Pumpkin Pie In a Bag: A Fun and Healthy Fall Snack For Kids

Alright, friends, I’m going to start this post off with a controversial statement: I am not a big fan of pumpkin spice everything. I think it’s wildly overrated.

I know, I know…pumpkin spice lattes are the official fall fuel of moms everywhere.  It’s just not my jam. 

However, while I’m not on the pumpkin-spice-everything train, I do love some pumpkin-themed treats. Nothing’s better than a freshly baked pumpkin pie covered in a thick layer of whipped cream, or pumpkin bars slathered in cream cheese frosting. That, to me, is the taste of fall. 

Unfortunately, I find kids often aren’t as excited about pumpkin-themed treats as we are. I think it has something to do with them being afraid of the pumpkin. While delicious, pumpkin is a vegetable, and kids know this. 

Today I’m sharing an easy recipe that you can make with your child’s help, at almost any age, that is 100% kid-friendly. It’s fairly healthy too, so you can call this a parenting win!

Pumpkin Pie in a Bag

Ingredients:

1 ⅓ cup cold milk
2 4-ounce boxes of instant vanilla pudding (regular or sugar-free) 
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Graham crackers
Whipped cream

Instructions:

    1. Add the milk and pudding packets to a ziplock bag, squeeze out the excess air, and zip well. Freezer bags are ideal because they are a little bit stronger. Have your child gently squeeze and shake the bag for about 1 minute, until well mixed.
    2. Carefully open the bag and add in the pumpkin, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Remove the excess air and close the baggie. Have your child gently knead the bag again until everything is mixed.
    3. Cut one corner off of the baggie. Either squeeze the mixture into a cup and top with crushed graham crackers (which your child will love crushing), or break the graham crackers into bite-sized pieces, and carefully squeeze some pumpkin pie filling onto the graham cracker pieces.
    4. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Almost any age child can knead the mixture in the bag, which means they can help you make this tasty treat, even a toddler! My 23-month-old was thrilled to help me test out this recipe, and she loved squishing the baggie of pumpkin pie mix. Older kids can also help by measuring out the ingredients or squeezing the mixture into pudding cups or onto the graham crackers. 

Overall, this is a pretty healthy snack option. It has milk and pumpkin, which means it contains both a dairy and a vegetable. Fair warning-some of your brainy kids will insist pumpkin is a fruit. They are not wrong, as pumpkins are botanical fruits. But for nutrition purposes, pumpkin falls into the vegetable group. Pumpkin is high in Vitamin A, and with the calcium and protein from the milk, this snack is a great thing to serve your kiddo. You can reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe by using sugar-free pudding mix.

Have fun celebrating fall with your child by making Pumpkin Pie in a Bag. Even as an adult (and non-pumpkin-spice-lover), I think it’s delicious, and I hope your family does too!


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Jen is a mom to two kids, Penelope (19 months) and Jethro (2 months). A graduate of Central College, Jen moved to South Africa with the Peace Corps after college, where she developed school and community gardens. Upon returning to the states, Jen moved back to her hometown of Ottumwa, Iowa, where she met her husband Darin. In 2019, their young family moved to Cedar Rapids, where she began work with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach as a Healthy Food Access Specialist. Despite working full time and wrangling two young kiddos, Jen still finds times for her favorite hobbies-cooking, gardening, reading, and napping.