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Making Halloween Less Scary

By Lacey Anderson, Dietetic Intern from Meredith College

5 tips for Happy and Healthy Halloween

Halloween can be a scary time of the year, and not just because of the spooky decorations! It is easy to get caught up in the tricks and treats of Halloween and lose track of your health goals. With high calorie candies and dessert-heavy celebrations, navigating food choices may feel like you are entering a haunted house! Although it may seem intimidating to stick with your eating plan during the holidays, Halloween is a great time of the year to begin practicing mindful eating techniques and healthy portion sizes. These simple tips can help you to create habits that will carry with you through the coming holiday season.

  1. Eat a healthy meal before the celebrations begin. Showing up to a Halloween party with an empty stomach may cause you to eat more treats than you anticipated. Plan a time to enjoy a healthy and satisfying meal before taking part in the Halloween festivities.
  2. Don’t deprive yourself- Enjoy a small portion of a Halloween treat or healthier alternative so that you are still participating in the fun. Some suggested treat alternatives include boo-nana ghost pops, candy-corn parfaits, or chilly graveyard cups (see recipes below). Make enough for the whole family to enjoy!
  3. Skip the Candy- Hand out items such as spooky rings, pencils, erasers, bubbles, mini activity books, or stickers instead of candy. Your neighborhood children will enjoy a fun toy while eliminating the temptation of leftover candy for you after the night is over.
  4. Get out and go trick-or-treating! Instead of sitting inside and handing out treats, walk around the neighborhood with family or friends to get some exercise. Walking for 1-2 hours can burn around 100-250 calories!
  5. Have a plan, and stick to it- Whether you are going to a Halloween party or watching scary movies at home, make a plan for yourself in advance. Having a plan in place will reduce the possibility of making a choice that may set you back from reaching your goals!


Frozen “Boo-nana” Ghost Pops

Makes 6 pops


  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 ½ cups non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • Handful of mini chocolate chips or raisins
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter, melted (optional)
  • 6 popsicle sticks or skewers


  1. Cover a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  2. Peel bananas and cut in half.
  3. Place popsicle stick or skewer into the cutside of the banana.
  4. Dip banana into yogurt, making sure that the entire banana is covered. Place each banana back on the baking sheet.
  5. To make mummies, drizzle melted peanutbutter on top to create overlapping lines.
  6. Add chocolate chips/raisins to eyes.
  7. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or untilthe yogurt is frozen. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: Boo-Nana Ghost Pops
Calories: 100
Fat: 0
Sodium: 40mg
Total Carbohydrate: 21g
Protein: 3g

With Peanut Butter Drizzle:
Calories: 110
Fat: 1.5g
Sodium: 50mg
Total Carbohydrate: 22g
Protein: 4g


“Candy-Corn” parfaits

Makes 3 parfaits


  • 1 ½ cups diced yellow fruit (pineapple and/or mango)
  • 1 ½ cups diced orange fruit (oranges, mandarin oranges, clementines, and/or tangerines)
  • 1 cup fat-free cool whip, whipped cream, or vanilla yogurt.
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut or sliced almonds


  1. Using a clear cup or jar, place ½ cup of your diced yellow fruit choice and spread evenly around the bottom of each cup.
  2. Next, layer ½ cup of the diced orange fruit choice on top of the yellow fruit choice in each cup.
  3. Top each jar with 1/3 cup of low-fat whipped topping or yogurt.
  4. Sprinkle 1 tbsp shredded coconut on top. Top with a piece of candy corn, if desired.
  5. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts: Candy-Corn Parfaits
Calories: 190
Fat: 6g
Sodium: 25mg
Total Carbohydrate: 33g
Protein: 2g


Chilly Graveyard Cups

Makes 3 cups


  • 1 ½  cup fat-free cool whip or whipped cream
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • ½  tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 T chopped nuts
  • 3 vanilla wafer cookies


  1. Place frozen bananas, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract into a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Using clear cups, layer the chocolate-banana mixture and whipped topping, spreading evenly among all three cups.
  3. Top each cup with 1 T chopped nuts.
  4. Add a vanilla wafer on top, if desired. Use a toothpick and chocolate mixture to paint an RIP design for a spooky touch.
  5. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts: Chilly Graveyard Cups
Calories: 190
Fat: 5g
Sodium: 55mg
Carbohydrate: 34g
Protein: 3g

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