Halloween treats can be nutritious as well as fun and interactive — so get creative!
Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean that the entire day, and the weeks leading up to it, have to be a sugar fest! Halloween is about more than scarfing down as much candy as possible; Halloween is also a day to celebrate the fall season and connect with family and friends for food and fun.
If you’re having a Halloween party, try incorporating other festive fall foods and beverages like some spiced apple cider or mulled wine for the adults, crostini with roasted squash and goat cheese, or pumpkin soup.
For a fun kid-friendly gathering, have a pumpkin carving and baking party. Everyone can carve pumpkins and then scoop out the seeds and flesh. The seeds can be washed and dusted with spices and then roasted for a crunchy snack. The flesh can be pureed for baking pumpkin bread or pumpkin cupcakes!
Or have a caramel apple-making party. Everyone gets an apple to dip in caramel, chocolate, and then top with other goodies like chocolate chips, coconut flakes, cinnamon, or nuts. The decorated caramel apples can be cut into pieces for everyone to sample.
The best part about these activities is that they incorporate the fall spirit and fun treats while still using foods that offer many nutritional benefits. Pumpkin is full of potassium, vitamins A, C, and E, and fiber. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc. Apples are high in vitamin C and fiber. Pairing high fiber foods with sweets will help the sugar digest and absorb more slowly to prevent blood sugar spikes.
The best party snacks are delicious as well as fun and interactive — so get creative!
— By Miranda Bryan, Bastyr dietetic intern, and Amy Frasieur, MS, RD, core faculty in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.
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