I stepped across a Rastafari wig, sidestepped a purple plastic pumpkin, and slipped on a sparkly pink cape before I reached the kitchen to start making dinner. Halloween with children is complete and utter chaos. I’ve grown to accept this as truth, as it proves itself, again and again, year after year.
Some years I barely get a pizza ordered or pick up fast food. But other years I put in the time to whip up a healthy, Halloween themed dinner. The years I feed my kids nutritious dinner before the festivities begin are always the smoothest, most fun Halloweens. It’s worth it to plan ahead and make dinner part of the fun!
The key is it must be easy. We’re not cooking a turkey all day or slicing a whole ham. Healthy food in fun Halloween fashion made quickly is the greatest trick on October 31. Here are some easy ideas to try this year!
What’s creepier than your food staring back at you? I love this recipe because I know my kids love spaghetti and I can cook it in under 10 minutes, especially if I have my homemade pasta sauce on hand. The eyeballs are easy to make with fresh mozzarella balls for the best orbs or sliced string cheese for a cheaper and still super fun eyeball effect. Use black olives to fashion pupils, and you’ve got a delectable meal staring back at you!
Mummy Hot Dogs
Another one of my favorites! I’ve made these for several years, and they never get old. Get a canister of dough (the croissant is our favorite) and slice it into thin strips to wrap the hot dogs up like mummies. Bake in the oven according to the dough instructions for a mummifying effect! Eyeballs are optional; these mummies look and taste spooktacular without them. I usually just add two drops of mustard or ketchup for the eyes if I have time. Be sure to serve some veggies on the side!
Spider Web Pizza
Make your own pizza night is a hit around here, so we know it doesn’t take too long to make these. Just grab your favorite crust, sauce, toppings, and cheese! For the web, slice string cheese (which is mozzarella, by the way) down the long side for a perfect spider string. Don’t be fooled thinking you can’t put other toppings on this – just put a layer of sauce on top before you build your web for the spookiest effect!
I can always count on my kids to eat a quesadilla. These don’t take too long to make because the most challenging step (and the most fun) is cutting shapes out of the top tortilla! The most popular is the jack-o-lantern, but I like to make vampires too! If I’m really tight on time, I just use Halloween cookie cutters to cut shapes from the tortilla. The effect is equally impressive. Then just load up with your favorite healthy quesadilla ingredients.
Soup and Snakes
My kids adore tomato soup, which fits well with Halloween simply because it’s the same color as blood. Whatever soup your family enjoys will go well with these snaky breadsticks! These are simple to make: use premade breadsticks and shape them around skewers before baking! Add two drops of mustard for the eyes and slice some red bell pepper for the tongue, and voila! Halloween snakes!
The internet is full of delicious and healthy Halloween food ideas. Some fun but time-consuming ideas to imagine are Jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers (especially with worms for brains), bloody fingers fashioned out of hot dogs, and creepy feet loaf. Maybe someday Halloween won’t be so chaotic, and I can spend more time on dinner, but probably by then my kids will be gone and it just won’t be the same without the little giggles enjoying the creepy food. For now, I’ll just revel in the chaos that is Halloween and use the easiest of recipes for maximum effect. Happy Halloween dinner!