3 Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Recipes

Cheesy Pumpkin Polenta Fries

Crunchy on the outside and creamy in the middle, these are a satisfying yet healthy alternative to fries. They're not overly "pumpkin-y" so they appeal to both kids and adults.

Ingredients:

Cooking spray
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup low fat milk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup pumpkin puree (if you used canned, make sure it's plain pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Line a large 9 x 11 pan with parchment or wax paper, spray with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium stock pot, bring chicken stock and milk to a near boil. (Don't let it come to a full boil, as the milk will quickly boil over on your stove top.)

3. Add olive oil, salt, and thyme. Turn down heat to low and add cornmeal while stirring constantly to avoid clumps. Add pumpkin puree and cheese, continuing to stir. Cook on low for five to six more minutes.

4. Pour hot polenta mixture into lined pan spreading out to make an even layer. Allow to cool and then place in refrigerator for at least four hours.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

6. Cut the prepared polenta into long strips, like fries. Place "fries" onto greased cookie sheet and bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. Serve alongside chicken bites for a healthy and delicious meal.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

Complete your pumpkin-inspired meal with this healthy sweet treat, packed with B-vitamins and whole grains.

Ingredients:

Cooking Spray
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 ? cups all purpose flour
? cup sugar
? teaspoon cinnamon
? teaspoon salt
? teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into half inch cubes
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
? cup brown sugar
? teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the butter to the dry mixture until it resembles a course meal. Do not over mix, but leave some of the butter in chunks.

3. Pour half the dry mixture into the baking pan and bake for about 15 minutes until slightly browned.

4. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, egg, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Mix thoroughly. Pour wet mixture onto partially baked crust, and sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake until the topping is slightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy these seasonal pumpkin recipes with your family this fall.

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Christen Babb is founder of NurtureBaby, a website dedicated to inform, inspire, and encourage busy parents to make wholesome homemade baby food.

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