Easy Pumpkin Recipe for Toddlers

Easy Pumpkin Recipe for Toddlers

Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait

This week’s recipe is inspired by my toddler’s love for pumpkin pie! On more than one occasion, he has woken up in the middle of the night screaming, “pumpkin pie!”. He just loves it so much. So while we intermittently make a pumpkin pie to satisfy his cravings, I wanted to find an alternative pumpkin recipe for toddlers.  

So we have now introduced this easy to make and healthy pumpkin yogurt parfait into our meal and snack repertoire! Delicious for toddlers and adults alike!

toddler enjoying a bowl of pumpkin yogurt parfait

Ingredients for Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup whole plain yogurt
  • Small handful of granola 
  • Drizzle of maple syrup
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • A small handful of dried fruit

Pumpkin Puree

You can use canned or homemade pumpkin puree. Just be sure you are getting ‘100% pumpkin puree’ and not ‘pumpkin pie mix puree’ if you are using canned. I like to use O Organics Pumpkin Puree.

Taste of Home explains that canned pumpkin has been steamed and is safe to eat without further prep. Additionally, it can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days after you have opened a can. 

Whole Plain Yogurt 

Or any ‘plain’ yogurt will do! Plain greek yogurt, low fat plain yogurt etc.

Granola 

Watch out for granola mixes that have large chunks of nuts as they are choking hazards for young toddlers. Just be sure to chop the granola and any nuts up finely if this is the case and also be aware of any potential allergies. Also note, babies under 12 months aren’t supposed to eat honey, which is often an ingredient in granola mixes.

Maple Syrup

Optional – my toddler will eat this parfait just as well with or without maple syrup. If I’m eating it too though, I like to add a bit of maple syrup for extra sweetness!

Dried Fruit & Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice

My toddler loves sprinkling some cinnamon onto his parfait along with some raisins, dried cranberries or dried apricots. 

ingredients for pumpkin yogurt parfait

Directions

Add equal parts pumpkin and yogurt (about 1/4 cup of yogurt and 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree) to a bowl and mix it all up.

pumpkin puree and yogurt blended in a toddler bowl

Next, add a thin layer of granola over the top, sprinkle on some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and throw on some raisins. And a drizzle of maple syrup if you want to sweeten it. My toddler will eat this with or without the maple syrup.

I often end up making my toddler a second bowl after he finishes the first, because he loves it so much!

toddler pumpkin yogurt parfait bowl

Pumpkin: Nutrition & Benefits

Pumpkin is a nutritious fruit (yes, it’s technically a fruit not a vegetable!) and offers some great health benefits. 

Nutrients in O Organics Pure Pumpkin puree (1/2 cup serving size);

  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin A: 930 mcg
  • Iron 1.7 mg
  • Vitamin C: 5mg
  • Potassium: 250 mg
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Total Sugars: 4g
  • Sodium: 5mg
  • Low in sugar and sodium
Low in sugar and sodium and high in vitamins and minerals like vitamin A and iron, pumpkin is a wonderful food to give growing toddlers! 
 
You can check out my post on Iron Rich Foods for Toddlers to read about the importance of iron for toddlers.   

Vitamin A

Perhaps the most impressive nutrient in pumpkin puree in terms of quantity is vitamin A. Healthline explains that vitamin A is important for vision, reproductive and skin health, a strong immune system and healthy cell division.
 
After examining the nutrition label on a can of pumpkin puree, I started to wonder if one can get too much vitamin A. According to the nutrition label, a 1/2 cup serving provides 100% daily value of vitamin A for someone with a 2,000 calorie/day diet. And my toddler was sometimes eating a 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree a day! Not to mention that a toddler’s vitamin A needs are less than someone who eats a 2,000 calorie/day diet.  
 
MedlinePlus states that the recommended daily amount of vitamin A for 1-3 year olds is 300 mcg/day and for 4-8 year olds is 400 mcg/day. The recommended daily amount for an adult man on the other hand, is 900 mcg according to the Mayo Clinic.

Preformed Vitamin A Vs Pro-Vitamin A

So here is where it is important to distinguish between the two different types of vitamin A and how your body processes them. While one form can be toxic if consumed in large quantities, the other is not. 
 

There is pre-formed vitamin A and then there is pro-vitamin A.

  • Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products like meats and dairy products. It is also often the type found in supplements.
  • Pro-vitamin A on the other hand is found in fruits and vegetables.

Pumpkins have pro-vitamin A. That is they have carotenoids (antioxidants like beta-carotene) that the body converts into vitamin A. It is also why they are orange! 

This can be a bit confusing when it comes to nutrition labels though, because preformed vitamin A and pro-vitamin A are lumped together on nutrition labels, as explained by Natural Grocers

Understanding the difference between preformed vitamin A and pro-vitamin A is important though, because preformed vitamin A can cause vitamin A toxicity (hypervitaminosis A), which Medical News Today explains manifests as symptoms of skin problems, organ problems, high cholesterol and nervous system issues. This is usually from eating a lot of animal based foods in addition to taking vitamin A supplements.

In good news though, scientific journal Cureus explains that the body regulates how much pro-vitamin A is converted from carotenoids, so toxicity is highly unlikely. If someone consumes a lot of carotenoids, they may just turn orange! So, Harvard T.H. Chan states that there is no need to worry about consuming too much beta-carotene (the pro-vitamin A precursor).   

bowl of pumpkin yogurt parfait for toddlers
Does your toddler love this pumpkin yogurt parfait? Do you have another favorite pumpkin recipe for toddlers? Say hi and let me know in the comments!



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