Halloween typically means loads of sugary treats, but shifting the interest from candy to natural fruit helps children eat healthier over the holiday season. Fun fruit trays offer healthy snacks for kids, and making your own interesting fresh snacks helps save money compared with purchasing commercially prepared trays. The Colorado State University Extension recommends washing fruit under cold running water. Scrub fruit with a rind or hard skin with a vegetable brush to get rid of the disease-causing microbes and unhealthy chemicals.
Fill the tray with treats created with fruit spirals to give children a healthy snack and a bit of Halloween fun. Fresh cut fruit and spreadable fruit offer the construction elements to create a fruit tray filled with piles of imaginary worms, brains or intestines. Start with a flat-fruit slice from an orange or apple and add a layer of spreadable fruit. Add several fruit spirals and attach these with the spread to create a worm pie. Puree kiwi fruit and add a teaspoon of green slime to the worms. Strawberry spread in place of the kiwi slime substitutes for blood. A spread made from cherries creates pretend dried blood to create brain matter and intestine fruit piles.
Insects, Bugs and Spiders
Halloween fruit trays made with individual size bugs and spiders allow kids to select a unique insect from the tray. Create the body from dried fruits, including berries, cherries, cranberries, prunes and grapes, and use fruit leathers -- strips of dried fruit -- for the insect legs. Add shredded coconut as a spider web veil, and chopped dates and raisins as decorations for the bug bodies for authenticity. Use white parchment paper as a tray lining to feature the small fruit insects. Add the correct number of legs, including six legs for insects and 8 for spiders, and the fruit tray also serves as a fun way to educate young Halloween partygoers.
Zombie Eyeball Treats
Make bloodshot and bloody eyeballs and zombie eyes in all color configurations using flat orange and apple slices as a foundation. Cut small thin slices of figs, kiwi and bananas to layer on the fruit foundation to create the iris. Focus the center of the eye using a raisin or red and green grapes sliced in half to recreate the pupil. Serve the tray of eyes with a side of gummy fruit strings to allow young snackers a chance to add some personal decorations to the Halloween treats.
Monster Faces and Masks
Halloween typically involves masks featuring an assortment of faces, and a tray of masks made from fruit gives kids a chance to appreciate dozens of different faces before eating the treats. Create the face masks on tiny paper plates with a variety of cut, diced and slivered strips made from fruit. Citrus spirals work well for imaginary hair, apple peels for ears and melon balls for eyes. Serve the small plates from the tray to encourage kids to try all the different types of fresh fruit used to create the masks.
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Healthy Halloween Parties and Meals for Children
- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Spend Smart. Eat Smart.
- University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County: The Many Faces of Spreadable Fruit
- Utah State University Cooperative Extension: Home Drying of Food
- Colorado State University Extension: Guide to Washing Fresh Produce
- Discovery Education: Insects and Spiders
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images