(NaturalNews) Halloween is traditionally a day centered on eating commercial candy. A fun way to reduce this barrage of junk is to host or attend a "healthier" Halloween party. Keep the focus on the activities, not the food, by engaging guests with costume contests, games and crafts. Then, use the 10 tasty ideas included here to distract from the absence of sugary treats at the snack table.
10 natural Halloween treat ideas
1. Decorate the snack table liberally with a variety of Halloween props (e.g., fake spider webs, plastic spiders, skulls, and jack-o-lanterns). Toss plastic spiders, snakes or bugs into bowls of healthy snacks, such as homemade popcorn. Serve fun snacks (e.g., in-shell peanuts or pistachios) in motion-activated Halloween bowls that grab your hand or make spooky noises when you reach for the next bite.
2. Serve homemade granola or trail mix in individual Halloween-themed cups, treat bags...or even plastic mini jack-o-lanterns.
4. Caramel apples are a traditional Halloween staple, but they are generally filled with refined sugar, corn syrup and other nasty ingredients. Instead, try serving apple slices with this sweet and gooey dip. (http://grocerygeek.com)
5. Liven up your beverages. Try serving drinks from a witch's cauldron or use a clear punch bowl and add some plastic floating eye ball props. Even spookier, chill your drink with homemade ice cubes within which you've frozen plastic bugs or spiders. With a few of these festive ideas, you could probably even serve ice water as your sole beverage without much disappointment from the crowd.
6. Turn oranges into jack-o-lanterns by carving eyes, a nose and a mouth into the rind. Use Clementine oranges, if you prefer, as they are easy for kids to peel. With these smaller oranges, you may wish to draw the jack-o-lantern face on the rind instead because their smaller size makes them more difficult to carve.
7. Serve spider eggs. Make your favorite homemade deviled egg recipe. Atop each deviled egg, place half of a black olive in the middle to serve as the spider's body. Use thin slices of black olive to create legs on each side of the body, and serve.
8. Serve apple "teeth." Core and slice a red apple into eight pieces. On the skin side of each piece, use a paring knife to cut a large slit to form the mouth opening. Brush all exposed apple flesh with lemon juice to prevent browning. Poke shelled sunflower seeds or broken pieces of blanched almonds into the upper side of the opening to serve as "teeth." Before adding the "teeth," spread nut butter inside the mouth on the lower "lip" if you'd like.
9. Make a fruit or veggie jack-o-lantern. For example, using a large, round serving tray, spread cantaloupe chunks into the shape of a jack-o-lantern. Remove some melon pieces and replace with blueberries to form a nose, mouth and eyes and use kiwi slices to form a stem.
10. Make a veggie skeleton. On a large, rectangular serving tray, create a skeleton with celery and carrot stick limbs, red bell pepper ribs, hips made from mushroom slices, etc. Use a bowl of dip for the head and broccoli florets for some funky hair - or use a plastic skull prop for a spookier head, instead.
About the author: Want more natural grocery shopping guidance or recipes? Christy Pooschke is author of "Eating Additive-Free" - a natural cookbook & grocery shopping guide. She is also the founder of a natural health online community packed with hundreds of natural recipes, an additive-free grocery shopping guide, natural living discussion forums, hundreds of holistic health and inspirational videos...and more! JOIN today! Christy developed a passion for holistic health after relieving her own Fibromyalgia symptoms through natural diet and lifestyle changes in 2007. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to inspire and encourage others to take control of their own health.