Tomorrow when you serve Thanksgiving dinner, you’re sure to please everyone’s taste buds… except for a few of your littlest guests. Kids are famous for not liking foods that they aren’t familiar with, and since many Thanksgiving favorites are only eaten once a year, it can be difficult to get kids interested.
But we’ve found some ways to remedy the situation by dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner foods to look just a little more like the foods that kids know that they already like. If you’re expecting more than a couple of children at your Thanksgiving table this year, you’ll find this list pretty handy!
1. Turkey nuggets
Kids tend to be picky about meats, so if your child is hesitant when it comes to Thanksgiving turkey, he or she is not the only one. On the other hand, kids love any meat in nugget form: chicken nuggets, fish nuggets…why not turkey nuggets?
2. Ice cream mashed potatoes
For children, food is often all about presentation. Therefore it’s a super easy fix simply to serve the mashed potatoes with an ice cream scoop. Top the scoops with some melted butter and garlic, or smother with turkey gravy if desired.
3. Carrot macaroni and cheese
Is there a food more beloved by children than mac and cheese? We think not. The problem is the dish’s clear lack of nutritional value… at least until now! Before mixing the cheese into the cooked pasta, add a couple of cups of pureed carrots to the cheese mixture. Your kids will get their vitamins without even knowing the difference (the adults might, too!).
4. Sweet potato crunch
Another way to get kids interested in the unfamiliar sweet potato is by dressing it in a kid-approved food: cereal! After prepping your mashed sweet potatoes, add some maple syrup and top with a generous layer of corn flakes.
5. Turkey rice
Rice will balance out the flavor of the turkey and add some familiar texture. Just chop up a couple of slices of turkey and add a cup of cooked rice. You might even add a spoonful or two of Thanksgiving stuffing. Mix together and serve in a bowl to be eaten with a spoon.
6. Thanksgiving pizzas
Another kid-approved food is pizza, which is usually not on the Thanksgiving menu. But all you really need for a pizza is a flat piece of bread and some toppings. So this year, try making Thanksgiving pizzas for the kids using wheat bread rolls or pre-baked pizza crust. Use a spatula to cover the bread in a layer of stuffing for the “sauce,” then top with green beans, carrots, and pulled turkey breast.
7. Spaghetti squash
Many children love eating pasta, so try the healthy autumn alternative: spaghetti squash. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and bake, then let your children help you pull the inside of the squash into a bowl using a fork. The best part is that you can season it in any number of ways. For kids, try drizzling it with a little olive oil then sprinkling it with sea salt and Parmesan cheese.
Get ready for some smiling faces and full bellies at the kid’s table this Thanksgiving! Don’t worry, you can thank us later.