Halloween Tricks and Treats
Leslie Davis

Halloween Tricks and Treats

Looking for ways to make this Halloween fun, tasty and healthy? We have some tips and easy, kid-friendly recipes which will not spook your wallet.

Pumpkin Soup

blue bowl with orange soup in the bowl covered by a smiley face made of green herbs with brown bread beside the bowl and a black background with a white spider web on it

This is an easy meal for any fun fall occasion and will be a hit with any crowd. Kids will love helping decorate this yummy pumpkin soup using pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or crumbled parsley.


Serves 4

  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 small onion or 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth (reduced sodium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme or tarragon
  • salt and pepper (optional, to taste)


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Blend white beans, onion, and water using a blender.
  3. In a soup pot, mix bean puree with pumpkin, broth, and spices.
  4. Cover and cook over low heat about 15 to 20 minutes until warmed through.


  • A hand mixer or fork/spoon can be used to mash beans, onion powder or onions and water if you don’t have access to a blender. Softening onions by sautéing  them with cooking spray until translucent will make them easier to mash.

Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes

white plate with a pancake with bananas and blueberries for eyes and apples for the nose and mouth on a blue background with a black candy bat beside the plate

Have fun decorating these pumpkin pancakes with bananas, apples, berries or other favorite fruit toppings. It will taste great and give you additional vitamins and fiber from the fruit.


Serves 12

  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (canned)
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (low-fat)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine egg, canned pumpkin, milk and vegetable oil, mixing well.
  4. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Batter may be lumpy. (For thinner batter, add more milk).
  5. Lightly coat a griddle or skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium.
  6. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour batter onto hot griddle. Cook until bubbles begin to burst, then flip pancakes and cook until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Makes about 1 dozen 3 1/2 inch pancakes.


  • If you don’t have pumpkin spice on hand, don’t worry – it’s just a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. In this recipe, you can substitute 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon each of ginger and cloves for the pumpkin pie spice.

Mini Veggie Pizzas

6 round pieces of dough covered with red sauce and decorated with halloween designs made of vegetables, cheese and olives on a black background

Serve these quick, easy and tasty pizzas topped with your favorite veggies, olives, reduced-sodium tomato sauce, and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Use your creativity and involve the whole family to decorate their own mini pizza with nutritious toppings.

  • Begin with whole-grain pitas, whole-grain English muffins, or other whole-grain flatbread.
  • Spread low-sodium tomato sauce on top of the bread. Season with herbs and spices, like oregano, basil, pepper, parsley to taste.
  • Finally, add the low-fat mozzarella cheese and/or veggies, and olives to create your masterpiece.

How to use leftover Halloween candy

6 white squares with candy pieces on them on a purple background with a orange rectangle at the top with the words Mathematics game written on it and a small white ghost in the bottom right corner holding an orange balloon which says" boo" and a white word balloon which says "how many"

Are you wondering what to do with all the extra Halloween candy your children collected trick-or-treating? Maybe you don’t want your kids or yourself to be tempted with loads of candy? Try these other clever uses for the leftover candy.

  • Make math fun! Play a math game with your child’s leftover Halloween candy. Practice adding, subtracting, and multiplying or dividing candy.
  • Use the candy pieces to decorate a gingerbread house.
  • Play a game with the candy pieces like Tic-tac-toe. Better yet, have your kids make up their own game and use the candy for pieces in the game.
  • Use the candy for art projects, like gluing the candy on colorful construction paper to make designs.
  • Play a guessing game- one person makes a design using candy pieces and another person guesses what the design is supposed to be.

For additional Halloween recipes please visit Foodtalk.org and check out these blogs: Halloween Treats for Kids and Halloween recipes.


Written by Leslie Davis, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES | Edited by the Darci Bell, RDN, LD, and the Nutrition Education Team

Posted on: October 18, 2021

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