Kids Food Memories--The Proof is in the Pudding
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Kids Food Memories–The Proof is in the Pudding

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Pumpkin Pudding by Guest Blogger Teresa Wagner, MS, RD
People often ask me why I became a registered dietitian. Why would you want to take four years of basic anatomy, biology and biochemistry, do a grueling internship learning medical as well as culinary skills and study for a national registration exam? Why would you do all of that to be credentialed as The Expert in Food and Nutrition and be charged with maintaining continuing education for the entirety of your career? I finally realized the answer was pretty simple: Pumpkin Pudding.
You might wonder how pumpkin pudding could motivate someone to achieve all of those milestones. The pumpkin, a gourd-like squash, planted in early July is harvested in the fall and transcends the holiday season taking center stage during Halloween as carved masterpieces for fun and fright as well as upholding long-time traditions of pumpkin pie served at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It was during these holidays that my mom came up with the recipe for Pumpkin Pudding to entice me, my brother and sister to actually eat pumpkin. My mom was well-versed in nutrition and knowing that pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A, as well as fiber, she felt it was her duty that we all receive our adequate share of this nutrient-rich fruit. In fact, my mom went to great lengths to come up with recipes for many nutrient-rich foods that she felt compelled that her young children should be eating and enjoying. At the same time, she talked about the foods and nutrition with us as we experienced each meal. I never really understood the bigger picture that eating well would help me feel good, have ample energy and be nourished to accomplish all that I have in my career and life. However, these talks and recipes did give me “food for thought” and when I was asked upon entering college what I wanted to study, I thoughtfully replied, “nutrition”.
Thus, I was on the fast track to becoming a registered dietitian all from warmly remembering my mom’s teachings and recipes that have been handed down and to this day her Pumpkin Pudding holds an esteemed place on every Christmas and Thanksgiving table and in many a friend or relatives’ refrigerator. Here is her recipe:
Mom’s Pumpkin Pudding
Ingredients:
http://recipes.dairymax.org.previewyoursites.com/Production/Images/0013_bullet%5B1%5D.png2 tablespoons water 
http://recipes.dairymax.org.previewyoursites.com/Production/Images/0013_bullet%5B1%5D.png1 tablespoon gelatin, plain 
http://recipes.dairymax.org.previewyoursites.com/Production/Images/0013_bullet%5B1%5D.png1 lb pumpkin, canned 
http://recipes.dairymax.org.previewyoursites.com/Production/Images/0013_bullet%5B1%5D.png1/2 cup sugar, brown 
http://recipes.dairymax.org.previewyoursites.com/Production/Images/0013_bullet%5B1%5D.png1 tsp cinnamon 
http://recipes.dairymax.org.previewyoursites.com/Production/Images/0013_bullet%5B1%5D.png1 tsp vanilla 
http://recipes.dairymax.org.previewyoursites.com/Production/Images/0013_bullet%5B1%5D.png1 cup milk low-fat or skim evaporated 

Instructions:
Gently soften powdered gelatin in water, melting over low heat.

Stir Pumpkin into gelatin. Stir in Brown Sugar and Cinnamon until well-blended and Brown Sugar melts.


Remove from Heat. Add Vanilla. Add Milk slowly stirring to mix well.

Pour into serving dishes or party ware. Chill uncovered until firm.

As a mom and a registered dietitian, I encourage all adults, parents and grandparents to teach children about choosing nutrient-rich foods first, sharing family recipes and nourishing their body with a healthy role-model of food as fuel. Doing so will grant the children in your life not only a healthy perspective on food but also a healthy lifestyle and special memories on which to reflect. Making a positive impact on their life may be as sweet and simple as my own mom’s special recipe for Pumpkin Pudding.
Teresa Wagner is guest blogging for me today.  Teresa is a mom of two teenage girls and former pediatric dietitian who advocates for children’s health through public relations at the local Dairy Max and National Dairy Council Follow her blog on the The Dairy Report and on Twitter @TravelingRD
 
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