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Healthy Halloween Ideas

The week on the 31st of October is Halloween. I am a very strong advocate understanding the traditions and meaning behind our celebrations - as this is often lost in today's world. Halloween is a time of the year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, martyrs and all those faithfully departed. The traditional focus of Halloween revolves around the theme of using humor and ridicule to confront the power of death. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted house attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. A lot of the 'tradition' of Halloween I feel is now lost or not understood - with a large focus being on the 'trick or treating' part - especially with the emphasis on collecting large amounts of lollies from other families in the neighborhood. My son has only just turned two so we have thus escaped the 'real need' to share this tradition with him - and of course he has been to young to go trick or treating. In fact because he was born on the 22 of October I remember putting up a large sign on our front door saying something along the lines of "Please no knocking/trick or treating New Born Baby Asleep" to avoid the constant door knocking and noise of children around the house at this time - it was so effective we left the sign up for a number of weeks so I was not disturbed by sales people in the middle of the day!! However, I know full well the day will come when I will be presented with this choice around my son (and no doubt baby no. 2) wanting to go out trick or treating with his friends and coming home laden with sugary rubbish!! (Ahhhhhh my internal voice says). As much as I would love to forbid him from doing this or saying he is NOT ALLOWED ANY LOLLIES and can have some "healthy treats instead" - I fear this will only last so long and create other habits such as hiding lollies or eating them on the way home - or plain resentment towards me as a parent. Somehow there will need to be a balance and I hope that in educating my children on what the celebration is actually for, creating some of our own traditions and good food around this night - with some allowance to eat a chosen selection of lollies (rather than an entire bag full) there will be a healthy medium (excuse the pun!)...I guess time will tell in a few years time!! My other thought was that as the children get a bit older we could actually host Halloween parties at our place - some of you may not know this but party planning is my secret indulgence. I love spending...I was going to say hours but let's be real I do not have hours of spare time! So rather if I do get some down-time I love researching everything party from food (of course) to decorations, bunting, cakes, table layouts, invitations....and both my husband and I love bringing people together so he lets me indulge in this and never asks any questions. Anyway I am side tracking but my idea was in hosting our own Halloween parties for the children where I can sneak in some healthy food there (and perhaps watch the alcohol consumption as well.....) In the mean time I did a bit of research on the internet for you and found some very cool ideas for simple healthy Halloween treats and food! I say simple as of course it would be great to spend hours in the kitchen making an array of healthy treats with ingredients from 10 different health shops but when you are a mum of young children simple is where it at (and keeping the old budget in mind too):
Halloween Spider Pizza Home-made Spider Pizza (with sneaky vegetables in there!)
Celery Spider Celery with Peanut Butter
Spider Deviled Eggs Deviled Spider Eggs
Capcisum Stuffed Halloween Capsicums
Apple Cat Apple Dip
more-banans Ghost bananas and Pumpkin Oranges
mummypizzas Mini Mummy Pita Bread Pizza's
Mummy Sausage Dogs Mummy Sausage Dogs
Carrot Dips and Ghost Chocolate Strawberries
And these are just the Halloween ideas which require very little baking/preparation. There is of course a multitude of healthy baking ideas from pumpkin muffins/cup cakes, pumpkin bread, healthy pumpkin pie....the list is endless!! I do not know about you but I cannot help but get excited about Halloween with all these ideas - and very little sugar or processed food here...now I just need some more time to make them!! Happy Halloween, xxx Dr Julie Bhosale

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