Archived Story

Tricks for a sweet Halloween treat

Published 4:57pm Saturday, October 27, 2012

In my house, now that it is fall, we find our discussions centering around the holidays.

Which one is up next? How many days until it gets here?

Both of my kids know that Halloween means candy, but they also know that because they get a bucket full of candy, we don’t want them to end up overindulging.

So how do you keep Halloween a fun event without sounding like an un-fun parent?  Here are three key strategies:

•Eat a meal before trick-or-treating. Fill the family up with a meal or snack before heading out the door for trick-or-treating so they are less likely to raid their candy bags before getting home.

Once they get home, the Green Monster Smoothie recipe is a delicious sweet treat to offer while sorting through the treats. And it’s something you can feel good about — after all, it has kale in it.

•At Halloween get-togethers, offer non-candy treats. Treats people might enjoy fruit leather, trail mix, sugar-free gum, coins, pencils, stickers, glow sticks or even rubber spiders and worms. The Skeleton and Brain Dip recipe below is a fun way to encourage vegetables.

Let the kids help create it — a fun activity centered around vegetables and the more likely they are to eat it if they helped make it. Kids won’t be able to stay away from the skeleton — soon they’ll be fighting over who gets the sugar snap pea ribs and the carrot leg bones.

•Talk about how your family will use the rest of the treats. When you do eat treats, try to include them as part of a meal rather than snacking on them between meals.

Agree on an amount of treats to enjoy and decide how long to keep the treats around.  And don’t forget, some local dentists are buying back candy to be shipped to military service men and women — a great way to feel good about giving back some of the candy.

And parents, you aren’t off the hook either. Ninety percent of parents admit to sneaking from their child’s stash after the kids have gone to bed.

Happy Halloween.

Skeleton and Brain dip

All you need

•Lettuce leaves

•1 cup ranch dressing

•2 cups assorted cut-up fresh vegetables, such as bell pepper strips, cucumber slices, sugar snap peas, mushroom slices, celery sticks, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets and cauliflower florets

All you do

1.Line a small bowl with lettuce leaves; fill with dressing. Place near one end of a large platter.

2. Arrange vegetables in a skeleton shape on platter, using the bowl as the head of the skeleton.

*Recipe source:

 Green monster smoothie

All you need

•1 cup kale, leaves only

•1 cup fresh pineapple chunks

•1 cup pineapple juice

•1 frozen ripe banana

•1 avocado

•1 container Hy-Vee Light vanilla yogurt

All you do

1. Combine ingredients in a blender. Process high until smooth.

*Recipe source:  Kimberly Proctor, RD, LD, Hy-Vee dietitian.

Serves 2. Nutrition facts per serving: 210 calories; 7.5 g fat; 40 mg sodium; 33 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 21 g sugars; 4 g protein.


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