This creepy cat pretty much sums up how I feel around October 1st when my kids begin clamoring for fun Halloween ideas. Topping it off are thoughts of endless candies hiding in every nook and cranny of our house for a month afterwards. Even though we have limits on how much post-Halloween candy be be enjoyed each day, I inevitably find suspicious empty wrappers under rugs, behind beds, in backpacks…everywhere except the trashcan.  Little do my sneaky kids know, I probably would be less likely to notice them there.

So, as I searched for Halloween ideas, I decided to come up with at least one healthy menu and a few crafts to have a little Halloween fun with haiku’s, ghosts on a stick and spooky eyes in the bushes!

Menu:

MUMMY Dogs (Wrap pre-cooked turkey sausage mummy-st‌yle with whole grain crescent dough and bake according to package instructions.  Use mustard or ketchup dots for eyes.)

BLACK CAT Carrot & Cucumber Slices with HALLOWEEN Black Bean Hummus Dip

Banana GHOSTS on a Stick (Skewer bananas on a popsicle stick.  Use mini chocolate chips for eyes and mouth.)

PUMPKIN Seeds

Activities:  Spooky Eyes, Halloween Haiku, Pumpkin Faces and Cat Faces

Crafters:  Have kids make spooky eyes to hide in the bushes or around the house using toilet paper rolls.  Cut eye holes in the center and insert a glow stick (from your $1 store).  Twist edges shut. Spooky!  For the Cat Faces, use sliced cucumber circles for the face and curled carrot strips for the whiskers.  Black bean hummus dip can be dotted on with a toothpick for the eyes and spooky smile.

Artists:  Have kids draw pumpkin faces on oranges using permanent markers. Put the decorated oranges into a bowl for a creative centerpiece.

Writers:  Have kids write a Halloween Haiku which is a Japanese poem made up of three lines, generally broken into 5, 7, and 5 syllables. These unique poems are a simple and fun way to express nature using sensory language.  Can you guess what this Haiku is about?

Silent, smooth, orange gourd. Slice it, scoop it and carve it, Smiling light greets guests!

Cooks: Depending on their skill level, pick an activity that is safe and fun for kids.

Wrap mummy dogs with whole grain crescent dough.

Dot eyes on mummy dogs after they are cooked.

Assemble the banana ghosts.

Sort, wash and dry the pumpkin seeds.

Sprinkle seasoning(s) on pumpkin seeds (experiment with different flavors on one pan).

Bright Idea!  Use cooked fresh pumpkin pulp in Italian marinara sauce, muffins, or soups throughout the year or save time by using cooked canned 100% pure pumpkin. All pumpkin is very nutritious.

Bright Idea! Keep your Jack-o-Lantern’s seeds. Then either dry and save them for planting next spring or roast them for a tasty & nutritious snack now. Wash, dry and scatter pumpkin seeds on a sheet pan. Spray them lightly with vegetable oil spray, then sprinkle with a favorite seasoning such as salt, chili powder, garlic powder or cinnamon. Roast in the oven or toaster oven at 375 degrees for about seven minutes.  Keep a close eye on them and remove when they’re golden brown. ​