Pumpkins…a healthy treat, no tricks!

‘Tis the season for pumpkins! It’s hard not to notice the end caps at the grocery store that display pumpkin cookies, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bread…the list goes on! Even coffee chains and fast food restaurants advertise pumpkin coffees and other items. Although these once-a-year items are a treat for those of us who look forward to them, many contain very little pumpkin and therefore contain very little nutrients that pumpkin provides.  So what is the health punch in pumpkin?

So what is the health punch in pumpkin?


The vibrant color orange in pumpkin comes from beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for vision as it helps the retina absorb and process light. Just 1 cup of pumpkin provides 200% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Beta-carotene has also been linked to healthy skin, as it helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays.

Healthy weight/digestive health

Pumpkin is a helpful aid in weight loss or weight maintenance. It is very concentrated in fiber, which keeps us fuller for longer which helps to prevent overconsumption at meals and excessive snacking. Fiber is also essential for a healthy digestive tract. I cup of canned pumpkin has about 7 grams of fiber, which is more fiber than 2 slices of some bread!


Consistent vitamin C intake has been linked to a stronger immune system and may help prevent colds or help us recover from colds more quickly. Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin C and can be eaten as a natural immunity booster!

How can pumpkin be incorporated into recipes? Add canned pumpkin to smoothies! It will add to the smooth texture and will also provide an array of nutrients. Pumpkin bars can be made with minimal sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg for strong flavoring agents. Lastly, canned pumpkin can be used to make creamy soup topped with pumpkin seeds for a bowl filled with fiber that will keep you fuller for longer!

Alana Scopel

Healthy Tricks VS. Sugary Treats

Trick or Treat! When we think of Halloween, yummy and sugary treats such as candy bars and caramel apples usually come to mind. Rightfully so, this is definitely a day to indulge! However, the amount of sugar in these delicious snacks can be astronomical!

Whether you are hosting a Halloween party or handing out treats at the door, there are a variety of healthy options that are fun and festive!

Just a few examples of the amount of sugar in some of our favorite treats:
Snicker’s Fun Size: 17 g, Blow Pop: 13 g, Skittles: 42 g, Dots: 21 g, Reese’s (2 cups): 21 g.

For comparison, this is how many sugar cubes are in 2 Reese’ cups:









Whether you are hosting a Halloween party or handing out treats at the door, there are a variety of healthy options that are fun and festive!


Cheese is a good source of protein and does not contain any sugar. Cheese sticks will be ok unrefrigerated for 2-3 hours, so kiddos may eat these later if needed.


If you have clementine’s (“Cuties”) and celery, you have a pumpkin! Peel each clementine and leave in its whole, round form. Cut celery into 1 inch pieces and place in the middle of the clementine as a stem. Clementine’s are a good source of vitamin C and can easily fit in a Ziploc baggy.

Photo from Frog Prince Paperie


If hosting a party, make a tray of witch’s fingers! Simply take baby carrots or carrot sticks and place ½ of an olive (black or green) on the tip as a nail. This can be served with dip or by itself. Carrots are high in vitamin A and a great, crunchy snack.


To help keep kiddos (and parents of trick-or-treaters) hydrated, buy mini or full-sized bottles of water. Create labels out of construction paper or use Halloween-themed paper to cover original water bottle label. Many drinks such as juice and punch are high in sugar. These spooky bottles will help quench their thirst!


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  1. 12 large eggs
  2. ⅓ cup plus 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  3. 1 small ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  4. 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  5. 1 Tbsp minced scallion or shallot
  6. 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  7. ¼ tsp black olive slices
  8. 24 black olives
  9. red food coloring
  1. Place eggs in a large pot with cold water, covering eggs by 1 inch. Bring to a full boil; boil 1 minute. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let sit, covered, for 15 to 17 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the eggs. Crack eggs and let sit in cold water 10 minutes or until cool. Drain, then peel eggs.
  2. Cut eggs in half lengthwise, then carefully remove the yolks, leaving the whites intact. Place yolks in a bowl; mash with 1/3 cup mayonnaise, avocado, mustard, shallot, lemon juice, and salt until blended. Using 2 teaspoons or a small ice-cream scoop, scoop yolk mixture into small balls and position in hollows of whites to resemble eyeballs.
  3. Press an olive slice into center of each yolk eyeball. Stir together 3 tablespoons remaining mayonnaise and a few drops of red food coloring in a small bowl for the "blood."
  4. Transfer colored mayonnaise mixture into a small sealable bag and snip the corner to form a pastry bag. Decorate eyeballs with bloodshot veins. Cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.
  5. Make Ahead: Egg yolk mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Fill egg whites, decorate and refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.
  1. From kitchendaily.com
Something to Chew http://somethingtochew.com/
Alana Scopel