Ghoulishly Healthy Halloween Snacks

No trick: These treats will help scare candy cravings away

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD

It's Halloween week, and that candy you've bought to be prepared for the kids is slowly devouring your best intentions. What can do you to fight off those ghastly urges? Give yourself permission to eat something healthy that's still in the spirit of the day.

Here are four yummy "treats" that will help "trick" your taste buds and satisfy even the most diehard lover of Halloween.

Pumpkin Cracker Snacks

10 reduced-fat wheat crackers (reduced-fat Triscuits can also be used)
10 thin slices of reduced-fat cheddar cheese
5 or more slices of light salami or sliced deli turkey
10 slices of black olives (if desired)

  • Set out 10 wheat crackers on serving plate.
  • Carve out 10 pumpkins from the slices of cheddar cheese using an open 2-inch pumpkin cookie cutter. Set a pumpkin on each cracker.
  • Carve a half slice of salami into two eyes, a nose and a mouth and place on the cheese pumpkin. You can use a black olive slice for the mouth if desired.
  • Serve and ENJOY!

Makes 5 servings (2 crackers each)

Per serving: 96 calories, 8 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 1 g fiber, 250 mg sodium.

Trick or Treat Trail Mix

This is a great snack if you are on the go on Halloween afternoon.

1 cup of pretzel sticks or mini pretzel twists
1 cup of reduced-fat cheese crackers (such as Reduced Fat Cheese Nips)
1 cup lightly salted roasted or party peanuts (or similar nut)
1 cup orange or black dried fruit (raisins or dried apricots or dried peaches)
1/2 cup Halloween M&Ms (optional)

  • Combine all the ingredients in a big bowl and toss to mix well.
  • Use a 1/2 cup measure to scoop out 1/2 cup of the mixture into a zip-top or plastic bag. Tie the ends closed with orange and black curling ribbon or decorative wire.

Makes 9 (1/2 cup) bags

Per serving: 213 calories, 6 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 2.5 g fiber, 227 mg sodium.

Monster Fingers and Green Goblin Goo

1 cup baby carrots
About 10 pitted black olives (cut in half lengthwise)
1/4 cup light cream cheese
1 cup celery sticks (and/or 1 cup lightly micro-cooked and chilled asparagus spears if desired)
1/4 cup almond slices
3 drops green food coloring
1 cup jicama sticks
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup bottled light ranch dressing (i.e. Light Done Right)
5 drops (add more if desired) green food coloring

  • Glue a black olive half onto each baby carrot using cream cheese as the glue. Arrange on serving plate.
  • Add almond slices to a small zip-top bag and sprinkle 3 drops of green food coloring over the top, seal well, and shake like crazy to color the almond slices green. Glue a green almond slice onto each celery stick or asparagus spear using cream cheese as the glue. Arrange on serving plate with the carrot fingers.
  • Glue a large dried cranberry onto each jicama stick using cream cheese as the glue. You can add red spots on the jicama stick with red food coloring if desired. Arrange them on the serving plate with the rest of the monster fingers
  • Add the ranch dressing to a dip bowl. Stir in 5 drops of green food coloring--mix by hand until well blended. Serve it with the monster fingers!

Makes 6 servings

Per serving: 95 calories, 3 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 5.5 g fat, 3 g fiber, 216 mg sodium.

Spooky Sandwich Bites

Use an assortment of Halloween cookie cutters, white and wheat bread, and the two types of sandwich spreads below to make a plate of spooky sandwich bites. I like to use leftover BBQ chicken breasts for the chicken spread.

Roasted Chicken Spread:

2 roasted chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/4 cup light cream cheese (fat-free cream cheese can be substituted)

Cheddar Cheese Spread:

8 ounces reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or grated
8 ounces light or nonfat cream cheese
9 slices special recipe white or whole wheat or cracked wheat bread

  • Decide which spread you would like to make. Cut the bread slices into interesting shapes such as pumpkins, witch hats, and cats using cookie cutters. Press cookie cutter onto 1 slice of bread at a time. If bread doesn't cut all the way, use a plastic knife to cut around the cookie cutter. Make sure you make two of every shape (to make a sandwich).
  • For chicken spread, add the chicken pieces, mayonnaise, and cream cheese to a food processor. Pulse the food processor until ingredients are blended well and are spreadable.
  • For cheese spread, add grated cheese and cream cheese to food processor. Pulse the food processor until ingredients are blended well and are spreadable.
  • Spread some of the chicken or cheddar cheese spread on one of the bread shapes. Cover with the second piece of bread in the same shape. Repeat with other bread shapes.

One spread recipe makes about 12 mini sandwiches.

Per 3 roasted chicken spread mini sandwiches: 259 calories, 21 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fat, 3 g fiber, 474 mg sodium.

Per 3 cheese spread mini sandwiches: 356 calories, 29 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat, 3.5 g fiber, 870 mg sodium.

Originally published Oct. 24, 2003
Medically updated Oct. 7, 2005.

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