Halloween is almost upon us again! It’s a super fun season for adults and kids alike, but it sure does usually mean waaaay too much sugar.
Here are some tips to have fun with Halloween, while keeping it all in check.
1. Create Some Spooky Healthy Food After School Snacks
Make some healthy veggie sticks in Halloween capsicums to have with dips or snack on before dinner.
2. Fill ‘Em Up Buttercup!
This one is a no-brainer. Serve up a healthy (and well-loved) family meal before you hit the streets if your family is trick or treating. If little ones have full tummies they’re less likely to want to eat the lollies as they go, or will eat fewer at least, as they’re trick or treating.
Want some ideas to turn up the halloween fun on the family dinner?
Start with something traditional, like these beautiful pumpkin pies.
Use your family’s favourite soup recipe & turn it into a cheeky monster face with the aid of some sushi rice, nori sheets & a squeeze of sauce!
Can’t usually get your kids to go green? Maybe they’d like eating a Frankenstein’s Monster’s face of pasta! If your kids don’t like olives use cheese, red capsicum slices, tomatoes cucumbers etc to make the face shapes.
Stand and stuff! Make little jack o’ lantern stuffed capsicums and stuff them with your favourite Mexican rice & beans recipe, fried rice or even shepherd’s pie and bake for a delicious & halloween themed dinner.
For a quick & healthy option grab some pita bread and spread with guacamole to make monster eyeball no-bake pizza! Decorate it with funny eyeballs made from cucumber, cheese and olives or black beans. Add some lightly sauteed zucchini noodles on top for extra monster factor or go all out with some bocconcini eyeballs.
How about some baked falafel witches fingers? Serve them up with bloody tomato sauce, tahini sauce and fresh salad.
3. Get Crafty With Your Halloween Buckets
Halloween doesn’t have to be all about the food. Finding some fun craft activities to do can add to the excitement for the week by decorating Halloween treat buckets or bags and even your house!
Creating or decorating individual Halloween collection containers can be a fun family craft activity, as well as a way to manage how many lollies are getting collected in the evening! You can pick the size of the box, bucket or basket so that it fills up quickly, and create or purchase an assortment of spooky decorations such as spiders, cobwebs, insects, bats, vampire fangs, witch silhouettes, ghosts and monsters to decorate your Halloween containers with.
You can create some simple shapes with cardboard, or go over the top with some cheap shop decorations and a hot glue gun.
4. Decorate the House
Get into the All Hallows Eve spirit by decorating the house, your kids might not feel so bad about missing out on the trick or treating when they can boast they’ve got the spookiest house on the street.
Recycle some milk or juice cartons into spooky ghosts lanterns with some permanent markers for older kids.
Make your fruity all spooky with these mandarin jack ‘o’ lanterns.
Decorate with these easy hanging ghosts, all you need is some large white paper, a black market, scissors and some tape and fishing line to hang them.
All you need to create some spooky spiderwebs is some grey yarn and masking tape.
Give the fruit bowl a mummy makeover with some googly eyes and bandage.
Use a white sock to make a creepy sock skeleton.
5. Be THAT Person In Your Neighborhood
If you have a good relationship with your neighbours you might be able to get away with making some homemade treats (make sure to chat with all the parents in your area first!) some ideas we love from Ashley Jubinville are gingersnap biscuits, cranberry bounty bars (using our amaaazing sugar-free cranberries, of course!) and vegan lemon cake.
You could get creative with popcorn bags and small bags of dried fruit with some Halloween craft attached, or do some research and seek out some lollies you could pick up in your area that are based on fruit juices and free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
6. Bring Back Apple Bobbing!
Bobbing for apples is a really fun, silly activity which you can even sneak a history lesson into!
It dates back to the Roman invasion of Britain when the Romans merged their traditions with Celtic ones. Apple bobbing was a game for young, unmarried folk who would either bob for apples from a barrel, or hung from strings in a tree. The first person to bite an apple would be the next allowed to marry.
The game is known in Ireland and Newfoundland as “Snap Apple” and in Newfoundland and Labrador “Snap Apple Night” is a synonym for Halloween.
So to set up your apple bobbing game you’ll need a tub of water placed on a table high enough to add some challenge, but low enough that smaller bodies can have a go and a bunch of apples. One per person playing, or more if you wish to make the game less challenging.
Players take turns (which can be timed) to catch one with their teeth and are not allowed to use their arms, which can be tied behind backs to prevent cheating.
You could set up your apple bobbing station at the front door as a trick for trick or treaters who come knocking, as part of some fun Halloween celebrations you do with your family in the week leading up, or as an activity to do with the family at home if you’re forgoing the trick or treating all together.
7. Bring In the Halloween Witch
Our family has a ‘Halloween Witch’. She visits once a year, the morning after Halloween.
Here’s how it works:
- The kids eat their pick of their lolly loot on Halloween night.
- As they go to bed that night, they leave the lollies they’re clearly not that fussed about anyway, out by the door or at the end of their bed in their trick or treating buckets.
- When they wake in the morning, the Halloween witch will have visited and swapped their lolly-left-overs for non-food treats like colouring books, stickers, pens… whatever they’re into!
Parent pro-tip: Did you know there’s also an Easter fairy?? ?
8. Keep it in Perspective – It’s Just One Day
All these crafty ideas and totally over-the-top foods are healthy ways to get in the spirit of Halloween and make your kids feel like they aren’t missing out on lots of fun things when they might be missing out on some of the unhealthy things.
But we know they take EFFORT, and we don’t always have the time or space to do these kinds of things in our day-to-day lives.
So, when all the effort is too much, and you want your kids to share the same experiences with their extended family and friends, just remember, it’s only one day.
Check out Kate’s website, Hobart Green Guide to find the best vegan and eco parts of Southern Tasmania and some great vegan recipes.