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Make 10 Thanksgiving Fun and Kid-Friendly Kitchen Creations!
Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude, and delicious food. Getting your kids involved in the cooking process can help lighten the load for adults. It also crates lasting memories and teaches children valuable cooking skills.
Here are 10 kid-friendly Thanksgiving dishes your little ones can help cook, ensuring they are an important part of the family tradition.
1. Stuffing “Muffins”
Prepare the stuffing mix, then let your kids have fun!
They can scoop spoonfuls of the stuffing mixture into muffin tins to create individual stuffing muffins.
These can be baked to perfection.
The fun and pizazz is the “extras” your children add to the muffins.
They can be individualized to cater to different tastes or diets.
Add ingredients like: sausage, cranberries, nuts, or vegetables.
2. Green Bean Casserole
True fact, I am not a fan. I have never liked green bean casserole.
It is, however, a holiday classic.
If you want to “switch things up a bit” check out my broccoli salad!
Back to the beans: get your favorite recipe and teach the kids how to follow the steps.
The beauty of the green bean casserole with kids is it is fairly simply.
You may just need to sautéed the green beans in advance if using fresh beans.
Everything else is measure, mix, and pour into a greased casserole dish.
Then top with bread crumbs or fried onions and bake!
3. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes and gravy are probably my favorite traditional holiday food.
The kiddos can pick out the perfect potatoes at the grocery store, after all, they will be peeling them.
Throughout the year, you can have “taste tests” and compare red, gold, and bakers, which taste best for mashers?
Your children then peel the potatoes, this can be done in advance, just soak in water in the fridge.
The teacher in me says, “Oh my, these can be an impromptu chemistry lesson about why the potatoes turn color if not soaking in water”?!
If your children are old enough, you can have them cut the potatoes into smaller “chunks” if you need the potatoes to get done faster.
They can fill the pot with water (cool) and place the potatoes in the water.
When the potatoes are done, the kids can add butter and mild and help mashing the old fashioned way or with a mixer.
Holiday Budget Planner
An easy way to keep track of your holiday expenses.
In this list I share:
- Projected holiday expenditure
- 5 categories with space to write
- Expected or desired amount spent and how much you can actually spent
- Notes section to celebrate ways you saved money and keep track of ways to help you next year.
This planner helps you outline all of you expenses you will have this holiday season so you can avoid going into debt!
4. Broccoli Salad
This is my substitute for Green Bean Casserole.
It is also my Granny’s recipe.
You know, anything that comes from Granny is the best!
As an aside to everyone who cringes at the starch on the Thanksgiving table, this is a beautiful green and healthy dish.
Steam your broccoli in bite size pieces (or cut later) to crisp tender.
Refrigerate, you need the broccoli cold.
Your children can wash lettuce and tomatoes.
Have the kids assemble individual small bowls with the lettuce “lining” the bottom, then the cold broccoli and cut tomatoes.
For some fun (and amazing taste) sprinkle some dry roasted sunflower seeds over the top.
Drizzle it all with Italian Dressing.
Super fabulous and your children created each piece of art (the green and red look lovely).
This is great at Christmas too!
5. Roasted Vegetables
I know, not a “typical” Thanksgiving food, but it should be!
These veggies are plentiful during the late Fall.
Have your children wash, chop, and peel veggies like brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, and I would add regular potatoes, if you are not already having mashers.
The kids can put all of the chopped veggies into a bag or large bowl and toss with olive oil and seasonings.
Help them prepare a baking sheet and pour veggies out to roast in oven.
*As an aside-I looked up brussel sprouts. The spelling bothered me. Yes, many people use Brussels Sprouts.
However, many also say french fries. It is the same thing, right?
Oh, and it turns out, these lovely little “cabbages” aren’t even from Brussels.
So, it is also correct to say brussel (no “s”) sprouts.
This is my preferred way.
However, the “official” jury is out.*
6. Deviled Eggs
The quintessential appetizer!
If you have recipe, show your children how to follow it.
If you are fabulous at getting your eggs to peel easily, teach this!
You may be unaware, but perfect egg skills (both eggs being done and eggs peeling) do not come naturally to us all, pass this knowledge on to your generations.
Have the children peel and cut the eggs in half.
They can “pop” the yolks in to a bowl and measure and mix the ingredients for the center filling.
The kids can then put the yolk filling back into the egg white cavities!
If you are super fancy, they can sprinkle paprika over them all.
7. Veggie Platter
I am just trying to get some kind of “healthy” down the family’s gullets before the starch coma begins.
The best part of appetizers is that people are hungry and will pretty much munch on whatever you have out.
This is one of my 13 Simple Ways to Get Kids to Eat Veggies!
A veggie tray can be a beautiful dish to prepare.
Have the kids start at the grocery store.
Think of colors.
Reds: tomatoes, radishes, and red bell peppers
Greens: snow peas, cucumbers, and olives
White can be cauliflower or kohlrabi
Yellow/Orange: bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes
Dips are so much fun!
A healthy dip is hummus.
A tasty and kid approved dip is ranch.
The grown ups who loved that ranch usually approve whole heartedly of a spinach artichoke dip.
If you want to make this tray a show stopper, carve out a bell pepper to “hold” your dip.
Your child will be basically making the entire tray from choosing the veggies, to washing and cutting, to arranging on the platter.
Rolls are a staple at Thanksgiving dinner.
If you come from a large family, you know that bread always fills in the gaps when dinner did not quite stretch far enough.
Bread also provides a “backstop” when scooping salad and mopping up gravy.
Rolls are also one of the easiest dishes for the kids to help prepare.
I loved to help “mix” the dough with my hands when I was little.
You can begin teaching how to “feel” the right consistency and when to add more flour if you are teaching children to bake from scratch.
It is fun for kids to roll out the dough and cut it into shapes.
If you are using a frozen loaf, once it gets to “semi thaw” you can start pulling pieces off and rolling them into balls.
Kids love this, it is like playing with clay you get to eat!
9. Apple Crisp Parfaits
I was torn.
There are pumpkin recipes that the kids can absolutely help out with.
And pumpkin pie is a classic.
These apple crisp parfaits are fun because they are done in individual glasses.
Remember that Granny I briefly talked about when I told you about the broccoli salad?
She would let me come to her house and make tapioca and jello parfait desserts.
I loved seeing them in the glass.
I loved creating them.
So, I went with these, maybe because the parfaits bring back fond memories.
Depending on the age and skill of you child, you can have prepared baked and spice apple slices, or your child can help with that process as well.
*If you have that super neat Pampered Chef apple, peeler, corer, the kids love to help out!
You can put these in wine glasses if you don’t have special glasses for this kind of dessert.
The children simply layer the apple slices, granola, and whipped cream for some fabulous holiday yum!
10. Fruit Cornucopias
I love that word…cornucopias.
It is such a sophisticated way of say “a boatload of stuff”!
These are gorgeous and delish.
They can actually be the centerpiece of your holiday table.
Create edible cornucopias by rolling waffle cones in melted chocolate.
Obviously, the bigger the waffle cone, the bigger the cornucopia.
You can also have each child create one of their own and use sugar cones.
Allow the chocolate to cool and harden.
Your kids can fill them with fresh fruit like berries, grapes and sliced kiwi.
This is a colorful and creative dish that skirts the boundaries of healthy.
Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to involve your kids in the cooking process. By assigning age-appropriate tasks, you can teach them valuable skills and create lasting memories. By allowing your children to help cook the foods you all enjoy on the Thanksgiving table you instill a sense of confidence and accomplishment in them.