Halloween is an incredibly fun time of year that's perfect for bringing friends together. Kids and parents alike love celebrating this spook-tastic season. This is a great time of year for sweet treats and fun--but it's also a time of year when good eating habits can slip, making it harder to keep up with the good eating habits you've worked so hard to establish over the spring and summer. It's time to throw a Halloween party that focuses on both health and fun, allowing you to keep your ghoulish figure while enjoying a fantastic party.
The Importance of Healthy Eating at Your Halloween Party
Healthy snack ideas: they don't have to be the bane of your Halloween party! Bringing healthy snacks to your Halloween bash can help prevent the dreaded sugar high and crash, keeping your younger guests on a more even keel throughout your holiday celebrations. There are several reasons why it's critical to maintain your healthy eating perspective throughout your exciting Halloween celebration. Consider:
It's never just one party. There's "one party" at school, "one round" of trick-or-treating (or several, depending on timing throughout your community, and "one party" with friends and family members. When the holiday season comes roaring in there are even more opportunities to forget those healthy eating habits.
Kids are creatures of habit. When you establish healthy eating routines, they'll be more likely to reach for those healthy snacks.
You get a chance to show kids that healthy eating can be fun--and yummy!--too. Colorful wrappers and fun characters entice kids into unhealthy eating habits at many Halloween parties and events. If you make healthy eating fun, you can show the kids in your life that healthy eating isn't dull and boring.
Planning Your Party
Okay, so it's time to set the stage for your Halloween party. Ask yourself these key questions.
How many kids are coming? How many adults? The number of people you have attending your party can significantly impact what you're able to do throughout the event. You want to have plenty of treats on hand for everyone.
How are you going to keep the kids entertained? If you're inviting adults to your party, you might want some time for some “adult fun”. (Time for cocktails!) Try some of these great ideas to keep the kids laughing while you have a little fun together, too.
- Offer pumpkins to paint. There are no knives involved, and the kids can have a blast! If you do the painting outside, adult supervision is minimal.
- Construct a hay bale maze. This is a great way to get the kids moving and burn off some of that energy they inevitably cultivate.
- Bowl with pumpkins. Set up two-liter bottles and roll pumpkins down to the end of the lane for a spooky finish!
- Consider a fun, kid-friendly move: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, or other family-friendly favorites are sure to be a hit.
- Create a fun witch's hat ring toss game.
- Hold spider races for the little ones. (Don't worry: there are no real spiders involved!)
- Design a spider web and let kids navigate it. You can construct it out of yarn or create a web out of masking tape on the floor. Don't step on the web, or the spider will come out!
Set Your Menu
Now we get to the treats. It's time to create the menu for your party--and apart from the games, this may be the most memorable part of your event. As you're setting your table, there are plenty of things to keep in mind.
Include principles of healthy snacking basics. You're probably setting up a table of food for your event, allowing guests to munch at will. Keep these healthy snacking basics in mind:
- Offer several types of nutrients. This may include some carbs, some protein, and some fruits and vegetables.
- Provide small portion sizes. This will allow everyone to sample many of the dishes you've made available.
- Keep the sugar in check. Sure, there are plenty of fun Halloween snacks available that are filled with sugar, but that doesn't make them the right choice for your party!
Ask about food concerns and allergies. Do you have guests, especially young ones, who are sensitive to dyes? What about guests with food allergies? If you have a general idea of what dietary requirements your guests have, you can create a better menu that's more likely to fit everyone.
Prepare a variety. You never know what your guests will like and what they won't!
Prep Spooktacular Ideas for Your Party
Try some of these healthy ideas to create a memorable Halloween party for all of your guests.
- Create "ghosts" out of strawberries dipped in yogurt and frozen, with little chocolate eyes and mouths
- Design a jack-o-lantern veggie platter that will get even your young guests excited about the vegetables
- Construct small, individual servings of fruit: Frankenstein's monster grape cups or mandarin orange cups with jack-o-lantern faces drawn on, for example
- Add Bobo's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Bites or Apple Pie Stuff'd Bites to the table
- Carve up a watermelon as a Halloween monster.
- Use mini chocolate chips to turn bananas into ghosts
- Serve up cheese sticks with marker ghost faces drawn on
- Construct "spider" peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with pretzel stick legs
Serving up the perfect Halloween party doesn't have to be monstrously difficult--nor does it have to lead to a scary sugar crash. With these fun party ideas and a few healthy eating guidelines, you can create a fun and scrumptious Halloween party that will have everyone eagerly anticipating a repeat for next year.