Rosemary Weaver, MPH, RDN, LDN, Clinical Dietitian at Northwest Community Healthcare Wellness Center
It’s nearly time for our little ghosts and goblins to hit the trick-or-treat trail. Here are some snack ideas to tame your little sugar monster during the doorbell-ringing trek as well as a make-ahead healthier dinner idea that will be a treat to come home to.
Encourage a quick, healthy snack at home to provide a little protein for satiety and carbs for energy, which will help limit candy consumption en route:
- Crisp apples wedges with peanut or almond butter dip
- Orange-colored smoothie: Blend 1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt with (choose one grouping)
- 1 cup drained, no-added-sugar mandarin oranges + a frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen peaches or nectarines + a pinch of cinnamon + 2/3 cup lowfat milk
- 2 Tbsp. canned pumpkin + a frozen banana + a pinch of pumpkin pie spice + six ice cubes
- Cheese and crackers (cut slices of reduced-fat cheese with Halloween-themed cookie cutters and place on top of whole grain crackers)
- Popcorn popped in olive or canola oil with a “ghost” cheese stick (Use a black marker to draw a ghost face on a wrapped, part-skim mozzarella cheese stick.)
- Hummus with orange, crinkle-cut carrot dippers
- Peeled whole clementines along with roasted pumpkin seeds or nuts (Put a small piece of celery at the top for a stem so it looks like a pumpkin.)
- Be sure to grab some water bottles to hydrate well on your adventure!
Eat a healthy dinner!
Try this make-ahead Turkey Joes in a Pepper Jack-o’-lantern.
Prepare the jack-o’-lantern peppers and turkey joes in advance but don’t stuff the peppers yet; refrigerate. When you’re ready to eat, re-heat turkey joe mixture and stuff the peppers with it; sprinkle with grated parmesan and replace pepper top.
Serve with long, whole grain bread sticks to scoop and eat pepper contents. Pair with a green salad and fresh fruit. Perhaps allow a selected item from the trick-or-treat stash for dessert.
- 8 medium to large orange or yellow bell peppers, washed, hollowed out; tops cut off and reserved
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/3 cup chopped white onion
- 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup natural tomato ketchup
- 1–1/2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Long, whole wheat breadsticks (unsalted, bread-like consistency)
- After washing peppers, cut off tops and hollow out contents. Carefully carve a small jack-o’-lantern face with triangle eyes, nose and mouth on one side of each pepper. Replace top.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add ground turkey, onion and green bell pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until turkey is browned, crumbling turkey with a wooden spoon while it’s cooking.
- Add tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.
Nutrition information/per stuffed pepper with one long, whole grain breadstick:
Carbohydrate: 26 grams / Protein: 17.3 grams / Fat: 8 grams / Calories: 245