Grandparents Teach, too: Pumpkin recipes add nutrition, math, fun

Halloween may be over but the pumpkin season lasts all year. Pumpkin is an all-around nutritious food. It is low in saturated fat and very low in cholesterol and sodium.

Then, it is loaded with an array of vitamins and minerals and a good source of dietary fiber. Since November is one of the top baking months you might try these child friendly recipes.

Kiddie pumpkin cookies

These cookies are quick and easy to make. You will need 2 cups flour, 1 1/3 cup quick or old fashioned oats, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 cup ( 2 sticks) butter or margarine softened, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar. You can experiment with lowering the sugar to ¾ cup of the sugars. You’ll need 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. If desired, you can add ¾ cup chocolate chips to the batter or poke them in while the cookies are just out of the oven.

Children can drop them one at a time and push them into the hot cookie with a spoon.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Beat in butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar until fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add flour mixture. Drop a ¼ cup of dough onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Cool before moving.

Kiddie pumpkin cupcakes

This recipe is for moist pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Whisk together 1/3 cup oil, 1 cup sugar, ¼ cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Sift in 1 ¼ cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Fold in 1 cup canned pumpkin and then ½ cup chocolate chips. Be careful not to over stir because the batter will become gummy and change the texture of the cupcakes. Fill lined cups 2/3 full and bake for 24-26 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. For more cooking time ideas see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com, wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons, Facebook and Pinterest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.