Trick-or-treat yourself this Halloween! Usually a holiday with monstrous temptations lurking around the corner — chocolate, candies, and delectable desserts — there are ways to make Haloween healthy.
From experience, we know it’s hard to resist these sugary treats at this time of year so what we suggest is… don’t. At 8fit our nutrition philosophy is to enjoy all foods, even unhealthy ones, in moderation. We’re not suggesting that you sit down with your child’s entire bag of Halloween candy, but instead, enjoy one or two small pieces per day.
Healthy Halloween snacks and candies
If you choose to indulge in Halloween candy, it’s important to know that some are better than others. In a perfect world, we would avoid all temptations of processed, sugary snacks, but it’s alright to have a taste or two here and there. Below are our top healthy Halloween snacks choices.
- Plain dark chocolate: Luckily, kids don’t always love this one. So, if your little ghouls and goblins don’t want their dark chocolate goodies, go ahead and keep them for yourself.
- Organic treats: Shop organic brands like Justin’s, Smart Sweets, Wholesome, and UnReal.
- Covered nuts: Chocolate or yogurt-covered nuts are a great Halloween snack to munch on. The protein and fat in the nuts help balance the sugar (carbs) in the sweet coating, keeping your blood sugar levels stable.
- Savory snacks: Candies aren’t the only thing handed out during trick-or-treating. If you can, choose savory popcorn, apple chips, pea crisps or chickpea snacks. As always, check the ingredient list for processed ingredients and be aware of ones you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce.
- Homemade treats from that health-conscious friend: Who’s that friend or colleague that’s always bringing meal-prepped food to work or baking healthy treats for school bake sales? Well, that’s most likely the best person to get in touch with for Halloween desserts made with natural sweeteners and nutritious flours.
Tips for a healthy Halloween
If you’re looking for ways to enjoy a healthier Halloween without indulging in candy or fresh-baked goods, we have some tips and keep scrolling for our three spookified 8fit classics. We took 8fitter’s favorite recipes and dressed them up for Halloween.
1. Don’t buy the treats
If you don’t have kids dragging a bag-full of trick-or-treat candy home, it’s a little easier to avoid confectionery delights during the Halloween season. Sure, there’ll still be temptations at work, school, and social events, but you’ll prevent mindlessly snacking on sweets at home if it’s simply not there.
2. Don’t overbuy for trick-or-treating
When trick-or-treaters knock on your door, it’s hard not to snack on that candy bowl as you wait for the doorbell to ring. First of all, don’t overbuy. Think about how many trick-or-treaters you had last year and get just enough. And, if you know you’ll still be tempted, leave the bowl outside for trick-or-treaters to grab on their own.
3. Fill up before trick-or-treating
To our trick-or-treating parents: Don’t go hungry! The moment you feel hungry, you’ll end up reaching into that bag of candy. Another tip for you trick-or-treaters, pack some herbal tea or mocktails in a thermos to sip on along the way as your kids collect their sweet stash.
4. Portion candy out
This one goes for you and your kids — don’t dive into that trick-or-treat bag aimlessly and instead, portion candy out for a week or two. This’ll extend Halloween on (which your kids will love) and ensures that everyone in the house practices moderation and dodges dangerous sugar crashes.
5. Share or save it!
Have a birthday coming up? Take the candy you or your kids dislike and set it aside for a piñata or party favor. No birthdays? No problem. Share the candy with colleagues or friends. If you feel bad giving unhealthy treats away, think about donating any excess candy to a homeless shelter.
3 Healthy Halloween snacks from 8fit
Many 8fitters, especially the ones trying out a healthy meal plan for the first time, will fall in love with 8fit’s Banana Pancakes with Topping. The pancakes are easy to personalize, making healthy breakfast on a chaotic morning a breeze. To turn these pancakes into a scary Halloween character and get creative with those toppings. We used fruits, nuts, and seeds to create vampire faces. As glue, we used a little extra nut butter, but that’s optional. The recipe below makes two, 400-calorie servings.
Vampire banana pancakes
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- 2 bananas (1 ½ for the recipe, ½ for decoration)
- 3 whole eggs
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp nut butter of your choice
- Decorations: 2 strawberries, ½ cup blueberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews
- Place 1 ½ banana in a bowl and mash.
- Stir in the eggs, oats, and cinnamon.
- Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over low heat.
- Drop 2-3 tablespoons of the pancake batter from the blender into the heated pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Repeat step 4 until no batter is left and separate the pancakes into two equal stacks.
- Decorate your two pancake stacks using the nut butter as glue. We recommend scary monsters and vampires.
Appetizer or snack
A party isn’t complete without some guac! Turn our 8fit Guacamole and Bean Dip recipe into Dr. Frankenstein’s monster by blending the black beans and using the mixture like a decorative icing. The recipe below makes about six, 200-calorie servings.
Monster guacamole and bean dip
- 30 corn chips (blue corn for added spookiness)
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup yogurt, plain and unsweetened (save a small amount for the eyeballs)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 cup black beans, cooked and drained
- 1 cup corn, cooked
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh. Place the avocado in a medium bowl and mash. Add the lime juice, yogurt, half of the seasonings (garlic powder, salt, pepper). Mash again until smooth. (Note: Leave about 1 Tbsp of yogurt to one side for decorating the monster’s eyeballs.)
- Wash and chop the tomato. Add the tomato, beans, corn, cilantro, and remaining seasonings to a food processor or blender. Place about half of the blended black bean mixture into a sandwich bag for decorating.
- Spread the other half of the black bean dip on the bottom of a serving dish (small and rectangular if possible). Add the avocado mash on top of the black bean layer. Next, cut a small hole in the corner of your sandwich bag and pipe your monster’s face and hair. Use the remaining yogurt for the white of the eyeballs. (Get creative: Use extra corn, beans or cilantro for decorations.)
Give this a go:
Lunch or dinner
This recipe makes two, 400-calorie servings — perfect served as a main when the Monster Guacamole and Bean Dip recipe above is your appetizer. We chose to use orange bell peppers, but if you can’t find those in your market, red or green peppers also do the job.
Jack-o-lantern couscous & beef stuffed peppers
- ½ cup couscous, dry and whole grain
- 2 Tbsp scallions, chopped
- 2 orange bell peppers
- 5 oz ground beef
- ½ tsp Mexican spice blend
- 1 ½ oz feta cheese
- 2 dried apricots, chopped (2 dates, plums or prunes; 15 golden raisins)
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Slice the tops off your bell peppers and hollow them out.
- In a bowl or pot, pour boiling water over the couscous according to the package directions.
- Once the couscous absorbs the water, add the scallions, ground beef (uncooked), crumbled feta, dried apricots, and seasonings.
- Scoop the couscous and beef mixture into the hollowed-out pepper and place the pepper tops back on, and bake for 50 to 55 minutes until tender.
- To turn these into jack-o-lanterns, let them cool slightly. Then, using a sharp knife, cut triangles and a toothy smile.
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