October 22, 2020
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Our family loves Halloween! It’s true, in the early days we were trick-or-treating holdouts (all that sugary artificial candy… shudder!). Now that my kids are older and we’ve figured out a healthy balance, times have changed. We just buy candy with better ingredients (and make sure to have non-candy treats too).
Reinventing our dinner plan is another way I made peace with this sugar-happy holiday. These festive but healthy Halloween recipes are perfect for a bite to eat before or after trick-or-treating, or just a way to make Halloween fun at home!
Healthy Halloween Recipes & Menu Ideas (Mom Approved!)
Some of these recipes are our original creations and some are great ideas we’ve adopted from others. I made sure to choose recipes that:
- contain actual nutrition (healthy fats, protein, vitamins, etc.)
- are made with real food
- are easy for kids to make (see my parenting rule: mom doesn’t have to do everything!)
In the end, playing with our food is a lot of fun, and these low prep recipes leave time for all the costume making and face painting you desire!
1. Spiderweb Pancakes
Start the day off with some grain-free pumpkin pancakes. Melt some chocolate (because, Halloween) and drizzle off a spoon in quick, spider-like fashion to “spin” a dramatic and delicious web on top of each stack.
2. Banana Ghosts
My youngest daughter looks forward every year to making these super simple banana “ghosts.” Simply peel a banana, cut in half, and press chocolate chips into the tip of the banana as eyes and a sliced almond as an open, wailing mouth! Stand upright on the flat end on a plate drizzled with chocolate for a cute self-serve snack.
3. Clementine “Pumpkins”
It couldn’t get easier (or healthier) than this: peel a mandarin or clementine orange, being careful to keep the orange segments intact. Insert a short piece of thinly sliced celery in the opening of the orange and voila! You have an adorable pumpkin-esque treat little kids (and adults) will love.
Make up a whole platter or serve on a small dessert plate with dinner (since they’ll get plenty of actual dessert later!).
4. Jack O’Lantern Stuffed Peppers
Most of us have made some version of stuffed peppers before. You can easily make them into a fun and healthy Halloween meal!
Buy 8-10 bright orange peppers. Slice off the top and remove the seeds, and cut smiling (or scary) Jack o’ lantern face into the sides. Stuff with Philly cheesesteak toppings (our favorite) or a more traditional filling, bake, and enjoy!
Or, make it an appetizer. Prepare an orange bell pepper the same way, but leave it raw and fill with radish cream cheese dip and cut veggies.
5. Watermelon Monster Head
You’ve seen watermelon fruit baskets… how about a watermelon monster head? Cut a watermelon in half, scoop out the shell, and cut a jagged mouth. Turn upside down on top of a fruit salad plate and add some eyes to your watermelon “head.” It looks like this monster has lost his lunch, which kids will love and gobble up!
6. Meatloaf Mummies
We make meatloaf cupcakes on a regular basis (like mini-meatloaves with whipped sweet potato “frosting”). For Halloween we dress these up for the occasion by using white mashed potatoes piped on top with a flat icing tip. Add two green peas for eyes and you have a meal that looks just like a mini mummy, all wrapped up in bandages!
7. Witches’ Brew Smoothie
Shhh… this is just a green smoothie recipe I make all the time! Cucumber and lime give it a bright green look that’s perfect for Halloween. Just call it by a new name and serve with a peeled grape (eyeball) garnish and you have a spooky snack kids won’t turn down.
8. Mulled Cider (or Wine!)
This “treat” is one of the best ways to add a touch of natural hygge and make it feel extra cozy and inviting in the house. Plus it smells amazing! Simply long-simmer mulling spices in cider (or around my house, wine for the adults!) and serve warm.
9. Pumpkin Soup or Chili
If you haven’t tried a velvety, creamy pumpkin soup for a fall meal, you’re missing out! Pumpkins are plentiful in the garden and market this time of year, making this soup a budget-friendly choice. This soup is easy to make, takes minimal prep, and is easy to keep warm until you’re ready to eat.
You can also add pumpkin to chili, one of my favorite sneaky veggie-boosting tricks.
10. Zoodles or Shirataki Noodles (for “Brains”)
I have a whole post on shirataki noodles if you’re interested, but these unusual noodles have that perfect slippery feel to pose as “brains”! Peeled zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer will also work well for this. Serve with alfredo sauce or Thai peanut sauce and present it as brain “goo” to gross them out and delight them at the same time.
11. String Cheese Ghosts
If you’re packing lunches, these super easy string cheese ghosts are a cute, high protein treat. Just use a Sharpie to draw on your own friendly or spooky ghost faces!
12. A Chilling Charcuterie Board
With a charcuterie board, there’s no end to how creative you can be. Especially when Halloween themed! Cut cheese with Halloween shaped cookie cutters, add clementine pumpkins (above), add olive “eyeballs,” or string cheese and bell pepper “fingers.”
13. Deviled Eggs (Of Course!)
I didn’t even have to make up a name for this one! Make deviled eggs even more sinister with the addition of black olive spiders, or mix filling with some beet puree and top with olives for “bloody eyeballs.” Either way, they’re packed with protein and fats to help fill kids up and regulate blood sugar.
14. Veggie Tray Skeleton
Who says vegetables can’t dress up too? My kids have taken this Halloween tradition over from me and have fun making a different character every year. And I’m happy to supply the vegetables! They learned knife skills from an online cooking course for kids years ago, and now they’re paying off!
Serve with hummus or real-food ranch dip.
Do you have ideas for a spooky and fun Halloween menu? Please share your favorite real-food Halloween recipes!