Fun family Halloween meals with beef

Farm Forum

Halloween will soon be here and whether you choose to have fun with some tricks-or-treats or simply decide to stay inside, we want you have fun with an engaging family mealtime. Treats can certainly be incorporated into a healthful lifestyle, but we don’t want you to forget about the importance of balanced family meals that provide hearty nutrition to help fuel growing bodies and minds.

Did you know that many children may be missing out on key nutrients such as iron and zinc? In fact, 60 percent of girls aged 12-19 are not meeting the recommended iron needs, and 47 percent of boys the same age are not meeting the recommended zinc needs. Among healthy school-aged children, increasing zinc intake has been demonstrated to improve cognitive performance, visual memory, word recognition and attention skills. Research also shows that iron deficiencies may affect learning abilities in school-aged children.

Beef is a naturally nutrient-rich powerhouse food. On average, a 3-ounce serving of lean beef is about 150 calories. It’s an excellent source of six nutrients (protein, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, and selenium) and a good source of four nutrients (phosphorous, choline, iron and riboflavin).

This Yummy Mummy Beef Pizza recipe is a perfect way for your family to “dress up” a familiar recipe on a fall festival evening. These quick and easy pizzas feature homemade beef sausage and have a mummy face made of string cheese. Encourage kids to help prepare the meal and have some fun while creating it. Don’t miss out on opportunities to teach children how to cook healthy meals and the importance of incorporating nutrient-rich ingredients in them. Add sides of fresh cut vegetables and fruit and you have a nutritious, easy and fun meal.

For more fall beef recipes and nutrition information contact Holly Swee, RD, LN, Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council at 605-224-4722 or

Yummy Mummy Beef Pizzas

• Total Recipe Time: 25 to 30 minutes

• Makes 4 servings


1 recipe Italian Style Beef Sausage (recipe follows)

1-1/2 cups pizza sauce

4 round thin sandwich breads, any variety, split

4 individually wrapped sticks reduced-fat mozzarella string cheese (1 ounce each)

8 black or green olives, sliced horizontally


1. Prepare Italian-Style Beef Sausage. Stir in pizza sauce; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Keep warm and set aside.

2. Place sandwich thins, cut side up, on rack of broiler pan. Spoon equal amounts of beef mixture on each bread half. Pull cheese lengthwise into thin strips. Cut each strip into thirds. Create mummy faces using cheese strips in crisscross pattern to resemble mummy bandages and olives to resemble eyes.

3. Place pizzas on rack of broiler pan so surface of cheese is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Italian-Style Beef Sausage: Combine 1 pound Ground Beef, 1 teaspoon fennel seed, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add beef mixture; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 1/2 inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. (Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.) Makes 2-1/2 cups crumbles

*Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff Program