It’s that time of year when the season starts to change and the (sugar) buzz is around classroom parties. With school rules that allow parents to bring only store-bought food to parties, providing healthy treats in a classroom can be tricky. It’s easy to buy brightly colored sugary snacks, but it’s important to remember that the scary part of Halloween isn’t the creepy costumes—it’s the artificial colors, chemicals and sugar. These tantalizing treats can be made by children in a classroom setting with minimal mess and prep time. They are filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and calcium that are sure to keep the festivities going in a healthy and fun way.
Apple Costumes. Is that a bat in the classroom? No it’s an apple with a funny mask! This treat packed with Vitamin C and fiber will keep those choppers chewing. Create a mask with paper, glitter, beads, and any of your favorite art supplies to wrap those washed red or green apples. These masks will make the whole fruit mysterious and appealing!
Banana Ghost Pops. Where does a ghost go to take a swim? Vanilla yogurt of course! Take half a peeled banana and place the cut end on a Popsicle stick. Press the pointy side of two small chocolate chips into the banana to make the eyes. Frozen bananas with chocolate chips make this treat especially chilling. Dip the banana ghost into a serving of low-fat vanilla yogurt. These potassium-rich ghosts swimming in a sea of calcium and protein make a superhero snack.
Swamp Water and Bugs on a Raft. Nothing says swampy like green or brown juice! Mix 100 percent grape juice with 100 percent orange juice or purchase Green Machine by Naked Juice for an authentic swampy effect. Make a rickety raft from a graham cracker with a layer of nut butter and topped with raisins, yogurt raisins and/or chocolate chips. Serve raft and juice separately.
Mummy Unwrapped. Some mummies just don’t have it together. Take string cheese and peel the strands off and layer them in a whole wheat tortilla. Garnish with a tablespoon of hummus and matchstick carrots. Roll together all the ingredients in the tortilla and enjoy this protein-rich and whole grain spooky snack.
Clementine Pumpkins. Small oranges, like clementines or cuties, can be eaten with ease by little hands. Using a permanent marker, draw a face to make it look like a jack o’ lantern. These pumpkins in disguise will pump up the party with a healthy dose of Vitamin C.
When it comes down to it, children like to play with their food, maybe even more than they like character-dressed, sugar-filled candies, cakes and cookies. This year say goodbye to the wicked witch who brings in the artificial colors, chemicals and supped up sugar foods and say hello to the nutrition fairy who wants only healthy alternatives to ease the crazy holiday season.
R.I.P. unhealthy classroom snacks.
Brandi Thompson RD, LD/N is a nutrition expert (aka Registered Dietitian) with 11 years experience. When she is not coaching adults and children with their nutrition and wellness needs, she is a stay at home mom of 2 young children. Read more from Brandi Thompson: www.abcdeatright.blogspot.com, www.abcdeatright.com or www.OnANutritionMission.com