How To Create A Healthy Halloween Meal

Tuesday 17th May 2016

Do your little monsters accumulate a ton of candy each Halloween season? We thought so! Here are some tips on how to deal with those Halloween treats while still making it a fun experience for your kids.

1.    Don't deny your children the Halloween candy.

This will only make it more irresistible! Just think moderation. After your children get back from trick-or-treating, go through their bags of candy together. Tell them to pick out the 10 treats they want the most. They can have those 10 treats Halloween night and three each day after. (Use your judgement. If your neighbor is handing out king-sized bars, make that count as 3-4 treats.)

2.    Get any unwanted treats out of sight.

Donate these treats to a food bank or find a place that does a Halloween candy buy-back program. Many dentists and other health providers will take part in these kind of programs. They pay your kids for their unwanted loot and send the treats to troops serving overseas.

3.    Take this time to teach your kids about oral hygiene.

Talk to them about cavities, what causes them, and how to prevent them. Also, this allows you to teach your children that it's not just sugar that can cause cavities but also snacks, such as potato chips or pretzels, that stay in the mouth longer.

4.    Make sure the message you are putting across to your kids isn't “Candy is bad.”

Rather, convey that they need to watch how much they have at a time. This will help lead to healthier teeth and a healthier lifestyle.

5.    Have them brush their teeth after 30 minutes of feasting on their loot.

This will decrease the chance of bacteria being able to settle in their mouths, creating more bacteria that cause cavities. Any time sooner than 30 minutes can also cause problems, as sugars and starches change the pH levels in our mouths. Brushing too soon can cause damage to the tooth enamel.

6.    Give them healthy meal choices to balance out the candy.

You can make these meals fun to show them that not all “treats” have to be candy!

Here are some recipes for a healthier Halloween meal!

Mini Pumpkin Quesadillas

You will need:
 

  • Two tortillas
  • Cheese
  • Knife/Scissors
  • Refried beans/sour cream (additional toppings
  1. Start by stacking the two tortillas on top of each other and cut three small circles.
  2. Split them apart and cut out some Jack-O-Lantern faces on one side. Put cheese on the other.
  3. Place the top tortilla on the bottom tortilla and microwave them for 30 secs -1 min.
  4. You can pipe sour cream on them to make a leaf or add the beans to make the stem. Get creative!

Beef Stew with Ghoulish Mashed Potatoes

You will need:

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups fresh baby carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 10 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender.
  2. About 30 minutes before serving, place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to pan; add the sour cream, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mash until smooth.
  3. Set aside 12 peas for garnish. Add remaining peas to the slow cooker. Increase heat to high. In a bowl, whisk the flour, water and remaining salt until smooth; stir into stew. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Divide stew among six bowls. Place mashed potatoes in large resealable plastic bag; cut a 2-inch hole in one corner. Pipe ghost potatoes onto stew; garnish with reserved peas as the eyes. Makes 6 servings.

“Boo”nana Pops

You will need:

  • 2 bananas
  • Popsicle sticks
  • French vanilla yogurt
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Knife
  • Wax paper
  1. Peel bananas. Cut them in half long ways and then in half through the middle.
  2. With the rounded side of the banana facing up, stick popsicle stick in banana up through the bottom.
  3. Dip bananas in vanilla yogurt.
  4. Place on wax paper and garnish with mini chocolate chips as eyes.
  5. Freeze until yogurt has hardened. Makes 4 servings.

Like these recipes? Check out our Pinterest page for more recipes, ideas and facts for you and your family to enjoy.