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Healthy Halloween snacks for kids

Daniel Neman McClatchy-Tribune

Your children will have plenty of candy on Halloween. That much is a given.

But what do you do if you want them to eat more nourishing food as well? How do you offer children a healthy treat without them thinking it is a trick?

The answer is to make healthful food fun. The possibilities are endless. Just use your imagination and some edible craftiness to create haunting snacks your little ghosts and goblins will crave.

They may even forget all about the candy.

Tangerine Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts

Adapted from weelicious.com

4 bananas

8 regular-size chocolate chips, and 16 mini chocolate chips

8 c lementines or mandarin oranges

1 rib celery

Peel bananas and cut them in half. Place the cut side down so the banana halves stand up.

Use small chocolate chips to make ghost eyes and large chocolate chips to make ghost mouths.

Peel c lementines or mandarins.

Cut celery lengthwise into thirds and then across into ½-inch pieces. Insert the celery pieces in the tops of the peeled c lementines to resemble pumpkins.

Per serving: 132 calories; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; no cholesterol; 2 grams protein; 30 grams carbohydrate; 20 grams sugar; 4 grams fiber; 9 grams sodium; 37 milligrams calcium.

Yield: 8 servings

Broom Sticks

Adapted from navywifecook.com

3 sticks of string cheese

6 pretzel sticks

Fresh chives or celery

Using kitchen scissors, cut the ends off each string cheese stick (about 2 inches long).

Cut one end of the cheese into strips, being careful not to cut all the way to the top. Fan out cheese strips as best you can.

Take one side of the scissors and gently stick it into the uncut side of the cheese, to make a little hole for the pretzel. Slowly twist the pretzel stick into the hole, being careful not to tear the cheese.

Tie a string of fresh chives around the top of each cheese piece.

Per serving: 43 calories; 3 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 8 milligrams cholesterol; 4 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrate; no sugar; no fiber; 128 grams sodium; 100 milligrams calcium.

Yield: 6 servings

Veggie Skeleton

Adapted from biosanes.com

1/2 leaf lettuce

1 cup ranch dressing

4 cups assorted cut-up fresh veggies (red and yellow bell pepper strips, cucumber slices, snow peas, mushroom slices, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, broccoli florets, and cauliflower florets)

One pitted black olive, sliced

Take a small bowl for the ranch dressing and line half of it with lettuce (for the skeleton’s hair), then fill the bowl with ranch and place it at the head of a large tray or baking sheet. Use two slices of black olive for the eyes.

Arrange your veggies on the tray to resemble a skeleton. Use our picture as your guide and change a few things to make it your own.

Per serving: 80 calories; 4.5 grams fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 93 grams sugar; 380 milligrams sodium; 1 gram fiber; 1 gram protein; 10 milligram cholesterol

Yield: 8

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