Healthy Halloween

Halloween is often the last fun fling of fall. It is a festive, creative time for young and olda time for family and friends to join together perhaps in visiting an apple orchard or pumpkin patch in the weeks leading up to the night when witches and goblins of all ages get to parade about. Bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins, baking treats are all great ways for adults to get to share in the fun. The books of Halloween poems I read to my daughters throughout the month of October are still remembered, loved, and cherished.

Rehearsing a trick and eating a healthy, balanced dinner can get the evening off to a good start. A well-fed child can then focus on the excitement of costumes, decorations, and visiting friends as much as on eating oodles of candy.

To counter the excess of sugary treats, one strategy might be to give out art supplies for future creative adventures, perhaps some simple crayons, sticker sheets, a cookie cutter, etc.

Another idea is to give a decorated bag that contains a recipe along with one simple ingredient so your trick-or-treaters can look forward to creative cooking adventures and perhaps a recipe that just might become a family favorite.

With this in mind, we offer a set of recipes, any of which you might like to copy and use in this way. If you are artistic, you might enjoy mounting one on a decorated piece of construction paper and let your creative juices rollall in the spirit of having as much fun as our children.

Pathways4Health Sugar-Free Oatmeal-Banana Cookies

4 cups oatmeal
6 ripe bananas
2-3 cups dried fruits (dried blueberries, cranberries, raisins, etc.), chocolate chips or nuts
Cinnamon/nutmeg/salt to taste
1 T. vanilla flavoring

Mash bananas in a large bowl and add all other ingredients.
Place by spoonfuls on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Pathways4Health Barley-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies; Or Dessert Squares
This is a true family favorite. If you dont have time to make cookies, just put the batter in a greased brownie pan and bake about 20 minutes.

1 cup barley flour
1 cup oatmeal
2 t. baking powder
1 T. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
cup buttermilk
2-3 T. honey
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips
cup dried cranberries, etc.

Mix dry ingredients.
Mix wet ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips, dried fruits, nutsyour choice
Drop by tablespoons on a well-greased cookie sheet [or use a greased baking pan and bake about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the pan and the depth of the batter. Cool and cut into squares.]

See also Snack Bars for other appropriate Halloween recipes.