halloween party food for preschoolers

SHHH. SINCE WE’RE NEW TO THE U.S. this year, we’re skipping trick-or-treating…because our kids don’t really know what it is. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to dress up! So we had four friends over on Friday–a ballerina princess, a super hero, a unicorn-pegasus and a fairy princess, plus Pooh and Piglet (Tigger was napping)–and a whole lot of fun. There were no miniature Snickers involved and that’s just fine with this crew.

(*Today’s photos look amazing because they were taken by and generously supplied by Aubrey Whisler.)

There was a kids’ table and another one for moms and grandpas. Since preschool runs until 12:15, everyone came over right after school for a festive little lunch. Simple, simple and super sweet.

On the menu at the little table:

And for the adults, a delicious pasta dish adapted from my new favorite site, Sweet Potato Chronicles. Headed up by two former publishing pros like me, every time I read their site it’s like looking in the mirror and seeing myself–and this blog–only in a Canadian version. Anyway, you’ll hear more about them but for now, I made this pasta and everyone loved it: Late Har­vest Cavatappi. My version is coming up in a post later this week.

The mummy turkey dogs were totally adorable and very easy to make. The preschoolers, however, had no idea what a mummy was, so they weren’t as appreciative as the moms. (Surprise!) The witches’ brooms were moderately popular but the apricot balls were a disaster. These were a spinoff of the very yummy chocolate fruit and nut balls we recently made, except apparently not as good. Most of the kids actually tried them. They took a bite, then left the rest. Even my own kids, who helped make them. Wah, waaaah. The pineapple got a so-so reception which surprised me. But for sure, the cupcakes were a WINNER.

This low-sugar carrot cake recipe is so delicious and so full of good-for-you stuff that they can easily be “muffins”, meaning you can eat cake for breakfast, so can your kids and no one has to feel weird about it. Flaxseed, carrots, eggs, a smidge of sugar. Easy and pretty awesome. Ditto for the low-sugar cream cheese frosting. Everyone decorated two cupcakes at the lunch then took one home for “later”, by which I mean “mom”.

Here’s how we did the main course for the kids…

Mummy Turkey Dogs



  • Hot dogs/turkey dogs (I like the nitrate-free versions of hot dogs but pick whatever works for your crew.)
  • Ready-to-bake crescent rolls in a can (Meh, but this is what works.)
  • Mustard


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll the crescent rolls and cut into strips. Wrap the strips around each hot dog leaving a little window for the face. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until the rolls look fluffy and a little brown. Add two dots of mustard for eyes. Explain what mummies are without scaring the preschoolers to death…I’ll leave that up to you and if you have a good method please share it with me immediately.



  1. Molly says

    This is so fabulous! We miss you and the festivities you created this Halloween! But glad others get to appreciate. oxo

    • charityc says

      Ah, thanks Molly! We miss you guys and Rome too. But it was pretty fun to easily whip up a bunch of Halloween cheer with one trip to Target. :)

  2. Lucy says

    Hilarious! I can’t get over the cuteness of the mummy dogs. Gotta try that this Halloween. We don’t trick or treat here either (in Germany), but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on all the Halloween fun! Thanks for the great ideas, Charity!

  3. Dana Robinson Slote says

    this week’s lunches were extra fun, as was the preparation that came with them! kicked it off with the tangerine-type pumpkins, moved easily into the grape-based creepy, crawlies and tried the eggs with spiders to wrap it up. can’t wait to get after the turkey dogs — and thanks again for providing us the inspiration! XO drs

    • charityc says

      You are the cutest person in the entire PNW! Thanks so much for this note and I’m sure the little guy LOVED lunch this week.


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