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5 healthy Halloween treats

No one wants to be the neighbour who passes out plain fruit instead of sweets to trick-or-treaters, but what if you could make healthy Halloween treats more fun and appealing to children - or to your sweet-toothed friends and family?

Health at Halloween - a grave tale

In most places, Halloween has become as much about sugar, sweets, and trick-or-treating as it is about scary mythical creatures and horror movies.

If you're looking for some easy Halloween treats to stealthily sneak some vitamins and sugar-light options into your family's bellies this Halloween, there are two main methods of attack:

  1. Maximise on the natural autumnal spices and flavours that we lovingly associate with Halloween, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice.
  2. Harness the art of disguise by getting creative and dressing up your fruit and veg as witch fingers, vampires, and ghosts.

The following healthy Halloween recipes deliver Halloween flair that disguises healthier options, as well hiding free-from ingredients to help those with food intolerances join in the fun.

1. Sweet potato jack-o-lanterns

Sweet potato jack-o-lanterns

Sweet potato jack-o-lanterns

Vegan and gluten-free

This simple recipe makes a perfect Halloween-themed snack or side-dish. Not only is sweet potato a classic autumnal ingredient - not to mention a firm festive favourite in the USA - but they also have a natura sweetness, so there's no need to add sugar. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, beta carotene - used by your body to make vitamin A - and potassium. Roast these fun shapes with olive oil, a healthy fat that's rich in antioxidants.

Get the recipe here

2. Green apple monsters

Green apple monsters

Green apple monsters

Vegetarian

Little monsters will love munching into these adorable apple monsters, and you can even turn making them into a fun Halloween family activity. Apples help to keep our hearts healthy and promote good digestive health, and 'monster-teeth' sunflower or pumpkin seeds also provide beneficial vitamins and minerals. In moderation, peanut butter and cheese are good sweet and salty alternatives to the processed sugar found in most shop-brought Halloween snacks.

Get the recipe here

3. Pumpkin patch soup

Pumpkin patch soup

Pumpkin patch soup

Vegan and gluten-free when using gluten-free stock cubes

Pumpkin soup is one of the more classic Halloween recipes. As well as keeping you cosy on cold autumn nights, this soup is packed with vegetables rich in vitamins and beta carotene. This recipe also contains other healthy flavourings, including turmeric - an anti-inflammatory - and garlic, which contains vitamins C and B6 and other essential nutrients like iron and protein. This can also all be cooked in the slow cooker.

Get the recipe here

4. Spider pizzas

Spider pizzas

Spider pizzas

Vegetarian

These mini pizzas are a great savoury, low-sugar alternative treat to serve at a children's Halloween party. The spiders are made from black olives and are spooky enough to lure children away from the sugary treats. Just expect pranks on younger siblings and a fair few squeals!

Get the recipe here

5. 'Free-from' pumpkin chocolate muffins

‘Free-from’ pumpkin chocolate muffins

‘Free-from’ pumpkin chocolate muffins

Vegan and gluten-free

If you're after a festive sweet treat without the processed sugar or are looking to cater for dairy-free or gluten-free diets, try these pumpkin chocolate swirl muffins. Pumpkin spices and puree add a dollop of festivity, but to add a little extra Halloween flair use themed paper cases and cake-toppers. The main sugar source in this recipe comes from maple syrup. While all sugar should be consumed in moderation, maple syrup has a slightly higher nutritional profile and has less impact on blood sugar levels compared with processed table sugar.

Get the recipe here

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