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5 healthy, kid-approved Halloween treats you can make in 10 minutes

These banana ghosts have to be the easiest “recipe” ever! ?

5 healthy, kid-approved Halloween treats you can make in 10 minutes

As much as I love all the sweet treats that come with Halloween, I have to be mindful of the amount my 4-year-old consumes. Too much sugar is never a good thing with my sweet boy and, let’s face it, I don’t want an astronomical dental bill after Halloween.


The good news is that when you look beyond the candy bar wrapper, there are many fun, healthier recipes to celebrate Halloween.

As a kid, my mom always made Halloween treat substitutes to stick in my lunchbox the weeks before Halloween. I can remember how much of a fun surprise they were: popcorn balls, mini dirt pudding, dipped pretzels… The list goes on and on.

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This year I will be doing the same for my little guy with these five Halloween-inspired treats:

Monster mouths

Ingredients (for 1 serving):

  • 1 apple (any variety)
  • 1 mini marshmallow, cut into fourths
  • Peanut or almond butter (or yogurt if your little one has a nut allergy!)
  • Chewy candy slice, e.g. fruit roll-up, gummy worm, etc.

Instructions:

  1. Slice apples into fourths and remove the seed/core portion.
  2. Cut out a small piece of the front of the apple–this is where your teeth will go. The apple will now resemble a mouth.
  3. Smear a little peanut butter into the area that you just cut out. Stick on the mini marshmallows. Get creative with placement for monsters in need of dental work.
  4. Place the chewy candy piece where a tongue would go and you’ve got monster mouths!

Cutie pumpkins

Ingredients:

  • Cuties or small mandarin oranges
  • Celery stalks

Instructions:

  1. Peel oranges and remove the piths (little white strings).
  2. Cut the smaller part of the celery stalk to make little “stems” on your oranges.
  3. Place celery pieces in the top hole-like portion of your orange and you’ve got some delicious and nutritious pumpkins.

Critters on a log

Ingredients:

  • Celery stalks
  • Peanut or almond butter (or yogurt if your little one has a nut allergy!)
  • Chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • Icing tube–black or brown

Instructions:

  1. Cut the celery into 2-in. pieces.
  2. Spread peanut butter (or spread of choice) into the middle space of each celery stick.
  3. Place chocolate chips onto the sticks.
  4. Using the icing, add small “legs” to the chocolate chips to look like spiders or another type of Halloween creature.

Banana ghosts

Ingredients:

  • Bananas, peeled, cut in half
  • Chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Cut each banana half vertically into long pieces.
  2. Add chocolate chips for eyes and you’ve got some fun little Halloween treats. (Easiest ever, right? ?)

Mini hot dog mummies

Ingredients:

  • Hot dogs
  • Crescent rolls

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut hot dogs in half in the middle and set them aside.
  3. Lay out your crescent roll dough and using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, slice into 1/4-inch strips. Wrap those strips around your hot dogs (like a mummy) and leave a small area, close to the top, open where the face would be.
  4. Bake them on a nonstick pan for 7-10 minutes, closely watching them to make sure the hot dogs don’t over bake.
  5. Take them out, let them cool and serve them with dipping sauce of choice.

All of these treats are simple, easy and a perfect little surprise for the little ones this Halloween. Make them as snacks, take them to a party, stick them in the lunchbox… The options are endless!

This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

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When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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