Bone -- as in skeleton bone -- appetit! You can create healthful Halloween-themed food for kids to eat before their sugar stroll begins.
Here's a roundup of healthy Halloween party food, from Spider Deviled Eggs to witches' brooms made from string cheese, mummies made from meatballs, ghosts made from bananas and more.
Spooky Spider Snack
Jill Mills came up with this snack for her three sons -- she offers more Halloween ideas at kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com. She's also just come out with her first cookbook, "Wild Eats and Adorable Treats: 40 Animal-Inspired Meals and Snacks for Kids" (Skyhorse, $14.99).
12 pretzel sticks
Dab of cream cheese or peanut butter
1. Poke three holes on each side of the plum with a knife.
2. Take six pretzel sticks and push them into the holes.
3. Poke a hole on the ends of the grapes and slide them onto the pretzel sticks, leaving just a bit of the pretzel showing.
4. Fill up the other pretzel sticks with grapes and poke a hole on the end grape with the kitchen knife. Press that onto the end of the pretzel that is showing.
5. Stick on the edible eyes with cream cheese or peanut butter.
Another treat that can be made in a snap, from Super Moms 360 (supermoms360.com), a website for busy moms. "We are all about simple shortcuts for moms," says founder Deborah Stallings Stumm. "There's enough candy at Halloween. These are still cute, kids love to eat them, and they don't take three hours to prepare."
1. Peel clementines.
2. Insert celery stick as pumpkin stem.
Pillsbury Crescent Mummy Dogs
This is a longtime favorite for Halloween dinner from Pillsbury (pillsbury.com).
1 can (8 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (eight count)
2 1/2 American cheese slices, quartered
10 large hot dogs
Mustard or ketchup, if desired
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Unroll dough; separate at perforations to create four rectangles; press perforations to seal. With knife or kitchen scissors, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough. Slice cheese slices into quarters (1/2 slice cheese, cut in half).
3. Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog and 1/4 slice of cheese to look like bandages, stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate bandages so hot dog shows through for face.
4. On ungreased large cookie sheet, place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down); spray dough lightly with cooking spray.
5. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are hot.
6. With mustard, draw features on face.
Here's an easy-peasy way to get some fruit into kids -- Boo-nana Ghosts from Real Mom Nutrition (realmomnutrition.com). OK, there is a little chocolate involved -- but the ratio of fruit to chocolate is sky-high.
Mini chocolate chips
Lollipop sticks (can be purchased at craft stores)
1. Cut each banana in half horizontally.
2. Press two mini chocolate chips into the banana near curved end for eyes.
3. Insert a lollipop stick in bottom of banana.
Sorcerer's Apprentice Broom Snacks
These witches' brooms were inspired by the movie "Fantasia," says creator Sarah James, a food writer and blogger based in San Francisco. "They're super-easy and fast," James says, and, with just three ingredients, inexpensive to make. For more of James' creations, visit instructables.com.
Mozzarella string cheese sticks
Tiny pretzel rods
1. Cut cheese sticks in half horizontally.
2. Using a small knife, cut strips halfway up each cheese stick half, leaving the top part of it solid, so that it looks like the bottom of a mop or broom.
3. Insert a pretzel rod into the uncut end of the cheese stick.
4. Wrap "top" of the cheese with chive and knot.
Pillsbury Meatball Mummy Crescent Bites
Here's a twist on the hot-dog mummy -- kid-sized mummy meatballs from Pillsbury.
1 can (8 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet
20 frozen cooked meatballs, thawed
Ketchup or mustard, if desired
Marinara sauce, if desired
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line work surface with parchment paper. Unroll dough (if using crescent roll dough, press perforations to seal); cut into four rectangles.
3. With knife or pizza cutter, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough.
4. Wrap two pieces of dough around each meatball to look like bandages, stretching dough slightly to cover meatballs.
5. Separate bandages near one end to show meatball face.
6. Place wrapped meatballs on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and meatballs are hot.
7. With ketchup and mustard, draw eyes on mummy bites. Serve with warm marinara sauce.
Spider Deviled Eggs
These creepy-crawly eggs are from Williams-Sonoma (williams-sonoma.com).
12 hard-boiled eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. minced shallots (optional)
2 tsp. finely chopped capers (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
36 pitted black olives, cut in half lengthwise
1. Peel the eggs and cut each egg in half lengthwise. Scoop the egg yolks into a bowl.
2. Add the mayonnaise and mustard and stir until well combined. If using shallots and capers, add those as well. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer the yolk mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip or to a resealable plastic bag with a corner cut off.
4. Place the egg white halves, cut side up, on a platter and pipe the yolk mixture into the whites. Place one olive half, cut side down, in the center of each deviled egg to create the body of the spider.
5. Cut each of the remaining 48 olive halves lengthwise into four pieces. Arrange four olive pieces on each side of the olive halves to create the spider legs.
Silly Apple Bites
Make these Silly Apple Bites from the Fork&Beans website -- with one googly eye they look a lot like Mike Wazowski from "Monsters Inc."
Visit forkandbeans.com for the complete recipe.
Happy Cheddar Cheese Treats
These treats from Canadian Family include apples, cheese and peanut butter -- so be careful if any kids you're serving have peanut allergies. For more ideas, visit candadianfamily.ca.
Any type of crackers
Red apples with peel, cut in half and then thinly sliced into rounds
Cheddar cheese, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1. Using Halloween cookie cutters, cut out of cheese slices amusing Halloween shapes such as pumpkins, ghosts or crescent moons.
2. Spread peanut butter on crackers and top each one with one or two slices of apple and a cheese cutout.
3. Decorate cheese cutouts with eyes and mouths, using raisins or other pieces of fruit.
Spooky Mandarin Oranges
It doesn't get much easier than this recipe from becomingabentoholic.com that entices kids to choose a fruit cup.
What you'll need:
Mandarin orange fruit cups
Draw spooky, jack-o'-lantern faces on top of the mandarin orange cup.
More Halloween fun on Long Island
Looking for more Halloween fun? You'll find great costume ideas, local events, party planning tips, recipes and more at newsday.com/Halloween.