Dietitian’s Corner: Have a Happy, Healthy Halloween

A young child in a skeleton costume holding a pumpkin

Created by: By Allison Kuhn MS, RD, LD

Without thinking too hard, fill in this blank: “Halloween ____________.” Did you think of candy? If so, you’re not alone! A major part of any Halloween celebration is collecting and enjoying super sweet treats, especially when little ones are involved.

Despite the longtime sugary partnership between Halloween and sweets of all sorts, there are some creative ways to incorporate fruits, veggies and even whole grains into your Halloween party spread and your trick-or-treat plan.

  • Turn your cut veggies into a crazy skeleton tray! Garnish a bowl of white veggie dip with a couple of olives for eyes, then line up cucumber slices for the spine, red pepper strips for the ribs and mushrooms for the pelvis. Finally, use carrots and celery for the arms and legs, and don’t forget to position the limbs bending this way and that.
  • Halloween is the perfect time to stock your kitchen with fresh avocados. Their fantastic nutrition and their festive green color make them a great ingredient for healthy Halloween food. You can use ripe avocados in place of mayonnaise when making deviled eggs to give them an eerie green tint. Use little strips of red pepper to give your deviled eggs miniature horns.
  • Sneak in some additional fruit servings by making candy corn fruit parfaits. In a clear, tall shot glass, layer diced pineapple or mango, diced orange slices and a dollop of whipped cream. Top with a single candy corn and serve immediately. For a savory version, try layering sweet corn with cubed and roasted butternut squash. Top with light sour cream mixed with chopped fresh thyme. Chocolate-covered strawberries are another great fruity party treat. Get creative with festive sprinkles for decoration.
  • When it comes to the candy that will inevitably be around in the weeks and months following Halloween, it’s best to keep it out of sight and out of mind! You may want to start a candy drawer that is only accessible during special occasions or as a reward, or portion out candy in lunchboxes until it’s gone.