As the weather cools down, summer’s bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables diminishes. Fear not—the fall harvest has just begun! With so many delicious and healthy fruits and veggies in stores and farmer’s markets this time of year, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your kids interested in cooking with these flavors. Here are seven great recipes that highlight fall flavors to get them started.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Fall is a beautiful time for wide ripe squash varieties. For kids, one of the best is the spaghetti squash, which is easy to roast. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake until tender. Once it’s cooled a bit, let your kids grab a fork and pull the “spaghetti” strands from the sides of the squash. They should come out quickly! Kids love this meal because it’s a vegetable that looks like pasta! Finish the dish with simple salt and pepper, or add your family’s favorite marinara or pesto sauce.
Baked Apple Breakfast
Apples are one of fall’s quintessential fruits, and finding unique ways to use them can be part of the fun! Make baked apples with an oat filling for an exciting breakfast dish that’s healthier than pancakes. Add raisins, cinnamon, nuts, a dash of sugar—anything that will help make this filling appealing to the kids! Adults will need to help younger kids core the apples and use the oven, but older kids can complete this meal independently and serve as a healthier sweet treat for those cold autumn mornings.
Pumpkin Black Bean Turkey Chili
Pumpkin is one of the best-known fall ingredients, and for a good reason! Its flavor and texture are so versatile that sweet and savory recipes are abundant. This chili recipe is perfect for those first cold autumn nights, and kids will be able to complete most of this meal independently. The pumpkin in this chili adds lots of vitamins and a rich, thick creaminess. Make sure to sauté the veggies and meat before letting everything simmer for a couple of hours on low heat to develop the flavor.
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Pumpkin Oatmeal Energy Bites
Looking for something with pumpkin on the sweeter side? These no-bake energy bites are an excellent, healthier option for snacks around the house during the fall season. Mix pumpkin, peanut butter, oats, honey, and add-ins of your choice. Then, roll them into balls and chill. Kids will love making this recipe from start to finish, and they’ll eagerly grab one of these for a quick snack instead of asking for candy or cookies instead. Win-win!
Parmesan Roasted Cabbage
Cabbage and other brassicas (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower) are often tastiest and most prevalent in the fall. In contrast with brussels sprouts, cabbage has a fairly neutral flavor that many kids enjoy when prepared well—by adding lots of other, yummy flavors on top! This recipe is easy for kids to prepare a vegetable that’s full of vitamins and fiber but tastes like parmesan cheese. By roasting at a high temperature, the cabbage will become sweet and soft while the cheese will melt to perfection.
Sweet Potato Latkes
Sweet potatoes are one of the best fall vegetables and an excellent alternative to the other potato varieties with less vitamin A. For a fun and easy side dish using sweet potatoes, you can bake these healthier latkes rather than fry them. That way, kids can participate safely without the risk of splashing hot oil. They’ll enjoy grating the apples, mixing everything with their hands, and pressing down the latkes to form flat rounds on the baking sheet. Dip in some Greek yogurt for extra protein and flavor!
Spiced Pear Smoothies
While apples are the stand-out fall fruit, pears aren’t far behind. Help your kids learn to love these sweet fruits by blending up a smoothie that uses fall spices to highlight the flavor. The best part? Kids can make these on their own, so keep the recipe handy when they’re craving an after-school snack. Use Greek yogurt for extra protein, and try various milk substitutes to find a flavor your kids will love.
These recipes are easy to make and kid-friendly, so everyone in the house will appreciate the fall flavors this season!