If you want easy, healthy snacks for your kids during the fall, pumpkin products are delicious choices. While they are widely available in stores during the fall, you can make many pumpkin-filled snacks at home any time of the year, thanks to the availability of canned pumpkin. Roasted pumpkin seeds from your child’s jack o’ lantern make a good snack on their own or as an ingredient in other homemade snacks.
Look for granola and granola bars that include both pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin granola is a healthy, tasty snack on its own, or as a topping for your child’s favorite yogurt. Older children might even enjoy it mixed into a smoothie, like a healthier version of tapioca balls in bubble tea. Granola bars are extremely convenient because they come in single-serving sizes, perfect for kids and moms on-the-go.
Around Halloween, you may see pumpkin cookies for sale in grocery stores and bakeries. Look for pumpkin oatmeal cookies, which are healthier than many other cookies. Add pumpkin to your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe if you make them at home. Oatmeal cookies are easy and quick enough for your kids to help make. Pumpkin oatmeal cookies taste great with chocolate chips or raisins.
Work some canned pumpkin into your favorite boxed vanilla pudding mix or pudding recipe. Stick to about half a cup of pumpkin, which should give a nice pumpkin flavor to the pudding without ruining its texture. Canned pumpkin is nutritious and convenient, because opening a can of it doesn’t take much longer than whisking together a box of pudding mix. If your kids love the taste of pumpkin pie, add a pinch of ground cinnamon to the pudding as you stir it.
Pumpkin butter is simply spreadable pumpkin, usually seasoned with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Smear some on toast, English muffins or bagels. Choose whole-grain bread products for added nutrition and flavor. The slightly nutty taste of whole grain foods go nicely with the autumnal flavor of the pumpkin butter.
- "The Professional Chef;" The Culinary Institute of America; 2006
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images