Feeding your kids a healthy meal on Halloween night may not be the first thing on your mind. But it should be high up on the check list for a successful Halloween. Fueling their bodies with some high quality food before they dash out for a long night of trick-or-treating may prevent a sugar crash!
A blood sugar crash is a result of eating too much simple carbohydrates – in this case Halloween candies. When the body gets a flood of sugar, it triggers the active production of insulin which is the hormone that regulates blood sugar. This may cause the blood glucose to decrease suddenly, resulting in a drop in energy level, also known as hypoglycemia. Some of the common symptoms are irritability, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, excess sweating, jitters, shakiness and dizziness.
Although the response to a sugar rush is very individual but why take a chance on Halloween night when kids are out on the busy streets in the dark.
Frozen pizzas, mac & cheese packages, and the like may seem like a quick solution for feeding your kids when you are busy. Surprisingly, in the time it takes to preheat you oven or boil water for packaged food, you can whip up a nutritious kid-friendly meal without preservatives, food-coloring, and added chemicals. The recipe below, Easy Pumpkin Mac & Cheese is easy (of course), fun, nutrient-packed, and only takes 20 minutes to make. Pumpkin is a very nutrient-rich ingredient – high in vitamin A, C, and fiber. If you want to boost the antioxidants even more – without doing more work – just add your kids’ favorite vegetables (chopped broccoli is my kid’s choice) to the pasta cooking water in the last minute of the cooking time. For more healthy food and cooking tips, check out my Instagram feed. Happy Halloween!
Easy Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
- 8 oz dried pasta
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1 Tbs flour
- 1 cup lowfat 2% milk
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp granulated onion
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it forms a paste, then slowly add the milk while whisking constantly. Cook 1-2 minutes until it comes to a simmer.
- Stir in the pumpkin, cheese and spices then continue to cook over medium low, whisking often. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once pasta is done, strain and transfer to the warm cheese sauce. Stir until completely coated.
Makes 6 servings