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Halloween Party : Go Crazy in a healthy way

By Priya Raman on 30 October 2010 | Topics - Parenting

Halloween is the time I dread most – the “candy craze” goes out of control. So this year I set out to make the Halloween Party healthy – while still retaining the fun and kids happy. From the outset I wanted to follow a few guidelines

  1. No Candy.
  2. No Junk Food ( yeah yeah that included chips, cup cakes, muffins).
  3. Use Fresh Produce.

I admit that was a tough ask. How do I follow those rules at the same time still keep the kids interested in the food. I had to make fruits and vegetables appear freaky and spooky – but tasty enough to entice the kids.

Read on to find out how I did it at my children’s school with the help of a few other fellow parents.

  1. Little HeartsBleeding HeartsLittle hearts or Bleeding Hearts – We made little hearts using fresh big strawberries. We placed them on a beautiful platter and served them. We froze some of them to and then cut them frozen to make them appear as “bleeding hearts”. Note: Thaw the frozen strawberries in the serving platter the night before. The juice from strawberries as they thawed will look like “blood” and the strawberries look like “bleeding hearts”. Pierce them with toothpicks and serve.
  2. EyeballsEyeballs – Lychees make great eyeballs. The canned ones are great to use – since they are already peeled and de-seeded. Just make sure to drain and rinse them really well. Then pop a red or green grape in the “socket” to make a great (and ominous) looking eyeball. The Lychees taste very sweet and if you have never tried them before I strongly recommend them.
  3. Brain matter – Plain low fat vanilla yogurt mixed with any food color makes a great looking “brain muck”. We used green color and it really looked like a Vampire dish. Adding some chopped mandarin oranges made it look like brain cells floating in the brain mush.
  4. Ghostly hands. Carrots make for great looking little fingers. We used 5 baby carrots and placed them in a small bowl of dip. Then we added slivered almonds to the top to make it look like a hand.  (Credit: Borrowed from another website)
  5. Popcorn handsGhost hands # 2 – One of the children had allergies to nuts – so her mom made “popcorn hands”. She had these bags shaped like a glove and she placed candy corn for the finger tips and then filled the bag with popcorn. Popcorn, besides being a good healthy snack made those hands really looked spooky. This was a big hit with the kids.
  6. Vampire juice – This was an improvisation. After all the great treats, the kids did need some juice. But we had to find a low calorie juice to meet the school guidelines. So we decided to use colorful “Kool-aid”  with a strawberry and a grape flavor. We had to use a little bit of sugar (honey would have worked well here). For the older kids, we used the “fizzy” kool-aid.
  7. Chopped LiverChopped liver – We used chopped mandarin oranges and grapes and mixed them to give the illusion of chopped liver. Served on a beautiful platter, it was way too enticing – despite its name.
  8. Witches stew – We used a little bit of junk food here I admit. Mini marshmallows made good fake teeth. We then used cheerios as nostrils, corn puffs as fingers, pretzels as bones, and raisins as bad teeth. This was a good hit with the kids – we prepared this with them and they loved creating different body parts using each ingredient.

So there is my quick and easy plan for a healthy and fun Halloween party. Would love to hear what you guys did and what you thought about my party.

While the kids loved every dish, the teachers were delighted that we could accomplish all this with fruits and vegetables.

Note: the kids were in Kindergarten and 3rd graders. But I am sure kids of all ages would love to use their imagination with healthy ingredients.

About the Author Priya is a working mom of two. Besides her steady load of work at home taking care of her kids, she finds time to work for her husband's company, help her childrens' school and conduct summer camps. She created the site Little Respite to share some of her ideas/thoughts with other fellow parents, friends.