Scared of Halloween?

Scared of Halloween?

Dr Joanna McMillan's Halloween Bat Cookies

Children count down the days, while parents try to ignore it, but we are quickly approaching Halloween!

The Australian Health Survey found that Australians consumed an average of 60 grams per sugar per day with teenage males consuming an average of 92 grams per day.

The scary truth behind sugar and the damage it can have on children's health gives parents every reason to run and hide from Halloween, but this year, nutritionist, mother and Philips Kitchen Appliances ambassador Dr Joanna McMillan can help you and your children enjoy the celebrations without the traditional binge on sugar!

Makes 12
Prep time: 15 minutes plus 20minues rest (time in fridge)
Cook time: 10 minues (per batch of cookies)
Appliance: Philips Airfryer XXL

12 Goji berries sliced in half
3 tbsp Milk
½ Cup sugar (option to replace some or all of the sugar with stevia / erythritol sweetener)
1 tsp Vanilla paste
½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Salt
1 Cup wholemeal spelt flour
1 Cup almond meal

Using your hands, combine all the ingredients, except the goji berries, in bowl to form a dough. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5-6mm and cut the cookies using a bat shaped cookie cutter. Lay the cookies on a piece of baking paper. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
Press the two goji berry slices into each cookie to form the bat eyes.
Set the Philips Airfryer XXL to 180°C and leave it to preheat for 5 minutes.
Line the basket with a baking paper and lay in as many cookies as will fit without touching. (These cookies do not spread so they can be quite close).
Replace the basket in the Philips Airfryer XXL and cook for 10 minutes until golden. Remove and lay on a wire rack to cool. (Note: The cookies will firm up as they cool). Repeat with the remaining cookies.

This Halloween – eliminate the real danger with Dr Jo's tips and ideas on how to reduce sugar while keeping your children and their friends entertained and excited.

Prepare a filling, healthy dinner
Before the trick or treating begins, it is a great idea to prepare a yummy, filling and nutritious dinner for your children and their friends. This will help to reduce their temptation to overindulge in sugar as they won't be ravenous when they begin. I always prepare a "treat" dinner for Halloween including some homemade fries using the Philips Airfryer XXL which means I can make them using potatoes in their skin for more fibre and nutrition, with just a little top quality healthy oil. The kids already feel like they've had a treat before the sugar arrives!

Keep moving
If you are taking children and friend's trick-or-treating, plan a walking route around your neighbourhood rather than driving to decorated houses. You can create your own scavenger hunt of the neighbourhood as well so that the children feel in control of the route. This will help burn some energy and keep them moving between collecting treats.

Food fright factor
Serve healthy snacks dressed up in Halloween themes to increase the fright and fun back at your house. The internet is full of great healthy Halloween ideas such as banana ghosts and carrot witch fingers, I always make my healthy bat cookie recipe which kids (and parents) love.

Think about the drink
If children are enjoying sugary treats, make sure you provide some yummy but healthy drink options rather than buying bottles of soft drink. A great idea is to make a punch from sparkling water and 100% orange juice. Add some orange slices and blackberries for a Halloween feel, while keeping it healthy and refreshing.

Halloween isn't for your family?
If the tradition of passing out sweets and chocolate, or taking your children trick-or-treating isn't for you and your family, take a different approach and dress your family up in costumes and go to see a movie together, or take healthy Halloween treats to a children's hospital or nursing home.