"For kids generally it's a good idea to keep things simple, maybe not a lot of mixed dishes," says registered dietitian Carol Harrison.
Try a mix-and-match approach with pita bread, chunks of cheese and vegetables and fruits.
"You can take what you like, leave what you don't like and not have a lot of foods that are mixed together because sometimes that's what can turn children off. You can have fun interesting things for the adults and then just try to make for those kids who aren't quite as adventurous you've got some of these plain basic foods that aren't touching."
Kids enjoy the "ick" factor at Halloween, so serve up a "puking" pumpkin. Carve a small pumpkin with a face that includes a mouth; place guacamole around the mouth to mimic the "puke." Serve with any of these black and orange themed snacks: black olives, black grapes, black berries, black bean dip, black corn chips, black berries, orange coloured cheeses, orange wedges, slices of cantaloupe, sweet potato fries, carrot sticks.
Create creepy cocktails: Make a blood red punch with red wine (for the adults) or cranberry juice with floating grapes and pear slices.
Entree: Try pumpkin chili with black rice. Kids will also love a cauldron of meatballs in "bloody" tomato sauce and carrot sticks, each decorated with a sliced pumpkin seed on the tip to look like witchy fingers. Pulled pork sandwiches are also great party fare.
Dessert: Orange and black fruit salad (blackberries, cantaloupe, orange segments, black grapes), slice of pumpkin bread with whipped cream or vanilla Greek yogurt. You can get pumpkin-shaped cake pans and bake an apple or pumpkin cake, then create a spider web on top.
Roast pumpkin seeds: When you scoop out the insides of pumpkins for carving, separate the flesh from the seeds. Rinse seeds, pat dry, toss with oil and your favourite seasonings and roast in a 160 C (325 F) for about 25 minutes for a snack.
Purchase some inexpensive Halloween-themed napkins.
Source: Registered dietitian Carol Harrison of Citrus in Toronto; Foodland Ontario.Suggest a correction