Happy Halloween

Happy family with children preparing halloween food. Children with mother preparing festive dinner on halloween holiday.


Halloween might just be my favorite holiday. All of the excitement surrounding costumes, decorations and chocolate goodies makes my heart sing! Although I don’t go trick-or-treating anymore, I do still love to hand out treats at my door…here are some tips for you at home:


Non-food treats: Create a safe environment by handing out glow-sticks, stickers, toothbrushes, fancy pencil toppers, bookmarks and coloring books.

Handling candy at home

  • Keep candy in a location only accessible to you. Consider giving away the candy or disposing of it after a few days.
  • Inventory the Halloween treats for forbidden and safe treats; allow a few pieces on Halloween night.
  • Give one piece of candy along with a healthy food such as fresh fruit or at the conclusion of a healthy lunch or dinner.
  • Always brush your teeth after eating candy – perhaps there is a new toothbrush in your Halloween bag!

Having a Halloween party?

This is a great opportunity to offer better-for-you Halloween treats parents and kids can enjoy together.

  • Veggie and cheese kabobs – garnish serving tray with plastic spiders, bugs, and bats!
  • Pick up mini Halloween candy bags and fill with home-made trail mix. Combine dried fruits such cranberries, apricots & raisins with granola and dark chocolate pieces.
  • Invite your guests to make their own chocolate covered apples and dip in pecan pieces, coconut, or cereal.
  • Bake quick breads such as zucchini and banana bread – add apples, pears or dried fruits for extra sweetness and nutrients.
  • Incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables such as pumpkin and apples. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, baked apples, apple cider are all popular choices.
  • Party activity ideas: decorating pumpkins, dunking for apples, costume contest, pin the heart on the scarecrow, face painting and decorating cookies or cupcakes.


Spider Popcorn Balls

Recipe Created by Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

Makes:  24 “Spider” servings


  • 9 cups 94% Fat-Free Popcorn (about 1 microwave bag)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag miniature marshmallows
  • 24 black licorice twists
  • 48 Chocolate Kisses
  • 24 Jelly Beans (preferably red color)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds (unsalted)
  • Unsweetened Cocoa powder for dusting
  • Cooking spray


  1. Place popcorn in a large bowl, set aside.
  2. In a medium size saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over low heat. Stir occasionally.
  3. Pour melted butter and marshmallows over popcorn, toss to coat.
  4. When cool enough to handle, spray palms of hands with non-stick cooking spray, quickly shape mixture into 24 (2-inch) balls.
  5. To make the legs, cut 1 licorice twist in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 3 smaller pieces. Press 3 pieces into each side of the popcorn ball.
  6. To make the eyes, press unwrapped Hershey® kiss into front of the popcorn ball. Cut one jelly bean in half, press to the center of chocolate. Press 2 slivered almonds below eyes to form the fangs.
  7. Lightly dust with cocoa powder for chocolate spiders.

Nutrition Facts: Per 1 spider: 128 Calories; 3g total fat; 2g Saturated fat;  7mg Cholesterol; 125mg Sodium; 25g  total carbohydrates; 1g Protein