Celebrate Halloween the Healthy Way

By Megan Hamilton, Nutrition Sciences Intern, Texas A&M University
Reviewed by Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD, Director Community Outreach, CHEF
Edited by Andi Champion, Program Coordinator, CHEF

Does the Halloween sugar rush have you spooked? Skip the store bought, pre-packaged treats and include some homemade healthy options in the mix this year. Whether you’re throwing a Halloween party or just bonding with your family in the kitchen, we’ve rounded up some healthy ideas that are scary good!

“Boonanas”: Simply create this fun snack by cutting a peeled banana in half and add chocolate chips to make a face. Place two mini chocolate chips into the banana, pointy side in, and place one regular sized chocolate chip underneath to make a mouth. Stand the “boonanas” up on plate to serve as a spooky treat!

“Mini Pumpkins”: All you need to do for this snack is to cut a stalk of celery in 1- inch pieces and then cut the stalk in half length wise. Stick the piece of celery in a peeled tangerine to finish the look!

“Witches Broomstick”: Cut a slice of string cheese into thirds and make a fringe on one end by making lengthwise cuts about halfway up. Insert a pretzel stick into the uncut end of the cheese and use a small piece of chive to tie the “broomstick” together.

“Candy Corn” Fruit Cocktail: Use a clear glass and layer pineapple and peeled oranges. Top off the fruit with a dollop of whipped cream and a few pieces of candy corn.

Creating these unique, better-for-you treats is a great way to help start the conversation with your kids about making healthy choices! For more ways to change snacks and meals in your kitchen, check out recipe ideas here.

Please note, these Halloween recipes were found and recreated based off of the links below:

October is National Farm to School Month

By Tori Parsons, RD, Texas A&M University Dietetic Intern
Reviewed by Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD, Director of Community Outreach, CHEF

Celebrate the connection between local food and school nutrition during October’s National Farm to School Month! Farm to school programs are becoming increasingly popular across the United States, and for good reason.

  • Farmers win: Farm to school programs provide major financial benefits for local farmers by providing more opportunities for them to sell their produce and market themselves to the community.
  • Kids win: In addition to the increased access to nutritious, fresh produce in their school meals, farm to school programs also open the door to great learning opportunities in the areas of nutrition, agriculture, and cooking.
  • Communities win: Farm to school programs encourage buying local, which strengthens the local economy and provides more job opportunities, while building relationships and increasing community engagement.

From students to parents to farmers, there are great ways for the entire community to be involved. Here are some ways you can join in the celebration with your community:

  • Visit the local farmer’s market for seasonal produce
  • Cook a new vegetable with your family this week
  • Take a tour of a local farm and learn more about where your food is grown
  • If your child’s school does not already, advocate for the start of a school garden

Check out more information about the National Farm to School Network and their mission, here. (http://www.farmtoschool.org/)