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Because Fall is the Best Time of All

Because fall is the best time of all.

Halloween is almost here … are you ready? If not, read this family-friendly guide to healthy treats, costume cheats and haunted streets!

The temperature doesn’t have to drop more than a few degrees to get us anticipating the delights of autumn. Have you seen the supermarket aisles lined with pumpkin spice everything? Cereal, oatmeal, hot chocolate, marshmallows … the list grows yearly. High on fall’s fun-o-meter is, of course, Halloween and all the festivities in the weeks leading up to it. The food, the costumes, the crafts and spooky activities bring out the kid in all of us.

As a nutrition professional, I try to moderate the amount of sugar and fat my kids eat. As they get older, it becomes more difficult, so I’ve found that creating tasty substitutions works best. If you’re trying to feed your family heathier foods while still enjoying seasonal treats, try the nutritious and delicious snacks below. Each original recipe was created by DFW-area high school culinary students and is easy enough for younger kids to make on their own or with minimal help from you, depending on their ages.

The cute Halloween photos on this page are of my kids and a few colleagues’ kids from past years, which reminds me that it’s time to start thinking about costumes. Below the recipes you’ll find several DIY costume ideas (think easy and no-sew!) from some of the most popular movies and pop-culture events of this year. Your kids are sure to be a hit!

Finally, donning a costume is twice as fun when you have somewhere to wear it! So I’ve compiled a list of can’t-miss Halloween spooktacular destinations. Happy fall, y’all!

Kids Teaching Kids Recipes

Pumpkin is such a versatile seasonal favorite, and whether it's offered savory or sweet, it's nutritious and delicious. But just because a food contains pumpkin doesn't necessarily make it the healthiest choice. For example, a 12-ounce pumpkin milkshake will cost you 5 times more calories, 6 times more fat and 5 times more sugar than this version!

Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie

About This Recipe

Chef(s): Ryan Craven, Joseph Jones, Joshua Allen, Mitchel Mayes
Location: Prosper HS 2015

Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie

Nutritional Information

  • Calories - 100
  • Fat – 3 grams
  • Sat. Fat – 1.5 grams
  • Fiber - 3 grams
  • Sugar - 12 grams


  • 1/3 cup crushed Ice
  • 1/3 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 pinch of ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Honey


  1. Put all ingredients in blender.
  2. Put top on blender. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Serves 1

Caramel apples are one of the hallmarks of the season. Here, this traditional fall favorite gets a healthy makeover while maintaining deliciousness! Fat grams are slashed in half at 4.5 per serving compared to the traditional recipe at 9 per serving, and sugar grams are significantly lowered at 15 verses 40 in the traditional recipe.

Apple Pops

About This Recipe

Chef(s): Taelor Rankin, Hailey Watters, Riley Cole
Location: Allen HS 2015

Apple Pops

Nutritional Information

  • Calories - 130
  • Fat – 4.5 grams
  • Sat. Fat – 2 grams
  • Fiber – 3 grams
  • Sugar - 15 grams


  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, medium
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon or Lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Plain, Non-fat Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut, unsweetened, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp. Pecans, raw, chopped


  1. Wash and dry apple.
  2. Core apple and cut in half. Cut each half into wedges to give 8 wedges total.
  3. Put lemon/lime juice in small bowl and dip apple wedges.
  4. Push a cake pop stick into each piece of apple.
  5. Combine cinnamon, yogurt and honey in a small bowl.
  6. Dip each apple slice into yogurt mixture.
  7. Immediately sprinkle with coconut or pecans.
  8. Place apple pops on a tray or plate and place in freezer for 20-30 minutes until yogurt is frozen.

Serves 2

The season’s best DIY costume ideas.

Family-friendly activities and events around North Texas.

Amy HaynesAbout Amy

Amy Haynes is a registered dietitian nutritionist and published author who has been an educator in the science of nutrition and its application in food preparation in and around the Dallas area for the past 17 years. She values a practical, simplified approach to teaching and empowering others to embrace healthier living and willingly offers her knowledge and skills wherever the opportunity presents itself. Her favorite "test kitchen" is her own, where she daily strives to prepare healthy and tasty meals for her husband and two energetic teenagers.

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