The colors, smells, and cooling temperatures make autumn awesome – but let’s not forget the food! Fall offers seasonal favorites like pumpkin, apples, squash, and all things cinnamon. And with the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays, there’s no shortage of sweets.
Many of these tempting treats are high in sugar and heavily processed, which only makes us want to reach for more. This time of year, it can be hard for not just adults but also kids to keep healthy eating a priority. But with a sprinkle of creativity and a dash of planning, you can make traditional autumn foods and treats healthy for the whole family.
Take advantage of seasonal produce- IMMUNE SUPPORT
Using apples to make homemade applesauce is easier than it sounds and an activity the whole family can be involved in. Slicing apples and topping them with nut butter, granola, or nuts and seeds yields another healthy snack that you can get the whole family involved in making their own. This apple crisp is made with real, whole ingredients; sweetened naturally, with maple syrup; and all tied up with some delightful homemade dairy-free caramel.
These cruciferous veggies have gotten a bad rap, most likely because we were served them steamed as kids, but they’re packed full of nutrients and are delicious when prepared the right way. The most popular method is to roast and then drizzle them with olive oil or balsamic vinegar. You can also shred these green gems into a salad with tahini and roasted squash, another fall favorite.
Our list would not be complete without this autumn staple. But the iconic pumpkin spice latte isn’t the only way to enjoy pumpkin this season. Pumpkin is full of fiber and powerful antioxidants and is perfectly whisked into overnight oats, mixed into waffles, or made into this hearty pumpkin soup.
Sweet potatoes have the ability to be included in both sweet and salty recipes. You probably know them best as the iconic American Thanksgiving side dish, topped with brown sugar and miniature marshmallows. Simply skip the sugar and marshmallows and bake the potatoes, for the healthier version of this dish. They’re also perfect in these healthier brownies, and they mix well into a warm bowl of sweet potato chili.
Treat yourself to better health
Fall flavors provide comfort, filling our souls as well as our bellies. We call this functional food, foods that have not only nutritional benefits but also mental and emotional benefits. These foods can help you crowd out some of the unhealthy options you may be tempted to partake in, meaning that you’ll be eating more of the healthful stuff and less of the not-so-healthful stuff.
Don’t forget ‒ it is possible to have a healthy autumn, even with the start of the holiday season, and it’s all about listening to your body and finding what feeds you in all areas of life.