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Halloween parties that are healthy and fun

October 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Halloween parties are a popular alternative to trick-or-treating these days. They cut down on sugar overload and provide a safe way to celebrate. They're also an opportunity to get creative.

When it comes to throwing a Halloween party, Denise Vivaldo knows all the tips to keep your little guests entertained. She is the author of "Do It for Less! Parties."

"You can have the absolutely icy cold grapes," she said. "They're blindfolded. You make the children touch them with their fingers. It's kind of oozy and creepy."

For a spooky setting, set out dry ice in witch's cauldrons and try sneaking fake spiders into the chip bowl. Fun crafts, like decorating pumpkins, are always a hit.

The food can look frightening, but there's also the opportunity to make your scary spread healthy without them knowing.

"Instead of these huge portions of things you give, really especially little children, it's all in the unwrapping," said Vivaldo. "So you give them just a couple of little things and they're excited."

A great treat is dark chocolate and walnut candied apples. And use fruit, such as apple cakes, or even veggies. It is something that Yummy Cupcakes owner Tiffini Soforenko knows a thing or two about.

"As a mom of three kids under the age of 10 I like to use any opportunity to sneak good stuff," said Soforenko.

Soforenko created the Farmer's Market cupcake with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini.

"These vegetables are actually inside the cupcake and we don't try and hide them," said Soforenko. "People buy them because they like the taste, they like the idea that the vegetables are in there."

She also makes one with tubers as well.

"This is actually a brown sugar yam cupcake, it has whole baked yams," said Soforenko. "We puree the yams, put them in, don't add anything else to it."

Vivaldo reminds us you don't have to have a sugar-filled Halloween to impress kids.

"I disagree with giving kids junk," she said. "I think if you give them finer chocolate and better things to eat, that's what they'll grow up wanting."

If you are looking for a festive way to hold your baked goods, The Cupcake Tower is a fun, mess-free way to make display desserts. Starting at $35, it can even be used for macaroons, whoopie pies and other delicious desserts.

Also for those going trick-or-treating but don't wish to keep all the candy, Pacific Palisades Pediatric Dentistry will give $1 for each pound of wrapped candy received. They will ship it to our troops through Operation Gratitude:

Pacific Palisades Pediatric Dentistry
881 Alma Real Dr. #315
Pacific Palisades, CA
(310) 459-3088

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