Having young kids in the house means Halloween becomes an important event and is greatly anticipated for weeks in advance. But why should just the kids get all the goodies? Babies and toddlers should get some treats too—just healthy ones! There are lots of creative ideas on blogs, Pinterest, and baby food sites to help make this first milestone for your baby extra spooky. Here is a list of my favourites with suggestions on how to make them:
1) Apple Lips – these big toothy mouths can look fun and friendly or repulsive and rotten, depending how you want to make them. If your baby is too young to manage hard apple slices you can always steam them for a few minutes until they just start to get soft and remove the skins. These will make for some scary lips. Then replace the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter and the marshmallows with halved green grapes.
2) Avocado Faces – love this idea, and gives you a lot of creative freedom to make the spooky faces. Start by halving the avocados, removing the pits and scraping out the fruit into a bowl with a spoon (careful not to break through the skin because these will be used as bowls to form the faces.) Mash up the avocado then fill each skin back up with the puree. You can use any number of food staples now to create your monster: blueberries or cheerios for the eyes, pretzel sticks or cheese strings for the hair, and sliced cherry tomato or steamed beets for the mouth.
3) Banana Ghosts – this is a simple one when you want to provide a fast fright. Peel a banana and cut it clean across the middle. Take the top half (with the pointy end) and stand it on a plate then decorate it as shown to look like a ghost. If you don’t want your baby having chocolate yet, push some green peas into the banana instead of the chocolate chips. The pumpkins made out of the mandarin oranges are cute as well. Try using lightly steamed zucchini sticks or green beans as the pumpkin stems instead of the celery if it’s too tough for your baby to chew.
4) Carrot Fingers – these ghoulish fingers will be a blast for baby to eat. Steam the peeled carrot fingers until they are soft enough for your baby to eat, but not too soft so they won’t stand up straight anymore. Stick them in a bowl full of plain yogurt and instead of slivered almonds for finger nails (if you haven’t introduced nuts yet), try some roasted potato skins with a bit of beet puree dripping down. Beet puree will come in very handy at Halloween!
5) Babybel Faces – a cute afternoon snack for babies, preschoolers and older kids. Make a big batch at once because they’ll be fine in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Once you open up the wax casing, cut little teeth out of the wax using the tip of a sharp knife. Don’t worry if you nick the cheese a bit… the more beat up it looks the better. You can make the eye balls with a dab of white icing then a chocolate chip or small blueberry stuck in the center, or if you’d rather pick up some craft eyeballs that would work too (just make sure your kids don’t eat them!)
6) Mini Pumpkin Bowls – serve your baby something super healthy in one of these pumpkin bowls and how could he resist digging in? This is a great Halloween dinner idea for serving soups, salads or purees. Start by choosing the size of pumpkins that best suit your needs, cut the tops off and hollow out the centers. Then using black paint and a small brush, create fun and scary faces on your pumpkin bowls. For babies, make a vibrant green puree like apples and spinach, green beans, or zucchini.
7) Squash Spider Webs – this is an easy way to make a seasonal soup or puree have some Halloween flare. My mom-hack for this is to fill a ziplock sandwich bag about 1/3 full with plain yogurt or sour cream and then snip a teeny tiny point off one of the bottom corners, creating your own icing piping bag. Then slowly squeeze out the yogurt in the pattern of the spider web. Use a tooth pick afterwards, from the center of the bowl outwards, to create the defined edges of the web. The walnut is a clever idea for the spider, but if your baby isn’t eating nuts you can make one out of a chunk of cheese stick instead.
8) Pea Pancakes – some green pancakes on Halloween morning? Yes please! And the best part is that these pancakes are very hearty and make a great snack for later, so make a big batch. The recipe I found is on My Kids Lick the Bowl, but you can easily alter it to create your perfect Halloween pancake. Follow the directions from the Squash Spider Webs above to decorate them. Happy Halloween!