Halloween needn’t be full of junk food – too many sweets aren’t good for kids, and dealing with hyper children isn’t much fun for parents either.
Aim to get a good dinner into your kids before they go trick or treating. Why not try our spooky recipes – great for children and adults alike!
Using coloured spaghetti if you can find it – make some bolognese and use either meatballs or mini-mozzerella balls for eyeballs or other body “bits”.
- Carve some pumpkin faces in peppers and cut off the tops
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Bake them for 20 minutes (gas mark 6/200C/180C fan)
- Make spaghetti bolognese, mix pasta with your sauce and serve it in the peppers
- Orange peppers can be made to look just like pumpkins and red ones are good for making devils
Mashed Potato Ghosts
Shape mashed potatoes into ghosts and use seeds for eyes!
Find a soup recipe that has a bright colour – for example, spinach or tomato soup. Pretend that the soup is a witches brew. Simple! If you want to make it a bit more freaky, add cooked spaghetti strands to the tomato soup and pretend that they’re worms. Accompany with some healthy homemade chips and a poached egg or some grilled chicken.
Dump the Junk Food
Your child might collect up to 7000 calories worth of junk food at Halloween – a 45 kg child would have to play basketball continuously for almost 15 hours to burn off this amount of junk food!
OK, a few extra sweets at Halloween is not a disaster, but learning to gorge on sweets may have an effect on their health. With so many children above a healthy weight, parents are completely justified in controlling the amount of sweets that kids eat!
Don’t feel bad about restricting junk food – your kids can still have a blast without eating bucketloads of cheap sugary sweets.
Fill Them Up!
Make sure your kids have had a proper dinner before they go out – trick or treating on an empty stomach is a disaster waiting to happen. If they are full, they’ll eat less junk.
Coins Not Candy
Kids love money, so instead of handing out sweets and junk food, give coins to your trick or treaters. You could also use pens, spooky cheap key-rings or Halloween stickers.
Managing the Treat Bags
Talk to your kids about the amount of sweets they’re allowed and when. Make sure that they know why there are limits being put in place. Here are a few ways to manage treat bags:
- Limit the amount of things they have to a certain number a day/week, and a certain time.
- Agree to throw out certain type of sweets from the bags
- Tell them about the “Switch Witch” – a good witch who comes to the house late at night and takes the sweets but leaves little presents behind like stickers and glitter pens.
Remember, as a parent, you are the boss! While there can be room for discussion on treat rationing, you have the final say.