I help moms stop emotional eating through mindful eating and yoga
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I don’t use the phrase “best ever” lightly, but these actually are… the best ever. I have tried countless gluten free pumpkin muffin recipes and am happy to say that the experimenting phase is complete! These are so moist, flavorful and delicious, that I am fairly confident you won’t be able to find a better or easier HEALTHY pumpkin muffin recipe out there. They also happen to be super easy to make, so you can let your little ones do most of the work. They will love measuring, blending, and spooning out the batter. Just know that your whole family is going to be eating these, so consider making a double batch.
When it comes to healthy eating, snacks can be a big challenge. I know this firsthand. My kids have no problem eating heathy meals, but when it comes to snacks, they want all of the processed junk food that they see their friends eating. Unfortunately, most of the single portioned, convenience snack foods (breakfast bars, fruit gummies, chips etc.) contain mediocre nutrition at best. At worst, they contain plasticizers from their packaging (linked to hormone disruption, infertility, and learning disabilities), chemicals, dyes, and additives that keep them fresh for unfathomable periods of time.
I don’t know about you, but when I try to send my kids to school with an apple, nuts, or baby carrots, they usually hide them and tell their teacher that I forgot to send in a snack. They are then given a “class snack,” which is usually a bag of Cheez-its or a Fruit by the Foot. Honestly, I feel a bit guilty. I don’t want my kids to feel like their friends all have better snacks and that they are missing out. So instead of telling the teacher not to give them those foods, I am constantly on the look out for healthy snack ideas that Kai and Fynn can get excited about. Part of getting them excited, is involving them in the process.
What I have learned is that if you involve your kids in picking recipes, let them experiment with recipes, and teach them why some foods are healthier than others, then they actually want to eat the healthier choices. Bonus if they get to be a little messy in the kitchen and eat a spoonful of batter!
So what is a health snack exactly?
Healthy Snack Guidelines
Nothing too complicated here! Actually, the less complicated the better.
And while homemade snacks are your best bet, sometimes there just is not enough time to make them. For a back-up plan, here are a few of my favorite store bought snacks that you can have on hand. I recommend combining snacks to get a combination of healthy fat, protein and complex carbs; this ensures better blood sugar control, lasting energy, and keeps you feeling full for longer.
Healthy Store Bought Snacks for Kids
Back to the Pumpkin Muffins!
When you do happen to have time to bake, these pumpkin muffins are a total winner for the whole family. Fynn asked for them for a school snack for several days in a row, as well as for breakfast and as an afternoon snack! She was pumpkin muffin crazy! 😂🎃🤪 Kai loved them too, so our first batch lasted only 3 days. Of course, I had my fair share as well… they are my new favorite post Peloton snack.
As a Healthy Post Workout Snack…
One of these muffins, dolloped with a big ol’ scoop of Greek yogurt, is perfect for refueling after a workout. After you exercise, you want to make sure that you are getting adequate protein to repair and build muscle as well as complex carbs to refill your glycogen stores. Glycogen is important as it is our muscles main source of energy when we do high intensity exercise. And as for protein… ladies, you DO want to build muscle as it increases your metabolism and helps you to burn more fat throughout the day! Don’t worry, you won’t look like a body builder. I promise!
With that said, if you are actively trying to lose weight, you could also just plan your workout so that you have a meal within the following two hours that contains protein and complex carbs. That way you can skip the snack.
As an additional tip, if you sweat for more than 1 hour, you also need to replenish electrolytes. I don’t recommend Gatorade or any other commercial sports drinks that contains additives and food dye. You can actually make your own electrolyte drink by adding lemon juice to water with a pinch of salt. Coconut water is another good option. LMNT is also an amazing product. It’s an electrolyte powder that you mix with water. The chocolate sea salt and mango habanero flavors are delicious!
Ready for the recipe? Here we go!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffin Recipe (makes 12 muffins)
Notes: These keep for about 1 week in the fridge, but can freeze up to 3 months.
For add-ins, some good options are dark chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, cranberries, and caramel chips. You can get creative and let your kids choose what to add! You can even substitute other fruit purees for the pumpkin puree. Banana mash and apple sauce both work great!