For many, there seems to be a conflict between fun and health, but there doesn’t have to be. As health concerns for seniors increase, there is no reason to eliminate fun. Maintaining a high quality of life depends on striking a balance. These Halloween treats for senior citizens prove that a healthy and tasty intersection isn’t just witch-ful thinking this season.
Most seniors benefit from adding bananas to their diet. Still, like anything else, eating the same thing every day can become boring. Here is a way to turn that daily banana into a Halloween treat.
Peel a banana and cut it in half so you have two ghosts. Build a face on each ghost near the rounded end with chocolate chips. Dark chocolate is the healthiest option, but instead you could use carob chips, which are caffeine- and fat-free.
Jazz up that mid-afternoon fruit snack by turning it into a Halloween-themed treat. Clementines and other small oranges are easy to find in the store and make a healthy snack. Plus, they already have the Halloween advantage of being orange.
Peel a clementine or other small orange and insert a small celery stick in the center, leaving a portion of it sticking out like a stem. These miniature edible “pumpkins” can be eaten almost anywhere.
Bell Pepper Jack-O’-Lanterns
Cutting a bell pepper is much easier than carving a pumpkin, and the result is an edible treat. Use your imagination for filling and items to dip. Finger foods are fun and often less frustrating for elderly people to eat on their own.
Cut the top off an orange bell pepper and clean out the inside. Reserve the top with the stem intact. Fill the pepper with vegetable dip. To serve, place the pepper in the center of a plate surrounded by crudites and small whole wheat crackers for dipping.
Spooky Black Bean Hummus
Halloween snacks for seniors do not have to be sweet. Hummus is easy to make and easy to eat. Plus, its deliciousness does not rely on salt or sugar. Instead, it delivers a healthy portion of fiber and protein.
In a blender or food processor, combine two cans of drained and rinsed black beans, two peeled cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of tahini, four tablespoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of cumin and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Spoon the velvety mixture into a shallow bowl and smooth the top. Decorate with a spider web of sour cream or plain yogurt piped onto the surface and a black olive spider or two.
Red, bloodshot monster eyeballs carry the creepy Halloween theme to your snack table. This Halloween treat for senior citizens has the added bonus of making vegetables fun to eat. The flavor is reminiscent of pizza, an all-time favorite.
Slice a zucchini into half-inch thick discs. Lay the discs on a cookie sheet and top each one with a little sauce and a lot of cheese. Place a black olive slice in the center of each zucchini disc on top of the cheese. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese is melted.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Pumpkin is a healthy ingredient that just screams Halloween. These Halloween treats are also gluten-free, vegan and easy to make. You could store the extras in the freezer and take them out a couple at a time for a morning treat or a mid-afternoon snack.
Soak one cup of pitted dates in hot water for five minutes. Meanwhile, mix two eggs, one cup of pumpkin puree, and one teaspoon vanilla in the blender. Drain the dates and add them to the blender. Add two cups of rolled oats, one teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon cinnamon and two teaspoons pumpkin pie spice. After blending all ingredients, pour the batter into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Apples, grapes, sunflower seeds and almond butter all make healthy and delicious snacks. To turn them into Halloween snacks for seniors, all you have to do is use them to build these cute monster faces.
With the peel still on, clean, core and cut an apple into thin wedges. Cut green grapes in half widthwise, and cut red grapes in half lengthwise. Slather one side of an apple wedge with almond butter, then lay a red grape half, cut side down, on the almond butter perpendicular to and sticking out over the edge with the peel. Put some almond butter on another apple slice and sandwich the two slices together, leaving the grape sticking out between them like a tongue. Push chocolate chips, pointy side down, into the center of two green grape halves to look like eyes. Use a small dab of almond butter to paste the eyes onto the peel side of the upper apple slice. Poke a couple sunflower seeds through the almond butter into the upper apple slice to form the teeth.
Health and Fun Together
As demonstrated by this list of options, food can be fun while conforming to healthy eating habits for seniors.
These Halloween snack ideas will help you banish boredom, get over the blahs and make good food choices. To learn more about combining proper nutrition and a fun lifestyle for seniors, contact Embark Senior Living today.