11 of the cutest and spookiest Halloween foods for kids

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11 Halloween foods for kids
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11 Halloween foods for kids

Mandarin Pumpkins

With a black permanent marker, draw ribs, eyes and a mouth on a sweet mandarin orange, then slip it into a lunchbox or snack bag.

Photo by Jackie Alpers

Bread Coffin

Cut off the top of an unsliced Pullman loaf crosswise. Hollow out the top and bottom pieces, and fill with dip of your choice. Arrange the "coffin lid" just over the top and position a plastic skeleton climbing out. Serve with vegetables, pretzels or breadsticks.

Photo by Jackie Alpers



 

Frightening Foods

A few well-worded signs can turn ordinary dishes into giggle-inducing winners. Label a pile of white doughnut holes as "spider eggs" (plastic spiders optional); a bowl of green puffed vegetable snacks as "monster boogers"; glasses of red punch as "vampire blood"; and hoisin-glazed chicken wings as "bat wings."

Photo by Jackie Alpers

Swamp Thing

Serve a messy pile of black pasta (squid ink spaghetti or black bean noodles) topped with a few scoops of marinara. Add two pimento-stuffed olive "eyes." Here's looking at you, kid.

Photo by Jackie Alpers

"Bone" Breadsticks

Stretch strips of store-bought pizza dough into bone shapes, brush with egg whites, sprinkle with Parmesan and bake just until golden. Serve with warm marinara for dipping.

Photo by Jackie Alpers

Bat Bites

Shape your favorite cheese ball base (or use plain cream cheese) into small balls, then roll in black sesame or poppy seeds to make bat bodies. Stick in two blue corn chips (or bean chips) as wings. Add eyes of minced peppers, carrots or capers.

Photo by Jackie Alpers

Gingerbread Mummies and Skeleton Pets

Skip the Christmas colors and instead decorate cutout cookie figures with bands of white fondant to look like bandages; add black icing for eyes. Transform animal cookies — dogs, cats, ducks or dinosaurs — into spooky companions by piping on white icing skeletons.

Photo by Jackie Alpers

Wormy Ice

Freeze ice cube trays halfway; add gummy candy worms (leave some "heads" sticking out) and freeze completely. Add to glasses of water or punch.

Photo by Jackie Alpers

Bell Pepper Jack o' Lanterns

With a paring knife, cut off the tops and remove the ribs and seeds from some orange bell peppers. Cut out eyes, noses and mouths; fill with carrot and celery sticks or shredded salad. Hollow out a dark-purple pepper and fill with ranch dressing for dipping.

Photo by Jackie Alpers

"Candy Corn" Plate

On a large platter, clean cutting board or table covered with butcher paper, arrange fruits and vegetables in the shape of the iconic treat. Gather white foods at the tip: a bowl of ranch dip nestled among bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), cauliflower florets, popcorn or jicama sticks. Place orange foods in the middle: carrots cut into coins, cheese puffs, cantaloupe chunks or cheddar cubes. Then put yellows at the bottom: yellow bell pepper strips, yellow cherry tomatoes, pineapple cubes, mango wedges or corn chips.

Photo by Jackie Alpers
 

Daddy Long L'eggs

Top your favorite deviled egg recipe with olive "spiders." Place a halved olive in the center of an egg for the body and arrange eight half-olive slices around it for legs.

Photo by Jackie Alpers

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It's dreadfully delicious.

You could argue that Halloween isn't only about the candy. And you'd probably lose that argument if you're talking to anyone under 13. But even die-hard trick-or-treaters need sustenance. With these scary-good party foods, it'll be love at first bite.

More from Food Network:
8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher
Surprising Recipes for the Microwave
12 Things You Didn't Know You Could Make in Your Waffle Iron

Now watch: The best new Halloween candies for 2016

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