Fun Fall Foods for Kids
By our guest nutrionist, Brooke Joanna Benlifer, RD, PT
Autumn is filled with pumpkins, apples, cranberries and warm scents of cinnamon rolls and turkey in the oven. Yum! When it comes to children and nutrition, here are a few fun fall foods for kids and tips that will help your little ones eat well and enjoy fall’s bounty!
Involve kids in both the planning and preparing of food. You can also take them shopping/apple or pumpkin picking/to a farmer’s market/let them have a hand in planning a family menu for the week.
Allow kids help with food prep. If they are too young to cut and chop veggies, perhaps they can help toss the salad, sprinkle some cheese on top of a homemade pizza, or stir muffin batter.
Kids also love to DIP & DUNK! Offer healthy alternatives for them (guacamole, hummus, Greek yogurt, fruit and veggie slices/sticks).
Encourage kids to try new foods with a NO, THANK YOU PORTION. For example, they must try (take a bite) of a new food, but if they decide that they do not like it, they are not forced to eat more than that one bite, or “no, thank you portion”. Note, it often takes MANY tries of a new food before a child develops a taste or liking to it. Therefore, as parents, we need to respect this and be patient. Sometimes a child will prefer a specific food in one form, but not another (e.g. love tomato sauce, but refuse to eat raw tomatoes on a salad). This is common!
Below are some fun fall foods for kids recipe ideas I created for fall to keep your loved ones happy and well nourished this season!
Sweet & Creamy Pumpkin Parfaits
In a 16oz glass, layer:
¼ cup plain, canned pumpkin (sweetened with a little raw honey*)
¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt (full fat if possible)
Alternate layers until glass is mostly full. Garnish with a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon.
*ONLY if the child is over the age of one year. Children should never be given honey until they are at least age one.
Autumn Apple Bake
In a microwave safe dish (or in the oven), remove the core and seeds from one apple. Bake until soft and add 1 Tbsp of almond butter. Top with 1 tsp of real maple syrup.
Veggie Muffins and Brownies
Add shredded carrots and zucchini to any muffin or brownie recipe for a dose of extra fiber and one or two extra servings of vegetables!
Homemade Bone Broth
Add Bone Broth to vegetables and grains when you cook! Make homemade bone broth in a crockpot (Google “how to make bone broth”—there is NO shortage of recipes, and I promise, it is easy!!). Add the broth to broccoli, quinoa, rice, etc. or use as a gravy for baked white, sweet or purple potatoes, for example. Bone broth is extremely nourishing, an excellent source of collagen, and is rich and flavorful! Additionally, some kids even enjoy bone broth in its most basic form, gelatinized in the refrigerator overnight after cooking and cooling.
Roasted Root Vegetables and Squash
Roasting carrots, parsnips, kabocha, and butternut squash in the oven (you can toss the raw, chopped pieces in coconut oil and sea salt before placing them on a baking sheet) brings out their natural sweetness. Kids tend to LOVE these!
Turkey Cranberry Roll-Ups
Roll a slice of nitrate free turkey with a dollop of a healthy cranberry sauce (homemade or without excess sugar).
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
In a blender, combine:
½ cup canned, full fat coconut milk
½ cup plain, canned pumpkin
and ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp real maple syrup
1 Tbsp almond butter
Blend until smooth.
Wishing you a wonderful autumn season, filled with family, friends, and delicious food that leaves you feeling your best!
To learn more tips from our expert child and family nutritionist, check out Brooke’s website!