by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
It is that time again. The time for all your ghosts, goblins and neighborhood witches to come a knockin’.
Safety Comes First
Be sure your kid’s costumes are flame-resistant. If there is a mask with the costume, be sure they have plenty of breathing room and make sure the mask does not obstruct their view. Comfortable shoes are important to avoid blisters and accessories should be kept to a minimum, the younger the child is.
Be sure and impose the basic rules:
1. If not accompanied by a parent, be sure kids travel in groups.
2. Keep on sidewalks as much as possible. If there are no sidewalks, stay to the extreme side of the road.
3. Carrying a flashlight or glowstick.
4. Reflective stickers can added to costumes and shoes.
5. Visit homes that you know. Most people will keep a light on the front porch as a welcome indicator.
6. Be sure to tell the kids to always be pleasant, courteous and thankful.
7. It is always a good precaution to examine all treats before letting your children eat them to be sure they have not been tampered with. Be sure packaged candies are unopened and fruits and vegetables are in good condition. Cut all fruit in quarters before opening.
8. If you are inviting guests, turn on your front light or decorate your front door to make it inviting to guests. Make sure your front door is not cluttered with objects that children may trip over. If you have pets, be sure they are secured away from the door.
9. Halloween parties at home can alleviate fears of your kids going outside, especially if it happens to be bad weather.
10. Remember: safety comes first.
When finding treats for your guests, you may want to consider low- calorie, low-fat options. Snacks that are fun and good for your kid’s health is a win-win situation. Halloween/holiday packaging has even become more creative in recent years to add to the enticement value. You may want to consider
100% Juice boxes
Cheese and cracker snacks
Organic candied apples
Dark Chocolate treats
Popcorn or popcorn balls
Low sugar cookies, pumpkin muffins or peanut butter drops (see below)
There are great non-food treats you can offer such as rubber spiders or worms, stickers, baseball cards, balloons, crazy top pencils, crayons, colored chalk, comic erasers and whistles.
Make sure all your treats are individually wrapped. Even the non-food goods. If you buy in bulk, you can find great little gift bags you can fill and then close them up with a twist or steam seal. Tag your goodies with a note with your name and address. This eases the mind’s of fellow parents.
These are some great suggestions that the kids can help you make, if you have kids. You can also have a great time making them yourself for your little guests (or even your big guests!)
Scary Pizza Faces
Let kids arrange sliced olives, green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, and other things on English muffins brushed with tomato sauce. Top with grated cheese for “hair” and heat in the microwave or oven until the cheese melts.
Bat Droppings: Peanut Butter Drops
1 jar reduced fat Peanut Butter
1 box confectioner’s sugar
Blend 4 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter with 3 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar. Add a little water of it is too binding. Then drop on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Ghoulish Ghosts: Quick Pumpkin Cupcakes
1 box regular yellow or vanilla cake mix, 2-layer-size
1 Tablespoon oil
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup water or apple juice
1 can ready made frosting or Light Cool Whip
Canned low-fat vanilla frosting
Black or orange jelly beans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray each muffin cup with nonstick cooking spray or use paper cupcake liners. Blend the cake mix with the eggs, oil, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and the water or juice with mixer at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon into the prepared muffin pan. Bake 18 minutes or until done. Cool in pan completely before frosting. Pile the frosting/whip cream very high on the cupcake to resemble a ghost. Kids will love to decorate these cupcakes. Makes about 18 cupcakes.
Monster Brains: Halloween Cereal Balls
1/4 cup Smart Balance margarine or butter
1 package (10 oz.) marshmallows
2 Tablespoons orange-flavored gelatin
6 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup candy corn
Combine margarine and marshmallows in 2-quart glass bowl. Microwave or heat in oven, uncovered, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed. Add orange gelatin; mix until combined. Stir in cereal until well coated. Mix in candy corn. Cool enough to handle. With buttered hands, form mixture into 24 balls. Place on waxed paper until cool. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap for storage. Tips: Pieces of cut black licorice can be substituted for candy corn. Mixture can be pressed into greased 13×9-inch baking pan and cut into squares for serving. Per Serving: 85 calories, 1 g. protein, 2 g. fat, 119 mg. sodium, 0 mg. cholesterol.
Vampire Bites: Garlic Puffs (better for adults)
Make your own dough or substitute homemade dough with ready made pop up croissants or rolls.
Roll out the dough and spoon in fresh or chopped garlic.
Roll them up and place them on a cookie tray.
Place them in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.
Enjoy the holiday!