Healthy Halloween Party Dishes
WASHINGTON —Walking through the streets of Washington, D.C., you’ll notice pumpkins, spider webs and skeletons: it’s officially spooky season. Halloween may call to mind dressing up in a costume and eating and drinking sweet treats. If you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle, you can still indulge in holiday fun while staying on track.
Here are some tips and healthy menu items that are sure to be a hit at your Halloween party.
Incorporating Holidays Into a Healthy Lifestyle
When trying to live a healthy lifestyle by eating well, exercising regularly, sleeping enough and managing stress, holiday time can throw a wrench into your plans. Halloween is the first of the fun, end-of-year holidays that often involve a change to your eating and drinking habits.
Part of keeping up with healthy habits is being flexible. If you go to a Halloween party and want to eat sweets and indulge in drinks, it’s okay. Allowing yourself to enjoy holidays and “unhealthy” foods makes you more likely to stick to your plan in the long run.
Eat Healthy Foods, Too
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can enjoy sweets at a party and eat healthy foods to feel full and satisfied without being deprived. Think of these menu items as additions to your regular party foods.
Healthy Halloween Drinks
Here are three fun, healthy, alcohol-free drinks to make for your Halloween party.
Vampire Blood Spritz
Mix a dark red juice like pomegranate, beet or cranberry, with seltzer water, for a vampire-themed spritzer.
Pomegranates and cranberries contain antioxidants, and beet juice is excellent for healthy blood flow.
Witch’s Green Brew
Green is a classic Halloween color — think of a cartoon witch. Brew a pitcher of green juice or smoothie with green fruits and veggies like spinach, kale, cucumbers, celery, and green apples. Add lemon and ginger for taste. Use water if you’re going for juice or non-dairy milk and ice cubes if you want a smoothie consistency.
These green fruits and veggies contain tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
A round of healthy shots, anyone? Make your own ginger and turmeric wellness shots. The color will be a yellowy-orange, perfect for Halloween.
Ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They can boost your immune system and help you fight off colds as we get further into fall and winter.
Healthy Halloween Snacks
Set up a snack plate with these healthy, Halloween-themed appetizers.
Colorful Fruit and Vegetable Plate
Get creative with a fruits and veggies platter. Choose items in the Halloween colors of orange, black, white, green, purple and red. Include carrots, orange and red bell peppers, blackberries, blueberries, cauliflower, cucumbers, celery, radishes, raspberries and strawberries.
Different colors indicate different phytonutrients. Each colorful fruit and vegetable packs various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can improve your overall health.
Guacamole and Whole-Grain Chips
Whip up a batch of homemade guacamole with fresh avocados in classic Halloween green. Serve with multi-grain chips or place near the veggie tray. Avocados are a superfood packed with magnesium, healthy fats and other nutrients.
Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
For a sweet treat, make your own pumpkin baked goods. Mix a can of unsweetened pumpkin puree with rolled oats, maple syrup and dark chocolate chips. Mold them into cookies and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Besides being the quintessential Halloween item, pumpkins contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can boost your immune system. Including rolled oats in your recipe will give you fiber and healthy carbs to help you feel full and satisfied.
Healthy Halloween Dinner
When it’s time to plan dinner, add on nutrient-dense orange foods for a Halloween twist.
Homemade Halloween Pizza
Making homemade pizzas with fresh ingredients can be a fun and healthy activity. You’ll get protein from the cheese, veggies in the sauce and whole grains from the crust.
Get creative with your toppings — choose Halloween colors and arrange them in a fun design. Orange peppers, onions and turkey pepperoni will all stay on theme. Adding a boost of protein can help you feel full.
Butternut Squash Noodles
Make your favorite pasta dish, use spaghetti, and then bulk it up with orange butternut squash noodles for a veggie boost that stays on the orange theme. Sauté some ground turkey with your sauce of choice for protein.
Like pumpkin, butternut squash contains the antioxidant beta-carotene. It’s also rich in fiber and other vitamins.
Pumpkin Soup and Sweet Potato Fries
Remember that it’s also okay to have something “unhealthy.” Whatever it is, consider adding a side of homemade pumpkin soup and baked sweet potato fries for a nutrient boost.
Pack your pumpkin soup with more veggies like butternut squash, spices, seasonings and chicken broth. Slice up fresh sweet potatoes, top them with seasonings and bake them in the oven. You’ll get more beta-carotene and other antioxidants from these orange veggies.
Have a Healthy Halloween
Holidays don’t need to throw you off your health journey. Try incorporating healthy foods and drinks into your party menu. Have fun with the Halloween theme by choosing colorful juices, fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs and fats. If you want to enjoy some classic sugary goodness, don’t stress, enjoy!
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