With stores already heavily adorned with festive supplies, it’s hard to avoid the Thanksgiving season upon us, and as you give thanks this year you can also give thanks for all of the delicious and nutritious meals your children will eat with our kid friendly Thanksgiving recipes! At this beautiful time of year, as vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows are falling in gentle streams along the pathways and streets; it’s difficult to forget about Thanksgiving. Though, as dinner rolls around, many of us struggle with what to prepare for the young ones at the table, hoping to encourage as much healthy consumption as possible. We’ve put together a list of kid friendly Thanksgiving recipes to help you out this season.
There are a few things to remember this Thanksgiving to keep the kids happy, beginning with a festive kids snack table! We all know how hard it is to keep ourselves in check when we are hungry, and the effects felt by kids are ten-fold. As guests arrive and mingle, set some small snacks out for the little munchers — raw vegetables with dip, fruit platters, cheese slices with crackers, popcorn tossed with nutritional yeast and coconut oil are all healthy and enjoyed snacks.
Another thing to keep in mind when preparing kid friendly Thanksgiving recipes is to keep portion sizes smaller. My son, especially, is affected by too much food on his plate so I assume he isn’t alone! Less is truly more; we set out a small-sectioned plate with one item per section. It’s easy to dish out more, but more difficult to appeal to taste buds when they’ve already been overwhelmed with selection.
Preparing a fun food-themed activity will aid in keeping kids engaged in the festivities (and eager to eat their creations)! Preparing the batter for mini-muffins and having kids decorate them with homemade cream cheese icing is a great activity kids will love. We like festive recipes like these ones: orange cranberry muffins with cream cheese icing. I like to substitute white sugar for brown, and all-purpose for whole-wheat flour, but use your discretion).
Having kids participate in making home made yam and carrot fries is always fun, as they can really get their hands messy tossing the cut vegetables in a bowl with olive oil, light salt, and a light amount of smoked paprika!
Asking a child what their favorite Thanksgiving meal is can help with their excitement and involvement as well, as they will likely want to be involved in the creation of kid friendly Thanksgiving recipes! Whether mashed potatoes, stuffing, or even pumpkin pie, allow your little one to help exclusively with at least one dish and present it as their own special contribution at the dinner table. For those who need some inspiration to find that perfect meal, here are some fantastic ideas.
Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes:
Much like homemade fries or yam fries, this will add another valuable vegetable to the table in the form many kids will enjoy. Cut up carrots into fry sized pieces and toss in oil and spices of your liking. We love olive oil with a pinch of sea salt and smoked paprika. The paprika isn’t very hot, so a dash is perfect for those who like a little extra flavor. Cook in the oven until soft (415 F for 10-15 minutes flipping halfway through. For easy cleanup and to avoid flipping, place a piece of parchment or wax paper on the baking sheet first.
Turkey and Rice
A go to meal at our place, simple rice and turkey. A no muss no fuss kid friendly Thanksgiving recipe! Add one cup of brown rice to two cups of water and simmer stovetop until cooked through. My son prefers chicken and turkey cut up into shaved type pieces, and mixed thoroughly into the rice. Assemble how your child will enjoy the most, even if it means separating the rice and turkey. Making it look appealing is half of the quest!
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Add your child’s favorite cheese to your signature mashed potatoes to make them an instant hit!
I love the idea of making spaghetti out of different vegetables. Zucchini noodles are something we eat a lot of, as it’s a fun way to get those vegetables in. Who doesn’t enjoy eating spaghetti anyways? We love this recipe here.
Apple Stuffing Muffins
For an easy and fun alternative to dishing out a dollop of stuffing, try baking stuffing in mini muffin trays. Add your child’s favourite fruits (apples or cranberries) for an added bonus!
Kid-friendly Turkey Nuggets
To make your own nuggets from home, mix cooked turkey in a food processor. When they are finely ground, press into small shapes or flat balls (use eggs to stick them together if needed). Prepare three low bowls, one with mixed eggs, one with flour, and one with bread crumbs. One at a time, first cover your shape with flour, then with egg, then with breadcrumbs. Lay them on parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375 F, flipping once until browned and cooked through (about 12-18 mins).
Wishing you a wonderful thanksgiving and a festive time trying out some of these kid friendly Thanksgiving recipes and ideas!