Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with loved ones and enjoy foods that have been part of family tradition for years. But if your kids are a little bit picky about unfamiliar food, this event can put some stress on your plate. Avoid anxiety with some Thanksgiving-appropriate dishes that your kids will enjoy.
Fortunately, there’s such a variety of foods from Thanksgiving traditions across the country that finding some that your kids will enjoy shouldn’t be too hard.
- Turkey – If it’s nice and juicy, most kids will enjoy some turkey. If it’s a little on the dry side, add gravy or cranberry sauce. Most kids prefer white meat over dark but don’t assume. Let them try both.
- Cornish hens – These are like serving a little bitty turkey just for your kid, which can be fun. It also can be expensive and time-consuming if everyone now wants their own Cornish hen. Younger kids will need a little help cutting this one, but older kids should enjoy it. (And it will keep them occupied.)
- Mashed potatoes with gravy – Kids love this stuff.
- Cranberry sauce – This can be a bit tart for some kids, but it’s also sweet and colorful. Let them choose from a couple different kinds. Canned sauce is fine, and available with whole berries and without.
- Rolls with butter – Easy peasy.
- Green beans – Some kids always want to avoid the greens, but green beans with butter, cooked to be not too hard or soft, tends to go over well. Preparing green beans has been a fairly well-known way to have the kids help with dinner. Tell them to snap the “heads” and “tails” off and throw the pieces into separate containers.
MIX IT UP
If traditional Thanksgiving foods don’t appeal to your child, consider some alternatives.
- Turkey nuggets – If your kids love chicken nuggets, they should gobble up turkey nuggets too. Here’s a recipe with a cornflake crust.
- Cream cheese mashed potatoes – Add cream cheese and half-and-half to make your mashed potatoes extra smooth and velvety.
- Macaroni & Cheese – Not exactly traditional holiday fare, but a reliable side. Make it special with a bread crumb topping and some black pepper.
If your kids aren’t stuffed yet, they’ll probably not need to be talked into dessert, although some kids aren’t too keen on fruit cake, pecan pie or minced meat pie. Here are a few they’re likely to enjoy:
- Pumpkin pie – The taste of fall, pumpkin pie appeals to all. Sweet and creamy, with that special blend of cinnamon, ginger and cloves. (Don’t tell the kids it’s rich in fiber and vitamin A.)
- Sweet potato pie – Usually like pumpkin but a bit heartier. If you’re already serving a sweet potato dish this one may seem a bit redundant, but it is tasty.
- Cookies – Kids love cookies, including seasonal favorites like ginger snaps. Maple sugar cookies should go over well, too.
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