It’s Thanksgiving season, time to share an abundance of love and delicious food with family and friends, as well as lots of Thanksgiving treats for kids.
Lots of people will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. If you are invited to a Thanksgiving meal, bring one of these kid-friendly recipes, and the kids can help with preparing most of the dishes below.
If they help in the kitchen it will also give them a sense that they are part of this special holiday.
To help get you started on what to cook for the big day, we rounded up a few recipes that your kids will love.
Whether it be appetizers or main dishes, these recipes are sure to please any picky eater in the house! Happy cooking!
Here Are the Most Popular Thanksgiving Treats for Kids in 2021
Thanksgiving has been an American tradition ever since the very beginning of the nation, so it’s natural that some recipes have remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
However, there’s no harm in trying to improve on a timeless recipe, since trends change, and the influence of International cuisine is as powerful as ever.
In addition to traditional recipes, today we’ll show you how to cook some extra special dishes for kids.
Here are a few kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes:
1. Thanksgiving Desserts for Kids – Mini Pumpkin Pie
Of course, we couldn’t write an article about Thanksgiving desserts for kids without mentioning pumpkin pie!
If you’re looking for a new twist on this classic dessert, try making a batch of mini pumpkin pies. They combine the deliciousness of regular pumpkin pies with the convenience of being able to eat them with your hands as if they were cupcakes.
You’ll need two sets of ingredients since the pies themselves are made of two distinct components: the crust and the filling.
In order to make the crust, you’ll need almond and oat flour in equal quantities (we avoided wheat flour because we wanted to make the pies as healthy and with as little gluten as possible), 2 tbsp. of maple syrup, and 1 tbsp. of melted coconut oil.
As for the smooth filling, you’ll need some canned pumpkin, a can of garbanzo beans (these are the secret ingredient to make the filling outlandishly smooth), maple syrup, cane sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice mix, salt, and some coconut whipped cream.
These mini pumpkin pies are amazing, and while the recommended ingredients are enough to make a batch of 12 mini pies, we recommend that you prepare a few dozen of them, because not only will they be very popular once they are baked, but your kids may also try eating the batter before you even stuff them in the oven.
2. Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes – Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Since you are probably going to have lots of extra pumpkin puree after making the pies, why not make some delicious pumpkin dinner rolls?
These are definitely among the most kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes since there’s minimum use of sharp utensils, and mixing the ingredients doesn’t require too much skill in the kitchen.
All you need is some milk, sugar, an egg, vegetable oil or butter, salt, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and yeast, and if you’re interested in giving your dinner rolls a more aromatic twist, you can do so by adding ground cinnamon, ginger, coriander, cloves, nutmeg.
You’ll also need some pecan stalks that will serve a decorative purpose later on in the recipe.
The best part about this recipe is that it doesn’t take much time at all!
Even though there’s no actual pumpkin involved in the ingredients list above besides the pumpkin puree in the canned version of this winter squash (which is one of its most popular uses), the pumpkin flavor is more than subtle in these savory dinner rolls.
3. Thanksgiving Treats for Kids – Mashed Potatoes
One of the most important side dishes is mashed potatoes. It’s the perfect comfort food, and it’s also hard to mess up, making it one of the most popular thanksgiving treats for kids.
We know that it can be difficult to find new ways to make this traditional dish stand out, but Little Spice Jar has some simple tips that will help you cook mashed potatoes your kids will love.
First, use white potatoes instead of sweet potatoes. The starchier the potato, the fluffier it gets when mashed. Sweet potatoes are denser, which means that you’ll have to use a hand mixer to break them down into a smooth consistency.
Secondly, don’t over-mash the potatoes. You want to make them fluffy, but without turning the potatoes gooey.
Once you’ve got your potatoes ready, it’s time to add some extra flavor! Our easy recipe calls for olive oil and garlic salt, both of which will give the dish a rich taste that kids love.
Get creative with different spices or try adding in a spoonful of sour cream or a few slices of cheddar cheese.
4. Thanksgiving Recipes for Kids – Roasted Brussel Sprouts
For the last decade, Brussel sprouts have been gaining popularity. And in the past years for Thanksgiving, they were even served as a side dish at the White House!
Now that Brussel sprouts have been around for a while, it’s possible that your kids have tried them and didn’t particularly care for the taste.
Don’t give up on this healthy vegetable! With a little bit of effort, you can roast them in a way that will make them one of those healthy Thanksgiving recipes for kids.
The most important part of roasting vegetables is to slice them thinly as Cookie and Kate tells us. Doing so will allow their natural flavors to be released into the oven faster, resulting in a crispy exterior and tender middle.
We recommend cutting Brussels sprouts in half before cooking it, but don’t forget to separate the leaves once cooked! They’re edible and very tasty when roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.
Cheese is also a great addition to Brussels sprouts, so feel free to sprinkle on some cheddar cheese or Parmesan after cooking.
Although this type of cruciferous vegetable is healthy and nutritious, it can be a turn-off to some kids. That’s why we recommend roasting the Brussel sprouts, which will give them a crunchy texture that most children enjoy.
In addition to roasting the veggies, you can also use honey as a sweetener and add in chopped almonds or walnuts for an extra crunch!
5. Thanksgiving Recipes for Kids – Green Bean Casserole
Green beans are another classic Thanksgiving dish that can be enhanced with a few simple ingredients. Kids love green bean casserole because it combines their favorite veggies with yummy flavors like bacon, onion, and cheese.
Green beans are a healthy vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways. You can boil them, saute them, or even serve them raw with a tasty dip. We recommend roasting green beans because it brings out their natural flavors and gives the dish added crunch.
If your children aren’t fond of green beans, Campbells shares some tips for how to make this Thanksgiving side dish more fun and appetizing:
First, you should cut the beans into small pieces so they’re easier to eat with a fork.
Second, try adding onion powder and garlic salt to bring out strong flavor notes that kids will love!
Last but not least, sprinkling bacon bits on top is a way to add protein and give the dish a unique taste.
For this particular recipe, you’ll want to make sure not to overcook the green beans. They should retain a slight crunch that’s a very sought-after trait in Thanksgiving recipes for kids.
More Thanksgiving Treats for Kids
We already talked about how trends tend to change, and how some recipes are considered all-time favored classics while others are simply the results of Thanksgiving recipes trying to receive a modern-day upgrade.
Well, if you like keeping things simple, or if you’re the nostalgic type that likes to stick to the things you’ve tasted in the past year that were proven to work, we recommend you continue with the next 15 entries.
They were a big hit last year, and the year before, and they’re very likely to hold up very well in 2021 as well.
6. Thanksgiving Treats for Kids – Crispy Roasted Butternut Squash
Do you find that you have trouble getting your kids to eat different coloured vegetables like squash because they’re wary of how it looks but you know that they’ll eat roasted potato hash browns at breakfast with no problems? Then we think you’ll really appreciate discovering how Real Kids Eat Spinach prepared their crispy roasted butternut squash so that it looks, tastes, and smells a lot like something they’re used to, making them more willing to try it out so they can enjoy the new flavour.
7. Thanksgiving Treats for Kids – Yummy Corn Casserole
We often find that we’re able to convince our kids to eat just about anything so long as it’s covered in cheese. Perhaps it reminds them of mac and cheese, which is their favourite food, but they don’t mind if it’s a little different once the good, melted orange stuff is all over it! This deliciously creamy corn casserole outlined in detail on Can’t Stay Out of The Kitchen is a good example of what we mean.
8. Creamed Green Beans and Potatoes – Thanksgiving Recipes for Kids
Do you find that your kids don’t mind eating vegetables when they’re mixed into something yummy with potatoes and other foods they enjoy, even if they won’t eat things like green beans on their own? Well, at least they’re eating them, right? Check out how Food Hero made just the kind of dish we’re talking about in this delicious creamed green beans and potatoes recipe.
9. Stuffing Muffins – Thanksgiving Treats for Kids
Are the kids in your family and friends circle right around that toddler age where they’ll happily snack on just about anything you give them on the go but getting them to sit down and eat a full meal is a nearly unachievable goal? Then we’re pretty sure Cook The Story has just the recipe for you! They show you how easy it is to make “stuffins”, or stuffing muffins, that are perfect for little hands to carry and take bites from while they socialize.
10. Pecan Pie Pumpkin Cupcakes – Thanksgiving Treats for Kids
Of course, a full Thanksgiving meal naturally involves some delicious desserts too, rather than just entrees and sides! We find that our kids adore everything that goes into the classic Thanksgiving pies, but something about a slice of pie just doesn’t appeal to them. That’s why we were rather pleased to come across these pecan pie flavoured cupcakes on Yummy Crumble! Between the bite-sized serving and the dollop of icing on top, we know our kids will always happily eat a cupcake, even if it tastes exactly the same as something else they’re not so sure about.
11. Turkey Shaped Cheese Ball – Fun Thanksgiving Treat for Kids
Whether the kids you’re cooking for are actually picky eaters or not, would you simply like to make them something funny and novelty, just for the fun of it? In that case, we think you’ll really appreciate how In The Kids’ Kitchen not only created a delicious cheese ball that’s sure to appeal to little tastebuds, but also dressed it up with pretzels and crackers to make it look like a turkey!
12. Soft Cranberry Crescent Rolls – Thanksgiving Desserts for Kids
Speaking of recipes that will help you present unfamiliar flavours to your kids in a way that looks and tastes at least a little bit familiar so they’ll be willing to try it, here’s an amazing idea for showing them just how delicious cranberries and cranberry sauce can be! We love the way Beauty Through Imperfection lays out the steps for making soft cranberry crescent rolls that just might get them asking for cranberry sauce with their meal next time.
13. Homemade Mac n’ Cheese – Thanksgiving Treats for Kids
Of course, sometimes there’s just no fighting the creamy and delicious draw that mac and cheese has to children. Rather than having our kids not eat anything at all, we’d much rather make the littlest ones at the dinner table a delicious homemade mac and cheese that we at least know is made with real ingredients so it’s a little bit healthier and more filling than the boxed kind! This particular recipe from Dinner With The Rollos is one of our very favourites.
14. Pumpkin Ravioli Inspired Mini Pies – Thanksgiving Desserts for Kids
If you’re going to make some kind of deliciously fall-flavored bite-sized dessert, would you actually much rather make it something a little more unique and novelty, like something that will still appeal to your kids but that they probably haven’t seen or tried before? In that case, we think you’ll get along very well indeed with the way Arts & Crackers made these adorable miniature pies inspired by the great taste and look of pumpkin ravioli, only if it were sweet rather than savory!
15. Slow Cooker Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes – Thanksgiving Treats for Kids
In our family and friend circle, there isn’t a single little kid in the bunch who doesn’t completely adore mashed potatoes. In an attempt to introduce them to flavors, however, we’ve been considering adding a little extra flavor into the mix, subtly enough that they won’t be put off but still in a way that makes it feel like a new experience. These simple slow cooker garlic and herb mashed potatoes outlined on The Soccer Mom are precisely the kind of thing we mean!
16. Veggie Pizza Leaves – Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes
Rather than fighting with the little ones at the table to try and convince them to eat what everyone else is having, would you actually much rather just make them something else entirely, preparing a quick meal that’s nice and easy to do but that you know they’ll love? Well, that’s why Hungry Happenings did here, but they also made a bit of a game out of it. Check out how they mixed and cut leaf-shaped dough and then chose fall coloured veggie toppings for the kids to decorate the leaf with, adding colour and flavour all at once to create a delicious pizza.
17. Fluffy and Delicious Pumpkin Fruit Dip – Thanksgiving Recipes for Kids
If you’re going to make a dessert that your kids will really enjoy the flavour of texture of, would you actually rather dot hat strategic parenting thing where you sneak a healthy element into the treat, just to get your kids at least a bit of extra nutrition with their sugar? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Deliciously Sprinkled made this fantastic fluffy and delicious pumpkin fruit dip that tastes great on apple slices!
18. Irresistible Cheese Potato Puffs – Thanksgiving Treats for Kids
We know we’ve talked quite a lot about cheese and potatoes so far, but that’s just because they’re total kid classics and total Thanksgiving classics, making them the perfect combination when it comes to prepping something your kids will eat without complaint at this month’s family meal! While we’re on the subject, we’d absolutely encourage you to take a look at how these deliciously irresistible cheese potato puffs were made on Canadian Family.
19. No-bake Pumpkin Pie – Thanksgiving Desserts for Kids
Are you actually feeling quite convinced that your kids would really adore the taste pf pumpkin pie if they’re only be willing to try it, so you’re trying to find a way to get them interested in the idea? Well, what if you made a whole afternoon of it by having them make the pumpkin pie with you so what they’re really doing at the end is rewarding themselves with a bite of their own hard work? In that case, we think you’ll really appreciate the way Highlights show you all the steps for making a kind of pumpkin pie that’s so easy your kids could practically handle the process themselves.
20. Pumpkin and Fruit Turkey Muffins – Thanksgiving Recipes for Kids
Perhaps you’ve actually been searching for a fun looking idea that is a little healthier for your kids to snack on but you just haven’t quite seen the one that makes you feel convinced so far? well, if you’re intent on keeping their fruit consumption up during the holidays when most other people are eating sweets, then maybe you’d get along quite well with something like this pumpkin and fruit turkey muffin recipe outlined in detail on Parenting.com!
Things to Consider When Cooking Thanksgiving Dishes With Your Kids
The most important part of preparing any Thanksgiving recipes is to make sure you’re aware of food allergies and dietary restrictions.
For example, if your child prefers not to eat nuts or chocolate, try replacing the pumpkin pie filling with a fruit-based recipe that includes fresh berries or apples!
Using fresh ingredients is always healthier because you know exactly what went into the dish. Even though Thanksgiving recipes are much more forgiving than other types of dishes, it’s still important to respect your guest’s dietary needs by keeping things as healthy as possible.
You should also try making a list of all the ingredients that you’ll need for each recipe so that you’re not caught off-guard when shopping day comes around!
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with unique spices, herbs, and sweeteners if you have time to spare during preparation. You can even place cute little personalized labels on dish serving trays using food-safe markers so each guest knows which plate is theirs!
Thanksgiving Treats for Kids: Closing Thoughts
We hope this article helped give you some ideas about how to improve your Thanksgiving recipes while also encouraging you to keep them healthy for the kids.
To read more articles on how you can make Thanksgiving 10 times more enjoyable, check out the rest of the Thanksgiving articles on our website since we’ve covered everything from lists of dishes and decorations to actual step-by-step tutorials on how you can make them on your own.
As an added bonus, you can help us expand our library of articles by suggesting new topics for us to write about, and we’ll be sure to take your submissions into consideration.