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Originally written by Kimberly Cripps , former SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist, with contributions by Megan Erickson, former SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, and Hope Kleine, former SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.

Pick it!

  • Look for a heavy pumpkin with 1 to 2 inches of stem still attached.
  • Avoid pumpkins with bruises or soft spots.
  • Should be uniformly orange with a nice, hard rind.
  • Lopsided pumpkins are just as good as the round ones.
  • Store in a cool, dark place for two months.

Try it!

  • Pumpkin is the most popularly used in pies.
  • Also used to make bars and bread and pumpkin soup.
  • Pumpkin seeds can be roasted in the oven for a snack.
  • Rinse, cut in half and roast pumpkins on a baking sheet, or steam on the stove or microwave.
  • After cooling, remove from the skin, and puree with a food processor or potato masher.

Like it! Pumpkin Mac and Cheese


  • 1-16 oz. box whole-wheat macaroni
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups 1% or fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 ¼ cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • A generous pinch of salt


  1. Cook macaroni according to directions.
  2. Melt butter. Add flour. Cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add milk. Heat to a simmer about 4 minutes until mixture coats back of a spoon.
  4. Add seasonings and pumpkin.
  5. Add cheese stir until melted.
  6. Mix in macaroni.
  7. Pour into lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Yield: 10 servings

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories 320; Fat 12g; Sodium 24mg; Carbohydrates 41g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 4g; Protein 15g

Sources:  University of Illinois Extension, Produce for Better Health Foundation

Program Materials

Colorful fact sheets, recipe cards and educational videos provide educators and families with fun, engaging tools to enhance any dietary curriculum in a variety of settings.

Quick resources are available in the fact sheets below. Download the zipped folder to use the lesson plan, sampling instructions, recipes and display materials in your educational program.