Looking for Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes that are kid-friendly as well? You’ve come to the right place. With six kids, I’ve cooked many a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and I know what works. I’ve rounded up the best Thanksgiving Side Dishes so that you can take it easier on the big day.
There are so many great options. You make your own Cranberry Sauce or buy the jellied kind in the can. Prep a Thanksgiving Fruit Salad or just a simple Fruit Tray. Don’t forget to make Turkey Cinnamon Rolls, too!
Having witnessed the pursed lips, the raised eyebrows, and the crossed arms, I know that weeknight dinners and the Thanksgiving feast alike can be a challenge for families. With four younger siblings and six children of my own, I know what it means to plan some kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes.
There’s a secret ingredient that you can load up on right now to make sure your Turkey Day food is something that the whole family can appreciate.
And that is SIMPLICITY.
Yep, where kids are concerned, keep your special occasions simple. Not only can you focus on affordable, simple ingredients for Thanksgiving Day, but you can also save a lot of time and money by not running yourself ragged.
The best part is that you’ll spend less time hassling your kids to eat and enjoy more family time together!
You don’t need an extensive list of fancy new recipes to keep young children happy this fall season. Quite the opposite. Good food is simple.
Tips for Keeping It Simple and Kid-Friendly
?Consider these tips as you plan your meals this holiday season. These
- Choose the easy recipe over the complicated one. Not only will you save time and money, but it will be more of a crowd-pleaser, especially with the kids. While I love my green bean casserole recipe, I know more people will enjoy the Garlic Green Beans for an easy side dish that takes less effort from me.
- Instead of four side dish vegetables, choose two: one that is plain and universally liked, like buttered carrots or green beans, and a fancier one for the adults like Sweet Potato Casserole.
- Keep things familiar. Kids are generally going to balk at weird-looking food, no matter how much you like it. Creamy mashed potatoes are a yes, so long as that’s what you normally serve. If you regularly serve Mashed Sweet Potatoes, then that might be a better option. In my experience, anything with a creamy sauce or canned soup is a no.
- Consider the textures. Your pickiest eaters may flinch at the texture of pumpkin pie but love the pumpkin flavor in Pumpkin Bread or Pumpkin Bundt Cake. Think about how you can expose them to new foods without sending them freaking over the weird textures of things.
- Include little helpers whenever you can. Kids love to help and if they have a say in the menu or how to set the Thanksgiving table, they will naturally have a buy-in to the big Thanksgiving meal, both in eating it and in helping you make it. Plan some Thanksgiving activities as well.
- Encourage them to take one bite of the roast turkey and traditional sides. I’m a firm believer in early and regular exposure to flavors. All my picky eaters now love mushrooms, sauerkraut, and kale salad. This was not the case once upon a time. Don’t be pushy and be sure to defend your kid against well-meaning family members, but do encourage them to try different foods on your holiday table.
- Think small. Smaller portions and serving sizes are great for little hands and also an easy way to stretch your different dishes among a crowd at a big meal. Baking Thanksgiving stuffing cups in a muffin tin or prepping mini pumpkin pies is a fun way to make your holiday meal a little more kid-friendly.
Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
The best Thanksgiving Sides are the ones your kid will eat. Try these easy Thanksgiving recipes and let us know what you think.