recipe for Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies, perfect to make at your next gathering or bring to the lucky host that invited you over during this pumpkin obsessed season.
- Offer healthier candy options
Yes, these are still sweets and can’t really call these ‘healthy foods’, but at least they don’t contain the artificial colors, flavors, additives and GMO ingredients. Therefore, they are healthier. Try offering these to your kids and trick or treaters on Halloween.
Gummy Bears & Gummy Worms Snack packs: No synthetic colors, Gluten-free, nut-free, fat-free, No Soy, No Egg, No GMO’s, No Dairy, No High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Organic Lollipops: Organic, 100% Vitamin C, All Natural Fruit Extracts, No Artificial Dyes or Flavors, Made with Real Fruit Juice.
OCHO Organic Candy Bars: They carry this in 4 flavors, my fav is the dark chocolate coconut one which is a healthier alternative to Mounds bar.
Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups: Whenever I’m craving Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I turn to Justin’s for a healthier alternative, made with no trans fats, 5 grams of protein and certified organic.
If you want to go the no candy route, novelty toys like tattoos, pencils, stickers etc. can be a refreshing addition to the bucket of candy kids will be collecting.
- Make sure your kids don’t go trick or treating on an empty stomach
I scoured the internet to find a few easy and creative Halloween themed dishes you can feed your kids before they go trick or treating so that they don’t have so much room in their tummies for all the junk!
Creepy Fingers: Bake a pizza. When I don’t have time to make from scratch I buy Trader Joe’s Organic 3 Cheese Pizza. Cut the pizza into strips resembling fingers and affix red pepper ‘fingernails’ to the pizza strip to make them extra creepy. Use cream cheese to make the fingernails stick to the pizza.
Vomiting Pumpkin: Carve a pumpkin and place on a platter. Starting at the mouth of the pumpkin pour dip. On both sides of dip, add item used to scoop dip. The example uses guacamole and dip. I’ve also made this with hummus and pita chips as well as carrot and bell pepper sticks and ranch dip.
Spider Deviled Eggs: If your kids like eggs, this is a great source of protein that will keep kids tummies full longer. The recipe uses black olives as the spiders.
Fruity Pumpkin Afro: What a creative way to entice kids to eat nature’s candy, fruit. Make fruit kebabs and stick them on top of the pumpkin.
Eye-Popping Tomato Soup: Spooky and tasty! Don’t have time to make tomato soup from scratch? Grab a carton of Trader Joe’s Creamy Tomato Soup, a container of bite-sized mozzarella balls and a jar of pimiento stuffed olives and you are good to go!
Check out 7 more healthy Halloween recipes from my friends at Positive Health Wellness, including a martini cocktail I plan to make for my mom friends that night!
- Remove the remaining candy out of your house on November 1st!
Ok, maybe from time to time, I’ll let them pick a few of their favorites to keep, but the rest of it goes to the candy cemetery.
Last but not least, below is my new Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe which would be perfect with a cup of hot tea or warm apple cider on a cool Halloween night.
This recipe is made with whole wheat flour, no refined sugars and rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber from the pumpkin puree.
Yield: Approximately 12 cookies
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar
- ½ cup softened organic butter (unsalted)
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds (lightly toasted)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Toast raw pumpkin seeds in a toaster oven. They burn quickly so watch until done, approx. 20 seconds
- Mix flour, pumpkin spice and baking soda in a bowl
- In a separate bowl, mix sugar, butter, vanilla and pumpkin puree until the mixture has a creamy consistency
- Add eggs to the wet ingredients
- Combine wet ingredients with the dry ingredients
- Mix in chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds
- Spoon cookies onto greased baking sheet or parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure to keep space between the cookies as they expand during baking
- Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes
- Let cool and eat
For more recipes like these check out my book, “Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet: Raising Happy Healthy Kids”, now available on Amazon.