Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday, but one thing I do love about it is that it gives me a built-in theme to make fun meals for my kids. Any time the theme presents itself, I’ll take it!
The theme for this meal was pumpkins and it looks much more complicated than it really is to make. First we have the drink – orange milk. We happened to have an orange plastic cup, so I just put a piece of clear packing tape on it, then drew a Jack-o-lantern face on the tape with a Sharpie. It looks great, but doesn’t ruin the cup! For the milk, I just added a little orange food coloring. Next up are grapes. They’re not “Halloween-y” by themselves, so I stuck in a pumpkin food pick to make them a little more fun to eat. The grapes are in another of my little tricks – turn your muffin cup liners inside out so that when the food is gone, you can see the pattern! These were in a pumpkin liner.
Hidden in the corner is vanilla yogurt. My kids think it’s okay, but it’s not really their favorite. So, I add sprinkles! It seems so silly, but sprinkles really do make everything more fun and they’re not adding enough sugar to matter. These are orange and black, with a few little orange pumpkins. The sandwich I served is just a normal peanut butter and jelly, cut with a pumpkin cookie cutter. The cheese in the next cup is cut with the same cutter.
Now, the piece de resistance – the Snack-O-Lantern! I saw this idea somewhere (maybe Family Fun magazine?) and knew my kids would love it! It’s really simple to make. Slice off the top of an orange, then run a paring knife around the inside of the orange, separating the segments from the rind. Pull them out and use the knife to cut a face out of the rind. I filled the orange with fruit cocktail, but you could use anything. You could even just cut up the orange segments and put them back in. For the stem, I used a little green cocktail fork. Looks cute, and it’s functional too. 🙂
A few days later, the boys asked for another muffin tin meal; this happened about 5 minutes before lunchtime… So, this is a meal that I just pulled together quickly, but they loved! I made the same pumpkin shaped sandwich as before, but this time I drew a quick face on it with food-safe markers. We had the same grapes with the pumpkin pick and yogurt with sprinkles as before. This time, I used different cheese, so I made smaller pumpkins.
These are actually made with a tomato cookie cutter, because I don’t have a small pumpkin cutter (note to self for next year…). We ended the meal with a sweet treat – candy corn! I think this quick themed meal turned out pretty well!
My older kids are just 4 and 6, so they haven’t really been into the scarier parts of the Halloween season yet. This next meal is a great way to play up the spookier side of Halloween and still have a lot of fun!
This might be one of my most favorite meals ever! Throughout the year, I clip pictures from magazines or bookmark websites with fun ideas for lunches. This was a collection of those ideas. Because this lunch featured a baked item, you’ll have to prepare a little in advance. Normally, my kids get cold lunches when we’re doing a themed meal, because I can pull them together quickly. This lunch consists of “Frankenkiwi”, a banana ghost, string cheese mummy gauze, candy corn M&Ms, apple fangs and a Hot Dog Mummy.
Most of the items are pretty self-explanatory. The apple is just sliced, with little segments cut out for teeth. I peeled the string cheese, rather than letting the kids do it like normal. They each got half a banana with chocolate chips stuck in for eyes. Their favorite part was the Hot Dog Mummy! It’s basically just an updated version of “Pigs in a Blanket.” I used a tube of refrigerated breadstick dough and wrapped it around a hot dog, leaving it open near the top for eyes. At this point, you can bake your mummies while you get the rest of the meal prepared. When the mummies are done, add mustard dots for eyes. I served it with a little cup of blood (ketchup) for dipping. I guess we haven’t done Pigs in a Blanket for a while, because they both raved about it and said it was “Better than awesome!” and “We have to have these again!”
I think the real star of this meal is “Frankenkiwi.” I saw this online somewhere and filed it away for a Halloween themed meal. Super easy to make! Just peel a kiwi, leaving some on one end for hair. If the peel comes off unevenly, that’s even better! I stuck in chocolate chips for eyes (just stick the poky part into the kiwi and you shouldn’t need anything else to hold them in). His mouth is just some jimmie sprinkles that I pressed in to look like stitches. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for the bolts in the side of his head, but as I was getting out the sprinkles for his mouth, I noticed that I had leaf-shaped sprinkles for fall! Once stuck into the kiwi, I think they look perfect. You could also use jimmie sprinkles for these if you don’t have leaves.
So, there you have it – a few ideas for Halloween meals for your kids, some super quick, some require a little more planning, but all are definitely doable. Remember, it doesn’t take much to make your meals memorable!\