Halloween treats you can conjure up at the last minute

by Julie Snyder

Halloween treatsThere's nothing like getting a letter from school or an invitation from friends stating that the children will be having a Halloween party...tomorrow!

In tiny print at the bottom, "hidden," is the fact that parents must bring in treats. Not only must it be something fast and fun, but the treats must be safe for kids with allergies.

Before you start cooking, print up a list of ingredients to put near your food. Many parents can't allow their child to try fun things because of the unknown ingredients.

Quick and easy Halloween treats

These ideas are sure to please all those wee -- and not so small -- spooks out there. Some of these items are sweet; others "horrifyingly healthy."

Caramel apple bites: Dice apples into bite size pieces, stick a pretzel stick into the pieces and bring along a caramel dip.

Beady edible eyes: Slice a large carrot into 1/3 to 1/2 inch segments. Dry off one side and smear it with cream cheese. Top each with a raisin, blueberry or olive eye.

Graveyard cupcakes: Every child loves chocolate so make dirt cake cupcakes and add a sugar cookie "gravestone" with each child's name on it. They'll love seeing their names on their cupcakes. (Make your favorite chocolate cake and top it with crushed up "oreos" to make the dirt. You can replace egg with applesauce or banana if there is a problem with egg allergy).

Ghosts on a stick: Cut a banana in half, insert popsicle stick and dip banana in white chocolate. Make little ghost eyes with dark chocolate icing.

Apple teeth: These snaggle-toothed snacks contain nothing but fresh apples and almonds and the kids love them! Core and quarter the apples. Cut a lengthwise wedge from the skin side of the apple. Poke several slivered almonds into the top and bottom "gum." You can use mini marshmallow pieces if nut allergies are a problem. They'll stick to the wet apple.

Pumpkin poop or ghost poop: Put cheese puffs (balls) or marshmallows in sandwich bags and add the pumpkin or ghost poop label.

Sugar cookies: Let the kids help make cookies and then they can decorate them. Halloween cookie cutters and different colors of icing with help them find their creativity!

Crispy rice treat pumpkins: Use the directions on the box to make the treats, adding orange food coloring (yellow & red make orange), roll into a ball aka pumpkin and decorate!

Witches brooms: For a spooky treat that isn't so sweet, tie 2-inch pieces of string cheese to the end of pretzel sticks to make witches brooms! Attach the broom "straws" with chives. Make sure to flare out the string cheese to resemble a broom.

The most important thing is to have fun and try to get your kids involved! You will be amazed at how much more fun it will be for them to pass out their very own creations at the next Halloween party!

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.