Mention the words “healthy” and “Halloween” in the same sentence and you’re sure to get some perplexed looks. As a Registered Dietitian, I value eating healthy, but I also like to enjoy festive holiday favorites and special occasional indulgences. And by keeping a few things in mind, you can enjoy a Halloween party without sacrificing your healthy eating goals.
Enjoy yourself and remember balance.
On any holiday or special occasion, it’s important to remember that it’s your overall diet, what you eat day to day, that really impacts your health. Instead of making Halloween candy and desserts off-limits, consider them as special treats to be enjoyed in reasonable portions without guilt. Allowing yourself to savor occasional indulgences will help prevent feelings of deprivation and keep you on track with your overall healthy eating goals. Just be sure to practice good portion control, and eat a small serving of your special sweet treat.
Related Article: 6 Easy Ways to Control Your Food Portions
Fill up with a healthy meal first.
Serve healthy appetizers and snacks and a well-balanced meal first, and bring out the sweet treats later when everyone has already filled up on more nutritious foods. Make the healthy choices fun too by choosing naturally green and orange foods to fit the Halloween theme.
- Make a vegetable tray with baby carrots, orange bell pepper strips, broccoli florets and sugar snap peas served with a healthy dip.
Related Recipe: Paleo Zucchini Hummus
- Serve guacamole with vegetable dippers or sweet potato chips.
Cook up a slow cooker recipe that can be made in advance, allowing you plenty of time to get dressed up and decorate for the party. (Click for our Slow-Cooker Paleo Chili recipe.)
Make your own healthier treats.
Halloween candy is high in fat and calories and contributes little, if any, nutritional value to your diet. Make your own sweet treats that incorporate whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and/or low-fat dairy for a sweet treat that boasts a nutrient punch.
- Try making a pumpkin treat, such as our Pumpkin Cream Bars (see recipe below) or our Pumpkin Smoothie, Pumpkin Oat Balls or Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins.
- Dip fresh or dried fruit in melted chocolate, and sprinkle with chopped nuts, coconut, or crushed candy for a sweet treat with the nutritional benefits of fruit.
Related Recipe: 3-Ingredient Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Healthy Halloween Party Menu
As an added bonus, we’ve done the planning for you with this Healthy Halloween Party Menu! Try it out, and let us know if your guests aren’t raving about the food. (We won’t tell them it’s healthy.)
Appetizer: Green Zucchini Hummus (add a few drops of green food coloring, if desired)
Main Dish: Slow-Cooker Paleo Chili (serve with Cornbread Muffins)
Dessert: Pumpkin Cream Cake Bars (recipe below)
- 4 large eggs
- 12/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended.
- Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir well. Add to pumpkin mixture, beating at low speed until batter is smooth and blended. Pour batter into a lightly greased 13-x 9-inch pan.
- Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean; let cool completely.
- To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in a bowl until smooth; add powdered sugar, and mix at low speed until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
- Frost cake. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.
Also, check out our dietitians’ tips to Have a Healthy Halloween. These recipes are from our Paleo and Dessert Meal Plans.