Is it almost Halloween time again? How did that happen? I swear I still have some candy I took from my kids last Halloween stashed in the back of a kitchen cabinet. If your kids are anything like mine, they a) love everything about Halloween and b) have no idea you are eating their candy. Sure, trick-or-treating is usually the highlight of Halloween for kids, but decorating, pumpkin carving and enjoying Halloween snacks are also special. But who has the time, energy and talent to whip up creative and creepy Halloween snacks? No mom that I know. If you want to surprise and delight your kids (and are a fan of shortcuts), you'll love these simple Halloween treats.
1. Ghost Cheese
Sometimes kids seem to survive off of string cheese, but that might change after you creep them out with these. All you need is some string cheese and a permanent marker. No years of culinary training required here! Let it sit out for a few minutes after taking it out of the refrigerator. Some condensation will appear on the plastic wrapper. Wipe it off and then draw a ghost face on the wrapper. If you try and draw the face before doing this, the marker will streak and won’t adhere well to the wrapper.
2. Jack-O’-Lantern Fruit Cups
Turn orange fruit cups into grimacing jack-o’-lanterns! Again, all you need is a permanent market (and a little imagination). And I have to say, decorating these fruit cups seems to make the fruit a lot more appealing, at least with my kids. Usually when they see fruit cups, they complain (immediately) as kids do when they sense you are giving them something healthy. But when they saw these, they couldn't wait to eat their oranges. Wonder what I can use to draw faces on wrapperless Brussels sprouts…
3. Bewitching Fingers
Witch hands don’t sound particularly appetizing. Gnarled fingers, warts and long, jagged nails don't exactly make you want to snack. But what if said witch hands were made from popcorn and jelly beans? That changes things, now doesn’t it. For this tasty treat you will need clear plastic gloves, popcorn, jelly beans or candy corn, and rubber bands.
Take an empty glove and drop a jelly bean or piece of candy corn into each finger. This will be the witch's “nails.” I chose black jelly beans because they look pretty gnarly … and I’m not a big fan of licorice-flavored jelly beans, so I was hoping to pawn them off on my kids. Green jelly beans would work too, as would multicolored candy corn. Once the "nails" are in place, pour some popcorn into each finger of the glove and fill the glove nearly to the top, leaving enough room at the top to wrap it securely with a rubber band.
4. Banana Ghosts
The trickiest part of these banana ghosts is making them before the bananas sitting on your counter start to turn brown. Once that happens, your ghosts will have spots on them and appear bruised. And no kid wants to eat a bruised ghost. So peel some fresh bananas and cut them in half. Press three chocolate chips into each banana half to make eyes and a mouth. Now if only I knew why ghosts don’t have noses.
5. Orange Patch
If you can peel an orange then you can make this fun pumpkin snack, or a whole patch of them! You just need some small oranges (clementines or mandarins) and celery.
After you peel the orange, cut a 1-inch piece of celery and insert it into the top. That's it! You now have a healthy snack sure to make your little ghoul smile. Or at least smile until they get to the celery. Then they’ll make THAT face and ask if they can throw away the celery. Or give it to the dog. Or bury it in the yard. Hey, at least you tried to make celery cute and appealing.
6. Terrible Teeth
An apple a day … can scare the kids into going to the dentist. Or so that’s my hope with this Halloween snack. Cut a slice out of a red apple. You should be able to get four slices out of an apple. Cut a smaller section out of the slice you just cut out, so that the slice looks like an open mouth.
Push slivered almonds into the top and bottom of the apple, near the peel, to resemble teeth. Slivered almonds are really necessary to make the Terrible Teeth work. All different shapes and sizes really up the creep factor. Another option is cutting the apple into thinner slices, spreading peanut butter on one slice, and perching the other slice on top so it looks like an open mouth. Then stick the slivered almonds or even white jelly beans in the peanut butter so they look like teeth.
These Halloween treats are perfect to serve kids before or after trick-or-treating. They’re also pretty healthy options compared to the buckets of candy your child will be consuming on Halloween day. You don’t need to be a professional chef to make any of these or spend hours in the kitchen. But my favorite thing about these treats is that they serve as great distractions … your kids will never notice you digging through their Halloween candy.