The Healthy Side of Halloween Snacking

1782895317_cf72876a0d_bThe upcoming Halloween holiday may often appear to be an all-out sugar festival, but your team at the office of Gregory A. Williams, DMD, your SW portland dentist of choice, believes that it’s possible to have a good time on Halloween and stay healthy. While we know how important it is that kids enjoy Halloween— including the indulgence in some sugary snacking– the truth is, eating a lot of sugar can harm kids’ oral health.

We’re not asking our pediatric patients to quit sugar or stay in from Trick-or-Treating! We’d just like to suggest some fun snacking options that can provide a healthy alternative– or complement– to the season’s feast of sweets.

Parents: here are some quick, easy, and fun Halloween snacks that you can make at home with your kids!

Pumpkin eggs

Don’t let the name confuse you. These are actually just deviled eggs dressed up as pumpkins. Make your deviled center in the same way that you always do, but this time add a touch of orange food dye. Fill your eggs and gently carve lines (like the lines you see on a pumpkin) using a toothpick. A snippet of chive can be used for the tiny pumpkin stalk, and voila! a tiny pumpkin– that tastes like the delicious deviled eggs your kids love.

Stuffed Jack-o-Lanterns

This is more of a meal than a snack, but it’s so cute we couldn’t resist! Make your favorite stuffed pepper recipe (or find a good one here). But, before you pop all that yummy filling into your pepper shell, treat the pepper like it is a tiny, savory pumpkin loaded with vitamin A, and carve a spooky face into the outside! Then, stuff and bake as usual. Guaranteed to make a favorable impression on small ghouls and goblins.

Zombie “finger-food”

This snack takes the “finger” in finger-food literally. First make tiny finger-shaped sandwiches out of your typical PB&J by cutting off the crust and making long strips– you can even slash partway through the sandwiches to make realistic looking knuckles if you want! Then, garnish the ends with one almond each to make a fingernail. Finally, at the other end add a glob of extra jelly, then tell your small audience (or kitchen “helpers”) that he or she can have some disembodied zombie fingers for a snack. Never unpopular, except with real zombies.

Experiment with shapes

Get into the season with all sorts of food by using cookie cutters or a paring knife to create creepy, fun, and festive Halloween treats out of healthy food! Trick-or-Treat isn’t just for one night only– offer your small one a skull made out of a cucumber, carrot stick “witches” fingers, or low-fat cheese slices cookie-cuttered into monster shapes! They may be “tricked” into eating healthy food, but the fun makes it a real treat!

At the office of Gregory A. Williams, DMD, we know that great oral health sometimes involves getting creative– like making your own fun treats for the holidays. What’s your favorite fun way of keeping your smile healthy? We’d love to hear about it at your next visit to our Tigard, OR, office! We look forward to seeing you.

Photo Credit: Vicki & Chuck Rogers via Compfight cc

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