Did that scare you?
No? Well it's probably a good thing that neither of us is on edge then. Because one thing you don't need to worry about scaring me with is the amount of candy our kids will soon be seeing.
As a registered dietitian and mom of two, I am well aware that with the start of this holiday season and namely Halloween comes A LOT of candy. And although it might surprise you, I am actually okay (or at least at terms!) with it. That's because my main goal in raising healthy eaters is for them to establish a healthy relationship with all foods, including all of the sweets stuffed into their little plastic pumpkin pales.
In my ideal world, all families would hand out jack-o-lantern satsumas and mummy-wrapped boxes of raisins. But in the real world? That's just not happening, even in my home.
When my sweet friend Ashley over at The Littles and Me asked if I wanted to do a Halloween Boo Breakfast for our monthly collab, I couldn't resist. I can talk about sugar and managing "forbidden foods" all day, how much sugar is recommended, how we can help curb our kid's cravings for it, and the most common concerns I see with how parents handle sugar. But what I really want to highlight this year is how we can assume a healthy, balanced approach to the Division of Responsibility in feeding - even at Halloween.
It starts with determining what, when, and where our kids will be exposed to the sweet stuff.
By planning for fewer added sugars in the foods you offer your family everyday, you are opening up more margin in your kids diets for a few sweet treats when offered elsewhere. You are acknowledging that they will likely be eating more sugar than their tiny tummies need elsewhere and planning meals and snacks at home accordingly. You are making wise food choices that both fuel and fill your kiddos, so when candy is around, you know they aren't scarfing it down because you didn't do your part to feed them properly. Above all, you are embracing the joys of Halloween and helping your child learn how to healthfully and happily to do the same.
This all starts with Halloween Boo Breakfasts like this one!
With seasonal flavors, wholesome foods, and zero added sugars, make your tiny monsters this Boo Breakfast and you will both start the festivities feeling good.
1 small container pumpkin yogurt (I used Siggi's)
1 ripe banana
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 Tablespoon pumpkin puree
4 ounces unsweetened almond milk
- Add ingredients to blender.
- Turn on and blend until well mixed.
- Serve in a spooky glass and enjoy!
I found these cute glass cups with lids and straws at Target in the dollar section (score!). I just added googly eyes and an "O" mouth on it myself, or you can use the ones Target has already pre-printed fun Halloween images on. Ashley also shares in her Boo Breakfast decoration ideas how you can make an easy, disposable cup option on the spot, so check out how here!
Spooky Spider Web Pumpkin Pancakes
You can use any pancake recipe you prefer for this recipe. Just make sure it is thin enough to be squeezed out of the container to create the spider web. I chose this festive, pumpkin recipe below minimally adapted from @lunchesandlittles.
1 ¼ cup gluten free flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk or milk alternative
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
- In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients. Stir until mixed, then set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, add milk, applesauce, melted coconut oil, and pumpkin puree. Stir until well combined.
- Add bowl of wet ingredients to large mixing bowl with dry ingredients. Stir until ingredients are mixed.
- Using a small plastic squeeze bottle, transfer pancake batter from large mixing bowl to squeeze bottle. If coconut oil has hardened at all in the mixing process, run it under hot water for a few minutes until it liquefies again.
- Preheat a large griddle or pan to medium heat. Use additional coconut oil to coat, as needed.
- To make spider webs, start by squeezing pancake batter in the shape of a large plus sign ("+"). Going diagonal over those lines, squeeze pancake batter into a large "X". Use squeeze bottle to then connect the end of the lines with small little inverted lines of pancake batter. Add a center circle between the center axis and the otter "webbing."
- As pancake begins to brown and batter starts to bubble, gently flip pancake using a large spatula.
- When pancakes are cooked, remove from griddle/pan and put on plate. Decorate with a plastic spider and serve!
This recipe is AMAZING as is. Even for my syrup-loving littles, we found the stand alone spider web pancakes were totally satisfying without any added sweetener (mixed in or on top)! Encourage your kiddos to enjoy the spider web and smoothie without syrup to save some of that added sugar for all the other sweets being offered at other events.
I found our squeeze bottle at the dollar store. You can also use an old ketchup bottle thoroughly washed out, or get ones like these off of Amazon (affiliate link; item shown below). If the tip is too narrow to let the batter pass through, just cut a slight bit off until you are able to squeeze easily. Below are affiliate links to my pancake-making arsenal. As always (see my legal page here), using these links doesn't cost you anything extra. The small commission earned just helps Veggies & Virtue to provide more fun ideas like this one!
Make it a More Festive Affair!
Be sure to find the BOO-tiful breakfast set-up that Ashley over at the Littles and Me shared. You can see from the image below, these decorations and easy to use printables are perfect to go with the Boo-Nana Smoothie and Spooky Spider Web Pumpkin Pancakes from above. So hop on over to the Littles and Me to get these Halloween Boo Breakfast decoration ideas and free printables!