Halloween is such a fun occasion that it's a shame that it has to last only one night....or does it?
This year, consider spreading out the festivities by adding some creative touches to your food throughout the whole week (or even month!) to celebrate. If you do want to spread things out, it's a good idea to mix in some savory things as well as the traditional Halloween sweet treats-- after all, if the kids gorge themselves on cupcakes and candy corn for days and weeks leading up to Halloween, they might not have that adorably rabid desire for candy on the big night (plus there's that whole juvenile diabetes thing you want to avoid...) The great thing about Halloween treats is that there are so many ways to use things already in your pantry to make fun and creative food for you and your family to enjoy (and it's amazing how effective it is at getting otherwise picky kids to clean their plates):
FRUITS AND VEGGIES
This great veggie cat plate from Rachel Howden looks complicated at first, but when you see that it's basically a bunch of veggies just swirled around the plate topped off with a bowl of dip for the head, you realize the hardest part is actually cutting everything up (and in a pinch, of course, you can always purchase everything pre-cut):
Adding things like eyeballs, teeth, etc. make for a spooky-yet-fun treat with things you'd like your kids to have all the time, like these monster apple bites from Fork and Beans made with apple and strawberry slices, sunflower butter, sunflower seeds (for the teeth), and googly eyes:
Also check out their site for a separate tutorial on how to make your own edible googly eyes like these that can be added to pretty much anything for a Halloween-y touch:
These fun spider sandwiches from Foodlets are a great way to turn your regular sandwich routine into a silly snack even little fingers will be reaching for. Use peanut butter and jelly, cream cheese, or any sticky filling to create this charming (and healthy) snack:
These super-cute cheese pretzel broomsticks from One Little Project are great as a healthy side dish, snack, etc. and are surprisingly easy to make (it's basically just some cuts of string cheese stuck on pretzels with a string of chives for decoration, but the finished look is fantastic):
LUNCH AND DINNER
They aren't exactly health food, but these adorable hot dog mummies from seakettle are a fun main dish option and much less complicated than they look at first glance-- all you need to do is slice up some sheets of Pillsbury crescent dough with a pizza cutter, wrap them around the hot dogs, bake, and voila! (And of course don't forget the finishing touch of some tiny ketchup or mustard eyes.)
Another fun lunch or dinner idea is these spiderweb pizzas made with some English muffins, marinara sauce, and thinly sliced mozzarella strips (note the clever use of olives to make the spiders):
If you really want a dinnertime wow factor that you don't have to spend a lot of time or money on, think about serving these monster hamburgers using dark bread rolls, eyeball toothpicks, and cheese cut into jagged shapes for the teeth (make sure to add some ketchup drips down the side if you want a truly ravenous-looking monster burger):
These are just a handful of examples of the many, many things you can do throughout the whole Halloween season to feed your own little guys and ghouls-- after all, one of the best parts of being a grownup is that you can make the fun last as long as you like!