Halloween is around the corner! There’s a giant skeleton in the yard down the street and fake spider webs on our front porch. We’ve been to the pumpkin patch and the school carnival. Next comes every kid’s favorite: costumes and candy! Halloween themed foods don’t always have to include sprinkles and chocolate though. My kids love finding surprises in their lunchboxes like Utz pumpkin & bats pretzels, That’s It Spooky Fruit Bites, or simply a white mozzarella cheese stick with a ghost face drawn on the wrapper. Adding a few holiday touches can take meal time from ordinary to exciting and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Use a sharpie marker to turn your tangerines into jack-o’-lanterns or slice a large carrot into medallions to look like eyes. Suddenly fruit and vegetables seem a lot more exciting when there’s a touch of Halloween! Here are a few other lunchbox favorites that all guys and ghouls are sure to love:
- 2 12-oz bags of chocolate chips (or 1 12-oz bag of chocolate chips and 1 12-oz bag of butterscotch chips)
- 2 cups chow mein noodles or thin pretzel sticks
- 1 cup your choice of chopped nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews, etc.)
- Optional: candy eyeballs
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
- Add chow mein noodles and chopped nuts to the bowl. Toss to coat, making sure the melted chocolate stirs in evenly.
- Scoop about a tablespoon full of the mixture onto the parchment paper and allow to cool.
- Optional: top with candy eyeballs to turn them into chocolate spiders!
- Place in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes to allow chocolate to set.
- Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Store in an airtight container.
- String cheese, your favorite flavor
- Prosciutto slices
- Halved almonds or Olives
- Cream Cheese
- Cut the almonds or olives in half to resemble the witch’s fingernail. My kids like black olives best but green or greek olives would look extra spooky!
- Wrap each piece of string cheese with a slice of prosciutto and set aside on a plate.
- Dab the back of each olive or almond slice with a tiny amount of cream cheese (~¼ tsp) to help it adhere. Place on the end of each witch’s finger to resemble a fingernail.
Buttered Brains and Eyeballs
- 1 box spaghetti noodles
- 1 can sliced black olives, drained
- 1-2 Tbsp Butter
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: capers
- Prepare spaghetti as directed on the box.
- Toss pasta with butter and black olives. The sliced olives will resemble eyeballs. If you want to make your meal extra spooky, add a caper to the center of each olive!
- Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with a few witch’s fingers!
You can enjoy these recipes and ideas at home or add to your kids lunchbox to make sure they have a Spooktacular day! Do something easy like drawing a jack-o'-lantern on a tangerine or try one of our fun recipes. For this lunch I added one-eyed blackberries and carrot sticks to round out the haunted haystacks, witches fingers and buttered brains with eye balls. Of note if you have kids with nut allergies or nut restrictions at school, you can simply omit nuts in the haunted haystacks.
Hope you enjoy this time of year with your kiddos and find some new fun ways to celebrate food with them!