Giving kids a healthy diet during the Halloween season is difficult to say the least. All the candy that lays around the house before the big night and then the ton of candy they collect in their goody bag that night. It is easy to get caught up in all the festivities of dressing in the best costume and fun characters. It is easy to get caught up in the trick or treating. And it is easy to get all caught up in the fun character parties that come with the season. It is hard to get everyone back on track after a week or more of sugar highs and no self discipline. The best way to keep order and still have fun is to include foods that are low in fat, low in calories yet are very tasty and have eye appeal. The foods should also be representative and special to the holiday. This will give the kids, and adults, the feeling of getting a treat if it is something that they don't get all the time. You will have the most control over foods that you serve at your party. When you plan the menu, plan foods that meet the criteria of healthy, appealing, low in calories and high in nutrition. You can avoid the sugary highs and sugary lows.
Shaped Fruit and Appealing Veggie Dishes
Veggie dishes are very popular and they are often found at parties. You can make the platter a big treat for kids and adults by making it Halloween specific. Choose foods that appeal to kids and create a theme tray. Carve faces in pumpkins or paint faces on them. These can be used to make the display of the platter very attractive. Kids will want to go get something off the platter when the table is very festive. You can also choose to make a carved fruit setting that will appeal to many. It will be a refreshing alternative to the old bowl of chips and still give something to satisfy the need to crunch. Get some skewers and place fruit on them. This will let the kids eat them easier than if they were just holding them in their tiny hands or plastic forks. It will also make them a special treat. Keep a close watch on young children who are using skewers they can stick in the eye if they start to play with them. Some fruits that you may want to consider serving at your party are oranges, strawberries, apples, blueberries, pineapple, grapes, banana slices, melons, raspberries, and kiwi. Vegetables that children seem to like dipping in veggie dip are celery (serve with peanut butter or cream cheese), carrots, green peppers, and radishes.
Consider Combining Low-Fat Foods with Candy
Just because the little devil in all of us wants that Halloween candy, consider pairing it up with a low-fat snack. Keep it all in the Halloween party theme. This will keep in tune with a child friendly atmosphere. Make the party fun for parents and children by keeping foods easy for kids to handle on their own. Small finger foods are ideal in these situations. Tasty snack ideas are to offer raisins, and peanuts along side chocolate covered candies. Nuts will give the little goblins a good source of protein. To help keep children from overeating, you can make prepackaged bags of raisin and nut mixture. Another choice will be pretzel logs and popcorn with marshmallow treats. Even consider some old fashioned licorice or cinnamon candy. Ice cream sandwiches cut in thirds or fourths look festive when the edges have orange and black sprinkles dotted on them.
Avoid Serving Sugary Drinks that Compound the Problem
Sodas and cold drinks that have sugar are high in calories and often caffeine. These drinks should be avoided and replaced with a healthier drink the guests will enjoy. Punch is inexpensive and can be made with a mix of juices from 100 percent fruit. Common flavors of these fruits are cherry, apple, strawberry and grape. You can keep the Halloween theme in the drink by filling a large punch bowl with the fruit punch and adding fun floating items to the top. A low-fat sherbet can be added to make a foam float on the top. If you want to add a little fizz keep a bottle of sparkling water near the punch bowl and add a little in each cup as it is served. Place a scoop of the red or orange sherbet on top. This will make an all natural fruit smoothie that has a fresh crisp taste. It will combine well with the fruit and veggie party trays. Frozen slushies are a good choice for children parties. Fresh cider with green or black food coloring added will give the drink a Halloween theme appearance. When kids see the treats in a theme, on the table decorated with all kinds of ornaments, they will not think about the lack of candy. They will focus on the fun treats set before them.
Keep Clean Up Simple
You don't want to spend all evening cleaning up a mess. If they make it is a disposable version, by all means, use the disposable type. Disposable skewers, forks, spoons, cups and plates come to mind. There are even disposable party trays and punch bowls. The trays come with lids so if the entire veggie source is not depleted you can cover it, stick it in the fridge and have a snack for the next day as well. The Halloween party should be stress free for the guests and the hostess. Keep your party simple, with healthy treats and keep the clean up down to a modest amount. Remove any furniture that you don't want covered in punch. This will allow you to enjoy the party without worrying what the kids are doing. The best way to have an enjoyable character Halloween party is to remain guilt free about the foods the kids eat and the foods you serve your guests. With healthy choices placed in an appealing and decorative way, everyone will win.