Pumpkin Power Patch Up Your Health

October 26, 2020

Joe D Staff

pumpkin carving

Once summer winds down, there’s one thing that dominates store shelves and coffee shops…pumpkins!

And while pumpkins are fun to decorate with, they are extremely nutritious and pack a pumpkin punch.

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital registered dietician, Rocio Garcia, explains why kids need to try this fruit (yes it’s a fruit) and how to sneak it in a fall-inspired breakfast recipe.

Why Pumpkins are “Gourd” for You

  1. Pumpkins are high in vitamin A which is good for the health of your eyes.
  2. Pumpkins are also a good antioxidant which may help prevent some chronic diseases and promotes healthy growth in children.
  3. They are high in vitamin C, which helps in the production of collagen, a protein that helps keep your skin healthy.
  4. Pumpkins are also high in fiber which helps maintain your bowel health.
  5. And pumpkins also helps lower cholesterol levels which helps the heart stay healthy.

benefits of pumpkin infographic

Trying to get children to try new foods isn’t always easy, but pumpkin is worth the effort. Garcia recommends serving it as a creamy pumpkin soup or a side dish, or mix it with mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes for an extra boost of vitamin A and fiber.

Not convinced your kids will like a pumpkin mash or muffin mix? Here’s a breakfast recipe that might just tempt your picky eaters.

Start Your Day the Pumpkin Way with Pumpkin French Toast

recipe pumpkin french toast

French Toast Mixture

  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup low fat milk or plant based milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (or both)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 slices of whole wheat bread

Pumpkin Butter for Cooking

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup

Optional for Serving

  • Powdered sugar
  • More maple syrup
  • Fruits, nuts and seeds


  1. Whisk eggs and then mix in milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  2. Pour egg mixture in to a shallow baking dish.
  3. Place bread in egg mixture and soak for about 30 seconds on each side.
  4. Separately, melt the butter and then mix in the pumpkin puree and maple syrup.
  5. In a skillet over medium low heat, use 1/3 of butter mixture to cook 2 slices of bread at the time, 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden.
  6. Repeat step 5 with the remaining slices of bread.
  7. To serve, place 2 pieces of French toast per plate, pour any extra pumpkin butter from the skillet.
  8. Top with powdered sugar, more syrup and/or fruits, nuts or seeds.