Make-a-Monster Trail Mix

It’s all about the eyes.

These cute candy eyes are everywhere, and this year, I decided my daughter and I needed to bake up a fun Halloween treat with them. So I bought some, not knowing quite yet what we’d make. Maybe cupcakes. Or candy bark. Or cookies. Or doughnuts! Cute, right?

But while I was spending days contemplating, my daughter was growing more and more restless. Those candy eyes stared at her from the kitchen counter – literally. Finally, I broke down. Okay, okay kid! We’ll do something with the darn eyes already!

10 minutes later, we were building trail mix monsters.

Make-a-Monster Trail Mix - Googly eyes, cereal eyeballs, raisin noses, pretzel heads ... they'll love creating creatures with this ghoulishly simple Halloween kids' snack and activity rolled into one.

The rules are as follows:

  1. First, you have to make a monster.
  2. Then you eat the monster.
  3. Repeat!

It’s highly fun for kids and adults alike, honestly. And trust me – we’ve been playing with Make-a-Monster Trail Mix every day for the past week, kid’s request. She loves the stuff.

Make-a-Monster Trail Mix - Googly eyes, cereal eyeballs, raisin noses, pretzel heads ... they'll love creating creatures with this ghoulishly simple Halloween kids' snack and activity rolled into one.

Especially the M&Ms and the candy eyeballs. My little sweet-toothed gal seems to build monsters that have quite a few of both of those. Conveniently.

Make-a-Monster Trail Mix - Googly eyes, cereal eyeballs, raisin noses, pretzel heads ... they'll love creating creatures with this ghoulishly simple Halloween kids' snack and activity rolled into one.

What I usually do is divvy out a small cup or bowlful of trail mix at a time to encourage her to use – and eat – all of the ingredients in the trail mix – the good stuff too, not just the sweets.

Another option, if you would like to be more health-conscious, is to leave out the candy entirely. There’s plenty of ghoulish goodness you can make with sunflower seeds (teeth!), pepitas (excellent noses!), almonds (for everything!), cashews, dried fruits, healthier cereals … really, you can put whatever you want into the mix, and you and the kids can still have lots of fun with it.

Make-a-Monster Trail Mix - Googly eyes, cereal eyeballs, raisin noses, pretzel heads ... they'll love creating creatures with this ghoulishly simple Halloween kids' snack and activity rolled into one.

I see you!

Make-a-Monster Trail Mix - Googly eyes, cereal eyeballs, raisin noses, pretzel heads ... they'll love creating creatures with this ghoulishly simple Halloween kids' snack and activity rolled into one.

I think this Make-a-Monster Trail Mix would be perfect for a kid’s Halloween party, or even just a fun playdate snack/activity. I plan to bring a revised version for preschool snack later this month – no nuts or candy for that bunch, but it should still be just as fun.

Free printable

Here’s a free printable flag for your make-a-monster trail mix! Just download, print it out, cut it out, and use some double-stick tape to adhere it to the top of a bamboo skewer. Be sure to trim off the sharp pointy end (best be safe!) Then just stick it right in to your bowl of trail mix.

Download “Make a Monster – Eat Him Up” printable (PDF)

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Make-a-Monster Trail Mix

Holy beastly goodness! Googly eyes, cereal ears, raisin noses, pretzel heads …  they’ll love creating creatures with this ghoulishly silly snack and activity rolled into one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (.88 ounce) package candy eyeballs
  • 2 cups mini pretzels
  • 1 cup corn puff cereal
  • 1 cup Os cereal
  • 3/4 cup M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Anything else you want!

Directions:

  • Pour all ingredients into a large bowl and toss with your clean hands or a large wooden spoon. Done! I like to serve it in individual cups.
  • Stores for at least a couple of weeks in a zipper bag or an airtight container.

Gluten-Free Option

Choose gluten-free cereals. Judging by the list of ingredients on my particular candy eyeballs package, they appear to be gluten-free, but please use your own judgment!

Refined Sugar-Free Option

Omit candy eyeballs and M&Ms. Choose sugar-free or refined-sugar-free cereals.

Vegan/Dairy-Free Options

I’m not sure if store-bought candy eyeballs are vegan (sorry). To be safe – or just to have fun – perhaps try this homemade googly eyes recipe. So awesome!

All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

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Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.