Attention Alabama Halloween Candy Lovers: With a little planning, make this holiday a little healthier – Alabama NewsCenter | Wonder Mind Kids

It’s the season for spooky ghosts, pumpkins and maybe some treats. Children and adults are happy about costumes and sweets. But fruit and vegetables are also part of the holiday fun.

Katie Funderburk, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialist and registered dietitian, said Halloween is a great time to introduce kids to healthy foods through kitchen crafts and themed snacks.

“Having kids play with food or participate in cooking or prep can help picky eaters try new fruits and vegetables,” she said.

Halloween Sugar Overload: An Educational Moment

Parents should decide how to manage the stash of Halloween candy their kids are bringing home, Funderburk said. But whatever the approach, balancing it with healthy eating and exercise is key.

“Different approaches work for different families. Some like to indulge in sweets uninhibitedly around the holidays to keep up the traditions they experienced as children. Eating a variety of foods and leading an active lifestyle is a year-round practice that is not derailed by holiday indulgence.”

Having surplus candy available can be an opportunity to teach children the importance of oral hygiene. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers oral hygiene tips for children, including brushing their teeth twice a day and drinking tap water, which contains fluoride, which is important for strong teeth.

According to Funderburk, sugar intake can be monitored in other ways, such as offering water or milk in place of sugar-sweetened beverages and moving sweet snacks to a higher shelf in the pantry or some other location out of sight.

For families looking to limit candy consumption around Halloween, Funderburk has some additional tips:

“Serve some candies for dessert alongside a healthy meal, or place them on a snack tray with nutrient-dense cheese and crackers or veggies and dip,” she said. “Mix candy into homemade trail mix, granola, or plain popcorn to serve alongside high-fiber foods.”

Funderburk advises against using candy as a reward — or withholding it as punishment — because research shows that doing so can backfire and make candy more desirable in the long run.

Cooking and crafting together in the kitchen and dancing to silly Halloween songs are great ways to make healthy eating and physical activity fun for the whole family.

Check out the following fun and healthy Halloween snacks from Live Well Kitchen.

Banana Ghosts and Mandarin Pumpkins

ingredients

  • bananas
  • tangerines
  • raisins
  • celery sticks

There’s nothing quite like being simple but effective when you’re making spooky treats. Let’s start with a simple treat that’s easy for smaller kids to create. Banana ghosts and tangerine pumpkins are a Halloween favorite.

For the ghosts, peel and halve a banana and use raisins for the eyes and mouth. Nut butter or toothpicks can be used to hold the eyes in place if needed.

For the pumpkins, peel a tangerine, cut a celery into thirds and place the stalk on top of the tangerine. The result is a nice little squash that’s packed with nutrients kids need like potassium, fiber and vitamin C.

Frozen yogurt ghostsGhost Popsicles

ingredients

  • greek yogurt
  • popsicle sticks
  • raisins

Greek yogurt, raisins and popsicles are the only ingredients for these spooky frozen visitors.

First, get out a baking sheet and lay out some popsicles. Take a sandwich bag and cut a small hole in the corner. Place the yoghurt in the sandwich bag and pipe onto the stick in the shape of a ghost. Use the raisins for the eyes and mouth. Place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Then enjoy it!

white brooms, brown cutting boardpretzel broom

ingredients

  • Pretzel Sticks
  • cheese sticks

Who doesn’t like a tasty snack with a bit of magic that might just clean itself up afterwards? Well, it probably won’t do any cleaning, but it definitely doesn’t take long to do.

Preparing the pretzel whisks:

  1. Peel a mozzarella cheese stick (or any cheese stick) and cut into thirds.
  2. Cut the bottom of each piece of cheese stick into strips diagonally to make it look like a broom.
  3. Take a pretzel stick and insert it into the top of the cheese to make little broomsticks.

Now you’re ready for a snack, sweeping the counter, or possibly a drive around the neighborhood.

grape spidersFruit/Pretzel Spiders

ingredients

  • plum
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Dark Grapes

These spooky little crawlies will add a touch of nutrition and flavor to any Halloween snack this year.

The spider’s body is a plum, and the legs are grapes. Start by taking thin pretzel sticks and threading a few through the grapes and into the side of the plum. In the last grape of the leg, take another pretzel stick and stick it into the bottom, adding more grapes until the bottom of the leg touches the surface.

Repeat this process to make eight legs for your spider.

vegetable monstervegetable monster

ingredients

Be careful when creating this vegetable monster as it can come alive. Seriously, this creation has a lot of ingredients that lived at some point. It’s best to follow these instructions and use the visual aid to construct the monster.

Start with the head, start with a small bowl and use lettuce leaves to shape the monster’s hair. Then fill the small bowl with Live Well Alabama’s Creamy Cucumber Dill Dip. Take two black olives and place them on top of the dip for eyes.

Switch to the body, using celery sticks for shoulders, baby carrots for arms, and cauliflower florets for hands. Lay several cucumber slices in a row, overlapping them so they look like a spine, and use pepper slices for the ribs.

Use sliced ​​mushrooms for hips, more celery stalks for thighs, cauliflower for knees, peppers for drumsticks, grape tomatoes for feet, and broccoli florets for toes.

Put it all together and watch the monster come to life! Mix in the vegetables as you like.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Cooperative Extension System website.

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