Halloween food for children is about more than the sweets they pick up while trick-or-treating. Many parents host Halloween parties during this time of year, and the food can add to the overall holiday appeal of the party. The key is to keep it spooky without going overboard. Keep in mind the fear factor should be well below the planning involved for an adult Halloween party. Get the children to have fun, not need therapy afterwards.
Spooky and Sweet
You know you can’t go wrong with Halloween foods for children when there are sweets involved. Though they may round up plenty of goodies during their trick-or-treating, make some home baked treats. The easiest option is to decorate cupcakes in a clever manner, and there are plenty of alternative ways to do this. You can use icing on a plate to give the appearance of spider legs with the cupcake being the spider body and maybe a little red hourglass on the cupcake for a black widow. Icing can make spider webs, ghosts or use stencils to get into more intricate designs.
If you want to do an entire cake instead, there are also several options. The two most popular are the “graveyard cake” and the “worms in dirt.” Worms in dirt may not be spooky, but it is gross and a great choice of Halloween foods for children. The first layer is Jell-O with gummy worms, topped with crumbled cookies for dirt. Add a few gummy worms protruding from the “dirt” for extra fun.
The graveyard cake is however you would like to interpret it, but the general idea is to create a cemetery. Use cookie crumbles for dirt or green icing for grass, and whichever type of cookie you would like to create tombstones. Marshmallows or whipped cream make great ghosts. Just remember, using extra touches such as plastic spiders, may not be a good idea for younger children. Make sure to keep choking hazards out of the food planning.
A fairly easy but delicious treat is a variation of pigs in a blanket. Instead of wrapping the dough around the entire hot dog, wrap it like a strip of cloth winding around to create a mummy effect. Leave a slit of dog exposed and use two mustard or ketchup dots for eyes. This same idea can be applied to mini pizzas, too. Arrange the shredded cheese to look like strips of bandages with an “opening” at the eyes. Once the pizzas are cooked, or before they are done, use olive slivers for eyeballs.
For ghostly snacks as part of Halloween foods for kids, consider using potato skins. Use a thin layer of sour cream like “icing” to paint the potatoes white and then use scallions to add eyes and a mouth to individual ghosties. Slice hot dogs length ways in slivers to create a “worm” effect. Mix the cooked hot dog slices with ketchup and add to a hoagie roll or bun for a tapeworm sandwich.
Edible Scares with a Healthy Twist
For the ultimate in “finger foods”, create a look that resembles real fingers. Carrots or string cheese sticks make a great looking finger, especially if you have the extra time to carve some lines to make “knuckles.” Get creative with fingernails. For example use red or green bell pepper slivers for a monster hand look. Optional tip: create a dip to go with the snacks and arrange the “fingers” to look like a real hand reaching back from inside the bowl.
Of course any variation of a deviled egg with an olive twist can create the look of an eyeball. Using olives in halves or slices and with or without the pimento can actually turn a variety of foods into eyeball looking treats.
Get the Party Started
In the end, it is really more about the overall party than just the snacks. Keep in mind ways to add games, a costume contest and some ghost story telling for a holiday event that will be unforgettable. Consider the ages of the children who will be attending and make sure the scare factor and food items are age appropriate.
Decorating is also another detail not to overlook. Add some fake spider webs and jack-o’-lanterns to the room and help create a real mood for the party. Download some spooky but fun holiday tunes or find a CD with creepy noises or songs to get all the kids in the Halloween party mind frame. While Halloween foods for kids can help add to a holiday party, the other details help truly make it one.