Last weekend, my four-year-old daughter got bitten by the Halloween bug. She could think of nothing but jack-o-lanterns, Harry Potter, princess costumes, and “Halloween activities.” What four-year-old actually says “activities” anyway? She cracks me up! But, I digress. Aria wanted to have a “spooky snack”, and I wanted to create something that was creepy enough to satisfy her Halloween craving but not loaded with sugar.
Real mom moment: I’m not as good about keeping Aria’s sugar consumption down as I want to be. I’m incredibly lucky that this little angel of mine LOVES fruits, veggies, and cheese. However, my health issues led us to move in with my parents last year, and they are unstoppable when it comes to spoiling their only grandchild. So, despite my best efforts, sweets and super-processed foods are offered to her more often than I like, and after a year I have given up on fighting them about it. Instead, I focus on providing healthy alternatives and praise her like crazy when she chooses them. So, when she asked for a Halloween treat, I immediately started brainstorming snacks that were candy-free. Then I found out that Mini Babybel® Cheese was on sale at Target (and will be through the end of the month!) and I had a serious lightbulb moment. I knew exactly what to make to appease my Halloween fanatic!
Spooky Mini Babybel® Eyeballs!
To find Mini Babybel® cheese in your Target, look by the shredded and sliced cheeses in the refrigerated section. You should totally check that out while it’s on sale, because the only thing better than yummy, healthy, natural snacks is getting a discount on them! We also picked up some green olives, deli mustard, food coloring, and toothpicks, then headed home to create.
It Was a Naptime Smash!
I have a confession. I’m a bit of a control freak, and the idea of letting my four-year-old paint with food coloring may have caused a few heart palpitations. So, I had the genius idea of making these delicious spooky eyeballs while Aria was down for her nap. There were two problems with this brilliant plan:
- She was way too excited about the project to even pretend to sleep.
- I made the grave mistake of thinking she would eat a green olive instead of a black one. Because, reasons.
When I finished making the first batch of Spooky Mini Babybel® Eyeballs, I checked her video monitor and found her standing on the bed, staring into the camera. Is she practicing to be in a horror movie? Maybe. She’s pretty much got it down. Deciding I would rather play with her than spend the next hour contemplating whether or not she might be possessed, I went upstairs and released her from her naptime prison (aka her pink princess bedroom).
And then she saw the eyeballs. She was ecstatic for about 2.7 seconds before she realized all the olives were… green. So, to appease my unique little smidgen, I opened the can of sliced black olives we keep in the pantry for just such emergencies. After adding those to the ingredients tray, I took a deep breath and set her loose on the cheese.
Before getting to work on her spooky creations, Aria decided to acquaint herself with the cheese. Honestly, even I couldn’t resist playing with them in those cute Halloween wrappers! When she discovered how to open them, it was GAME ON! She had so much fun unwrapping and eating the little cheese wheels that she kept sneaking them when I had my back turned.
Thankfully, Mini Babybel® cheeses are 100% REAL CHEESE, a great source of calcium and protein, and not packed with calories like many other snack options. And besides, I had already eaten three, so I couldn’t really say anything to her…
Step Into Our Laboratory…
As soon as she discovered our little laboratory, Aria pointed out a glaring omission – crackers! So, I found a box of multigrain crackers (another thing we keep on hand for emergencies like this), and added them to the plate. I placed the sliced green and black olives and a bit of deli mustard in a small dish so they would be easily accessible for little hands. Also pictured: my incredibly offensive GREEN OLIVE eyeballs, which I still think taste better than the black olive versions and it’s not just because I have green eyes, thankyouverymuch. When I started, I unwrapped a few of the cheeses and set them on a plate – I snagged this adorable little guy from Bullseye’s Playground at Target! Aria preferred to work on one Spooky Mini Babybel® Eyeball at a time, so she could make each one perfect.
Next, we dipped sliced olives in the deli mustard, and stuck one slice in the center of each mini cheese wheel. And, finally, we got artistic! We painted veins (or polka dots, as they were Aria’s preference) on the cheese all around the olive slices using toothpicks and food coloring. Helpful trick: Pour 4-5 drops of red food coloring into a plastic bottle cap or something similar and use this as your “paint pot”.
Once we finished decorating our Spooky Mini Babybel® Eyeballs, it was time for the taste test. I can proudly report that these healthy Halloween treats were a smashing success! Aria couldn’t eat hers fast enough! And I have to hand it to her – the crackers really did take this snack to the next level.
Later that afternoon, Aria’s friends came over, and we set up a workstation outside where the girls could all make their own Spooky Mini Babybel® Eyeballs – it was a HUGE hit! Our impromptu Halloween party was full of excited girls who all LOVED their healthy Halloween snacks, and I loved knowing that they were getting a wholesome snack that I could feel good about.
Even when it isn’t Halloween, Mini Babybel® will always have a special place in our refrigerator and in our home. Any snack that is natural, wholesome, delicious, and fun to open is a solid win in my book! Get your Mini Babybel® at Target today (remember, they’re on special through the end of October!), and share your own spooky creations with #HealthyHalloween and #BabybelTarget so I can see!!!
For an easy, fun, & healthy Halloween snack that's all treat and no tricks, whip up these Spooky Mini Babybel® Eyeballs with your kids. Let the haunting commence!
- 6 Wheels Mini Babybel® Original Cheese
- 6 Wheels Mini Babybel® Light Cheese
- 1 tsp. Deli Mustard
- 6 Slices Green Olives
- 6 Slices Black Olives
- 4-5 Drops Red Food Coloring
Unwrap all 12 Mini Babybel® Cheese wheels and arrange on a plate.
Dip one side of a Sliced Olive in Deli Mustard, and place it mustard-side-down in the center of one Mini Babybel® Cheese wheel. Repeat until there is one olive in the center of each cheese wheel.
Pour 4-5 drops of red food coloring into a small container, such as a clean bottle cap.
Dip the tip of a toothpick in the food coloring, and use this to draw veins on the cheese. Repeat until each Spooky Mini Babybel® Eyeball is sufficiently veiny and creepy.
Enjoy your creations! Feel free to ad-lib a maniacal laugh or enthusiastic, "It's ALIVE!" here.
The Spooky Mini Babybel® Eyeballs made with Mini Babybel® Original cheese will be approximately 72 calories. Those made with Mini Babybel® Light cheese will be approximately 52 calories.