Halloween is a fun holiday for kids of all ages, but it can be difficult to navigate the extra candy and sweets at every turn.

But Halloween-themed food can be a treat without being full of sugar and fat.

These fast-and-easy recipes are perfect to serve before the kids head out to trick or treat. They just might keep them from dipping into the candy bag (well, at least from dipping in too much).

Full of calcium and whole wheat fiber, these Jack-o’-lantern Grilled Cheese Sandwiches will get your kids in a festive mood. Be sure to choose bread that begins with "whole wheat" as the first ingredient to ensure optimum nutrition.  Older kids will enjoy "carving" their own jack-o’-lantern faces in the sandwich. Keep this one on rotation year-round, face or no face.

Creepy Crawlers are another anytime kid-friendly snack or meal that the kids will have fun making and eating. If carrots aren't your youngster's favorite (although most kids love their sweet taste), you can substitute pretzel sticks for the legs.

Well Done: Recipes for Jack-o'-lantern Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Creepy Crawlers

And, keeping with the Halloween theme, you can find the recipe for Yam Chocolate Spice Bars at my blog, the healthycookingblog.com. Their orange color makes them just right for Halloween or any fall festivity. The recipe uses a spice cake mix topped with a delicious sweet potato cream cheese filling. You also can check out my scary Slice and Bake Chocolate Chip Spiderweb Cookie Cake!

Terrific Tips:

  • To make sure there's a healthy option at the party, bring a veggie platter and make it fun. Lay the chopped veggies in the shape of a spooky skeleton — bell pepper strips as ribs, celery stalks as limbs, sliced mushrooms as hips.
  • Instead of candy, hand out toys or trinkets — spider rings or temporary tattoos are fun — which can be bought in bulk. We had a neighbor who handed out rolls of pennies.
  • For a class treat, buy a bag of easy-to-peel seedless Satsumas and draw a jack-o'-lantern face on the peel with a black permanent marker. You can do the same with single serve fruit bowls.
  • Need a cute centerpiece? Fill clear glasses and vases with candy corn and pumpkin candies. 

Holly Clegg, best-selling national cookbook author of the trim&TERRIFIC & Eating Well cookbook series, specializes in easy, healthy, everyday recipes. Visit her website, The Healthy Cooking Blog. Follow her on facebook.com/HollyClegginstagram.com/holly_clegg and twitter.com/hollyclegg. Email her at holly@hollyclegg.com.