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Will Halloween happen? What can we do to celebrate?!

Halloween Planning in COVID-19

by Katie Cullum

You may not know what Halloween will be like this year… hold off on candy purchases!  No reason to stock up on candy that may tempt YOU.  Besides, when researchers from Yale University’s Center for Eating and Weight Disorders investigated whether children would choose toys over candy when offered both on Halloween….children were just as likely to choose toys as candy, regardless of gender.  So avoid jumbo bags of candy and buy at the last minute.  Or choose stickers, party favors, pencils, balls, etc. Check out this Clemson Extension post about healthy alternatives.

You may not be able to go trick-or-treating this year (or have trick-or-treaters), but that’s no reason to not have fun on Halloween!  Your kids will appreciate a little effort.  And with Halloween on a Saturday, you may have a little spare time to make it fun!

  • Make your favorite Stuffed Peppers recipe – and use orange bell peppers and carving jack-o-lantern faces into the peppers! This might be a good way to get kids more interested in peppers.
  • Make Monster Spaghetti. Cook whole grain spaghetti as instructed on box.  As soon as you add the pasta to the boiling water, add one tablespoon of black food coloring into the boiling water.  The spaghetti should absorb the food coloring and turn black.  Prepare your favorite spaghetti sauce, but don’t mix it with the pasta yet.  Now you can “monsterize” your meal – put a serving of spaghetti on a plate and top with sauce.  Place stuffed olives (or olives of your choice) on top of the sauce to give your spooky spaghetti some eerie eyes.  Serve and enjoy this frightfully fun recipe! Check out this blog from New Hampshire Extension for complete details on Stuffed Peppers and Monster Spaghetti plus a cute chicken noodle soup.
  • Create a do it yourself easy pizza station party. Have several toppings they can use to make a scary face! For example, let the kids (or kids at heart) arrange sliced olives for eyes, a mushroom for ears and green peppers for a mouth on English muffins with tomato sauce on the bottom. Top with grated cheese for “hair”. Heat in an oven until the cheese melts.
  • Make an "orange cow" beverage - it's healthy and a treat for the day!
  • One year, I made "bloody" tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. You could cut the sandwiches into "fingers" or cut out a jack-o-lantern face also.  
  • Instead of a gingerbread house, get the kids to make a tabletop haunted house.
  • You may be able to have a "hands-off" Halloween party in a backyard.  Plan some fun, but socially distanced family games.  

So far, I haven't heard of towns "canceling" Halloween.  But you'll still want to be safe!  Check out these Safety Tips
from our family Life Fridays blog.  I know Searcy will be having a "drive through" event - Boo at the Drive-Thru!

Whatever you do, have FUN with the kids!