Oral Health Buzz
Healthy Halloween Treats: Low Sugar Alternatives To Sweets
When it comes to tooth decay on Halloween, the focus is generally on trick-or-treating and candy, but with parties and festivals galore, there are plenty of other sweet indulgences over the holiday that could cause dental health problems. The good news is there are a lot of fun, healthy Halloween treats that make great alternatives to the ghoulishly sugar-filled platters of cupcakes and cookies.
Skip the wax lips in favor of these healthy and arguably better-tasting monster mouths made from apples. First cut an unpeeled, green apple into large wedges. Then cut a groove in the center of the peel-side of the wedge to make the opening of the mouth. Stuff the groove with peanut or almond butter and then top it with almond slivers or chopped peanuts to create the effect of crooked teeth poking out.
Cheese Stick Fingers
This treat is super simple to make, and kids will have a lot of fun eating it. Make some ghoulish fingers out of cheese sticks, bell peppers and cream cheese. First cut each cheese stick in half and then cut a few small notches on one end to make a knuckle. On the opposite end, attach a small square piece of red or green bell pepper for the fingernail. You can secure it in place with a dab of cream cheese.
Make a boring veggie platter more spook-tacular by arranging the veggies in the shape of a skeleton. Use celery stalks and carrot sticks for legs and arms, cucumber slices for a spine, and bell pepper slices or carrot sticks for a rib cage. Arrange some cauliflower and broccoli florets to create a skull on top, using the broccoli for eye sockets and some thin-cut bell pepper strips to form a mouth. For the finishing touch, add a carved out pumpkin on the side and fill it with a healthy dip.
Don't throw away those Halloween cookie cutters just yet; they can actually be used to make a fun and healthy Halloween snack. Simply whip up a batch of your favorite healthy sandwiches and then use the cookie cutters to cut them into spooky shapes like ghosts or bats.
After you've had fun carving jack-o-lanterns, be sure to save the seeds for a simple healthy treat. Wash the seeds, then toss them with some olive oil and salt or other seasoning of your choice. Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make some cute, edible pumpkins out of clementines or oranges. Just peel the clementines completely and stuff a small slice of celery in the top for the pumpkin stem. You can use blue food coloring to create little eyes and a mouth if you like.
Try one or all of these healthy Halloween treats for a fun and nutritious celebration. Get creative with your own ideas, and have your kids get involved with the process. It's always more fun for kids to eat treats they've made themselves, and you'll be teaching them how to create healthy snacks.
Learn more about healthy oral care for children in the Colgate Oral Care resources.
Source: Flickr, terren in Virginia