These 15 Minute Halloween Banana Ghosts (aka Boonanas) are a scary and delicious snack for you and your kiddos to enjoy while getting into the holiday spirit. Using only 4 ingredients including bananas, coconut oil and white chocolate, these are super simple to whip up and make a fun after school snack!
Halloween is such a magical time of year where the kiddos get to dress up in costumes, decorate the house, and run from door to door to fill up their pillow cases with candy. As a Mom, I love it because I get to be creative in the kitchen and create some “spooktacular” recipes that bring out my inner child like these chocolate banana ghosts.
As a Registered Dietitian, I think this is the perfect time of year to teach your kids about intuitive eating and listening to their bodies. I’ve included a step-by-step guide to a healthy Halloween and a few tips for making the perfect Boo-nanas so that you can truly embrace the magic of Halloween without stressing!
A dietitian’s 5-step guide to a “healthy” Halloween
As a Dietitian and Mom,I know how stressful Halloween can be. From trying to make the perfect costume, to worrying about your child’s candy intake, it can stir up a lot of emotions. But what if I told you that Halloween is the perfect time to teach your kids about intuitive eating and make a positive impact on their relationship with food?!
I know many of us grew up in the 90s diet culture era where sugar and carbohydrates were the devil. So some of what I’m going to say may surprise you and even contradict everything you were taught growing up. But I promise, as an intuitive eating dietitian, I want you and your family to live a life free of food guilt and obsession where you can be mindful and feel in control around ALL foods – including candy!
1 – Help them eat regularly like it’s any other day
Throughout the day, provide your child with balanced nutritious snacks and meals like its any other day. Eating regularly is the best way to keep blood sugars balanced (and mood stabilized). Make sure not to skip dinner. Starting the night off with a full tummy will ensure your kids have energy throughout the night to enjoy all the fun, and allow the candy to be enjoyed for what it is.
2 – Don’t make candy the star or villain of the night
It’s psychology 101, we want what we can’t have. If kids are made to feel like candy is “bad” or something that needs to be micromanaged and restricted, they’re going to want it even more. What’s more is that this may actually cause them to tune out of their body’s cues and how the candy actually feels. Halloween is an evening for all the senses (not just taste). There are fireworks, decorations, costumes, fun music (and scary soundtracks). And there is candy. Let it play an equal role in the evening’s festivities so your kids know it’s a part of the holiday but it’s not the ENTIRE holiday.
3 – Don’t police their candy or sugar intake
Okay, this is a tough one for most parents (I even catch myself struggling with this sometimes). We’ve all been told at one time or another some variation of the messaging that sugar intake needs to be properly managed or you can develop unhealthy habits. Spoiler – it’s actually the opposite.
By allowing permission to enjoy ALL foods, you will raise children who are calm and mindful around all foods, including sweets!
4 – Let them dig into their candy bowls
Kids are born intuitive eaters. If you observe how a baby or toddler approaches food, you’ll notice that for the most part, they eat when they‘re hungry and stop when they’re full. By allowing kids to continue fostering this skill they are more likely to maintain it into adulthood. Halloween is a great opportunity to practice this. Halloween is a great opportunity to practice this. Let them dig in on Halloween night without restriction.
And what if they overdo it and go crazy or feel sick? That’s okay.
One night of too much candy will not harm their health or teeth. However it WILL teach them about what DOES and DOESN’t feel good in their bodies. In the future, they will be more likely to pay attention to their hunger and satiety cues as they remember this experience, and this is more powerful from lived experience than from a nagging Mom or Dad.
5 – After Halloween, incorporate leftover candy into their meals and snacks
After Halloween, let them pick a couple of pieces to enjoy WITH meals or snacks. If you grew up in a household where you “had to finish your dinner before getting a treat”, this might seem counterintuitive but including candy on their dinner plate will help neutralize these foods. They might eat their candy first. Don’t comment on it. Just allow them to enjoy their meal in the order they see fit. If you don’t make a big deal about sugar and sweets, your kids won’t make a big deal about them either. They’ll be less obsessed with it and are less likely to lose control when sugar is around.
In the long run this will pay off and you will be raising intuitive eaters who are able to listen to their bodies. You’ll find with this approach that they are also able to say “no” when they don’t feel like it.
3 Myths about Intuitive Eating, Kids and Halloween Candy
Myth 1: If you allow “treats” with their meal, they won’t eat anything else
Serving “treat” foods with their meals actually puts all food on an equal playing field. It takes these foods off a pedestal. I know this can be scary, I’ve been there myself but through this practice at home we’ve seen firsthand how it removes the obsession with “treats”. You’ll be surprised to find that sometimes they actually go for the broccoli first and other days it’s the treat but in the end it removes the negotiating throughout the meal to eat just to receive the reward. Dinnertime becomes much more enjoyable for all.
Myth 2: They will get addicted to sugar if I let them eat it without rules
Actually quite the opposite. What we perceive as “sugar addiction” is typically a physiological response to restriction in some form. When we are physically restricting, our bodies will trigger different responses to get us to eat. Sugar is one of the easiest sources of energy for our body to break down. No wonder we crave it when we restrict!
What is often more surprising is that mental restriction can have the same effect. When we feel guilty after eating sugar or when certain foods are off limits, we will crave them more.
Instead of restricting their intake, make sure that you provide your kids with the opportunity to eat balanced, nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day and resist the urge to make “treats” a reward (i.e. if you eat your broccoli, you can have the candy!). Don’t forget to include ALL foods in their general diet without assigning any more or less moral value to any of them.
4 Steps to Making the Perfect Boonanas
Now onto the Boonanas! These are such a fun snack that you can whip up in 15 minutes or less and bonus – the decorating will have you feeling like a kid again too!
1 – Choose bananas that are under ripe or just ripe (you do not want over ripe bananas). This will keep them from getting mushy and will help balance the sweetness of the snack.
2 – Cut the bananas and put on a popsicle stick (about ¾ of the way). Optional: freeze the bananas for 20 minutes or overnight so the chocolate hardens quicker and the bananas maintain their shape when they get dipped in the chocolate. (If you don’t have time, this isn’t a must)
3 – Heat up the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave safe bowl. Spoon the chocolate mixture over the banana, ensuring it’s completely covered. Decorate with candy eyes or chocolate chips. (*note you can replace or mix the chocolate with yogurt for a snack with a bit of extra protein!)
4 – Put back in the freezer for 10 minutes or longer and enjoy!
Substitutions for Boonanas
WHITE CHOCOLATE: If you find white chocolate sweet or want a snack with more protein, replace the white chocolate with greek yogurt (vanilla is nice for this!).
BANANAS: Believe it or not, there are some people who don’t like the texture or taste of bananas. If you or your kid fall into this category, replace the bananas with frozen strawberries or apple slices and make mini ghosts or mummies. They are just as fun and just as tasty.
CANDY EYES: If you can’t find decorative candy eyes or don’t have any on hand, you can use mini chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth.
POPSICLE STICKS: Sub for skewers. Just make sure to cut the pointy part off and put the dull end in the banana.Print
Using only 4 ingredients including bananas, coconut oil and white chocolate, these boonanas are super simple to whip up and make a fun after school snack!
3 bananas cut in half
3/4 cup melting white chocolate
2 Tbsp coconut oil
6 popsicle sticks
Cut bananas and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet or plate. Insert the popsicle sticks into the middle of the cut end of the banana, about ¾ of the way through. Optional: Put in the freezer for 20 minutes or overnight prior to making these.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and coconut oil and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds increments, stirring occasionally until melted.
Spoon the chocolate mixture over the bananas until completely covered and put back on the tray or plate. Add your candy eyes (or mini chocolate chips) and put in the freezer for 10 minutes or until hard. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 5
- Category: Snack
- Method: Freeze