For weeks, my kids have been obsessing over their Halloween costumes and (of course) the annual sugar binge that comes with the holiday. They cannot wait. I have to admit, I’m getting in the spirit, too, and am starting with these healthy(ish) Halloween lunch box treats. Because Halloween is on a weekday this year and school lunch may be one of my only opportunities to get them to eat something other than chocolate.
Wishful thinking? Maybe, but these sweet and savory Halloween recipes, all way lower in sugar than candy and some with a healthy dose of protein, too, are just what they need before going all out on sweets. And they’re still super festive. Perfect.
Top: Pimento Cheese Finger Sandwiches | The Hungry Waitress
Even if you’re a bento beginner, you can pull off this fun Candy Corn Rice Onigiri spotted at Love at First Bento. Pair this with leftover stir fry or rolled-up lunch meat to round out their meal, and maybe even throw a few actual candy corn into their lunchbox too. Because, hey, why not.
Energy balls are my kids’ favorite last-second breakfast bite, and I think that these Chocolate and Peanut Butter Protein Ball Spiders at Eating Richly would make a hilarious surprise in their Halloween lunch box. include them as a snack or pair with fruit, veg, and some pita chips for an unconventional, but still well-balanced afternoon meal.
How hilarious are these Eyeball Subs at C It Nutritionally? Wrap the whole sandwich in foil to pack this up neatly for a school lunch surprise. You can make these super tasty-looking vegan “meatballs,” or if your kids eat meat, use store-bought meatballs and jarred sauce to keep this quick and easy. If this is a hit, you may even be able to serve seconds to fortify everyone before trick-or-treating.
“Finger” sandwiches have to be the best Halloween pun ever, and these Pimento Cheese Finger Sandwiches at The Hungry Waitress would be a big hit with my kids — and they are so easy to make. That said, mine are decidedly not fans of olives, so I’ll go with slivered almonds or sliced red grapes for the fingernails instead.
These chocolate-covered Pretzel Ghosts at Culinary Envy are a perfect lunch box snacks and so easy to make. If you’d rather go a little healthier than chocolate, use yogurt instead with the technique that our friends at The Kitchn use to make yogurt-covered cranberries.
A pile of fresh fruit always seems to make a mess in my kids’ lunch boxes, so I love the idea of using skewers like with these Scary Fruit Kebabs at Girl Loves Glam. But, hey, even if these get a little messy, as long as you are sure to include a few gummy worms, I have no doubt they’ll get eaten right up.
If you are the crafty type, make a batch of these Sweet Potato Eyeballs at AI Made it for You. The vitamin-filled sweet potato mixture on the inside has the flavor of Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole, but the texture is more like a truffle. And the white chocolate coating on the outside makes it feel like candy. The perfect Halloween balance.
While hot dogs aren’t exactly at the top of the clean eating list, they do give your kids some much-needed protein. And of course, they’ll eat them, which is key. Pick your favorite healthy brand of hot dogs to make these cute Hot Dog Mummies at Beyond the Chicken Coop and know that they’ll come home fed, focused and ready to have some serious fun.