Halloween – Sugar Mania

candy haul

Do you give out treats on Halloween?  Or are you one of those people that turns out the lights and pretends you’re not home?  Here’s a tip if you’re hiding: You’re not fooling anyone. The kids know your there.  It’s understandable if you don’t want to participate in the evening.  It’s a scary night.  Once the sugar-high kicks in those cute ghouls and ghosts turn into crazy monsters.  Here are some non-sugary treats that I like to give out, that won’t bust your wallet, or leave the trick-or-treaters wishing you actually were hiding.

For everyone:

  1. Pretzels – Utz sells small bags of mini pretzels just for Halloween – most of the stores carry them.
  2. Goldfish – you can buy snack packs of the goldfish crackers
  3. Fruit Leather
  4. Boxes of raisins
  5. Mini-bags of nuts/sunflower seeds


For the Young Kids:

  1. Stickers and window clings – The little kids really like the stickers of movie charaters ala Toy Story and Cars.  You can cut  the sheets in half to have more to go around.
  2. Mini Play-doh – These are a little more expensive.  Save these for the really little ones
  3. Mini bubbles


For the Older Kids:

  1. Pencils/pens – you can get pencils in so many themes (sports teams, movie characters, flowers, dinosaurs, etc.).  If you plan ahead you can buy them online in bulk packs of 25-100.  If you don’t plan ahead they sell special Halloween themed pencil eraser set at most drug stores.
  2. Mini Erasers

And, you can always find more ideas at your local dollar store.

Happy Halloween!!!!


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Eat those Green Leafy Vegetables!

Kale close up in Norddeich, Dithmarschen

Image via Wikipedia

We all know that children (and many adults) don’t like to eat vegetables.  This information was reaffirmed a few weeks ago when the USDA said good-bye to the pyramid approach and launched their new graphic for illustrating how you should proportion your food throughout the day.  The reason for the relaunch isn’t because there was new information about what is healthy and good, but because people just aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables.  If you don’t believe me or the research, just do a goolge search for “people don’t eat enough vegetables” and not only do you get the research and articles, you get all the excuses and complaints that people use.

Eating vegetables has always been really important in my family.  I’ve been a vegetarian since high school, so all the meals that I make are vegetable based.  My son, however is just as picky about eating vegetables as any typical 3 year old.  It’s always a challenge.  I’ve done everything from decorating his plate to look like a monkey face to hiding vegetables in muffins.

Recently, I found a great recipe idea that tackled one of the healthiest yet most despised (by children) vegetable – the green leafy vegetable.  It takes the often tough and boring vegetable (I used kale) and makes it fun.  It was so great that he even asked for more.  Then we just devoured every bite.

This recipe is sure to please all the vegetable haters in your family.  You will be amazed at how much they will eat.

Kale Chips:

1 head of kale (or swiss chard or other dark green leafy vegetable), wash and remove the tough stems and cut leaves into fun sizes
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
seasoning of your choice (salt and pepper, garlic salt, cayenne)

Mix your olive oil with your seasoning in a really big bowl.  Toss the kale in the bowl with olive oil so that all the pieces are coated. Spread the leaves out on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper.  Bake in the oven at 350° for about 10 minutes or until the leaves are really crispy like chips.  Mix them around about 1/2 way though the baking. They will become a beautiful bright green color and start to get brown on the edges.  You want to take them out before they get all brown.

I hope you enjoy them.


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