Meet our pre-game meal for trick o treating this year: Fall Ravioli Bake. It’s the perfect warm + hearty meal to serve on Halloween night. I love encouraging the boys to fuel up on a healthy dinner so they have all the energy they need to gather LBS of candy, right? Speaking of…

Tricks to Keeping the Balance of Treats in Halloween

Halloween is a beloved holiday for kids, but very often, health-conscious parents like me can get in the way of their fun. ⁣ So the question becomes:

“How can we raise children who have a healthy relationship with fun foods, like candy?”

  1. Work towards letting them manage their own stash. On Halloween night, let them lay out their booty, revel in their candy accomplishments and eat as much of it as they want. ⁣
  2. After Halloween, candy is saved for meal & snack times, where they get to have a couple of small pieces at meals for dessert & the occasional “as much as they want candy” at snack-time. Structure is key. ⁣
  3. If this sounds scary for you, OR you find your child constantly whining, or begging for candy – they’re probably too restricted. Trust in the evidence: kids who have regular access to sweets and other “forbidden foods” eat them moderately.⁣

Halloween, presents the perfect learning opportunity for the whole family.

Watch Jennifer make this Fall Ravioli Bake on Show Me St. Louis.

You Don’t Have to Shop at Trader Joe’s for This Recipe (or any of our Short-Cuts)

While this series of McDaniel Short-Cut recipes relies on one or more convenient items from Trader Joe’s, you can easily recreate it sans TJ. Here is how:

butternut squash ravioli

Check out our last week’s McDaniel’s Short-Cuts Recipe: Autumn Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans + Tofu

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Fall Ravioli Bake

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  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 3 small-medium sweet potatoes, small diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 t. ground sage
  • 1, 25 oz. Trader Joe’s Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce
  • 1/2 jar (12.5 oz) Trader Joe’s Arrabiata Sauce
  • 2 c. Quattro Formaggio shredded cheese
  • 1, 8.8 oz. Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Ravioli


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss diced sweet potatoes, onions and sage with olive oil. Roast until browned and tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
  3. In a 13 x 9 greased baking dish, add 1/2 marinara sauce. Layer ingredients in the following order: 1/2 roasted sweet potatoes, 1/2 ravioli and 1/2 cheese. For layer two: 1/2 sweet potatoes, 1/2 ravioli, 1/2 sauce and 1/2 cheese.
  4. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Remove aluminum foil and bake 5 additional minutes.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 366
  • Sugar: 14.5 g
  • Sodium: 1118.1 mg
  • Fat: 14.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.5 g
  • Fiber: 6.6 g
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Cholesterol: 42.5 mg