It’s really incredible how the turning of the season unleashes seasonal food cravings (is there a book on this?? There should be!). We’ve already written at length about that quintessential fall favorite — pumpkin! — and offered up some fun fall food crafts to make with kids, but this week we’re doubling down to share five of our team’s favorite kid-friendly fall recipes — all featuring easy-prep fall foods and flavors. Let us know how your family likes them!
Yummy Pear Oatmeal
Add a drizzle of olive oil or a pad of butter to a hot pan, and stir in a spoon of brown sugar (mix well). Add in sliced pears, a dash of lemon juice, and a pinch of cinnamon, stirring everything well. Cook covered (the steam helps soften everything) for roughly 10-12 minutes or until tender.
Separately (simultaneously, LOL), cook your oatmeal (we love and recommend steel cut oats, but regular oats work just fine too!). When everything’s cooked, dish out your oats and spoon the caramelized pear mixture on top to serve, then enjoy!
(Note — you could swap pear for apple or berries in this recipe.)
Cheesy Apple Quesadillas
I love this recipe so much — and so do my kids. I never would have thought to make quesadillas with apples, but the sweet-savory combo is really great and it’s such a fun seasonal swap. These apple quesadillas are a wonderful after-school snack or lunch, and they’re so easy to make. (Literally, it’s just… apples and cheese in a quesadilla.)
Place a tortilla in a heated pan and sprinkle shredded cheese on one half of the tortilla (we suggest cheddar, but you could use whatever you like). Add apple slices over the cheese, then another sprinkle of shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla in half and cook on both sides.
If you prefer — or you are making many to serve and share — you can also cook these in the oven rather than on the stovetop. I cook them at 375 for ~20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Autumn Harvest Soup
This soup is a fantastic introduction to the wonderful world of fall soups and chilis for young children — you can tailor the spices and texture to your desire very easily, and children love it. We suggest serving with warm whole grain bread for dipping!
Saute fresh grated ginger (~1 tablespoon), diced scallions (½ cup), diced onion (a small one), and curry powder (~1 tablespoon) in a big pot. When everything is soft and tender, add in a bag of shredded carrots and let those get soft as well. Stir in a can of coconut milk and stock (chicken or veggie, ~2 cups), and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring often.
Let the ingredients cool, then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Reheat to desired serving temperature on the stovetop, and top with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
Note: Recipe adapted from KinderCare.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
This is a great way to mix up a traditional kid favorite and work in some wonderful autumnal flavors.
If you’re using fresh pumpkin (you could also swap in butternut squash, or prep a combination), cube and cook (steam or boil) until tender, then blend into a puree. If you have canned pumpkin puree, that works too. Blend ~1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup milk (or non-dairy milk), and a pad of butter (or a tablespoon of oil) into the puree — mix until all the ingredients are smooth and creamy.
Separately, cook your pasta (any kind works!), then strain and combine the pasta with your cheesy-pumpkin puree, and heat on the stove to desired serving temperature. If you want a little extra fall flare, you could also mix in or top this with a dash of nutmeg.
Easy Baked Apples
This is such a great and easy way to use up any leftover apples you have lying around. To start, cut apples into slices (try to aim for even sizing) and arrange the apple slices on a tray lined with melted coconut oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and toss/mix the apples, then bake at 350-375 in the oven for roughly 30 minutes, or until tender.
This is a great snack on its own or a wonderful topping for smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt — you’re welcome.
(Psst… you could also try this exact same recipe with pears^^.)
We hope some of these make it into your meal planning rotation! And we’d love to hear about your family’s favorite fall recipes! 🍎🎃🍐🍂