Thanksgiving is fast-approaching, and now is a good time to plan some kid-friendly dishes to accompany the roasted turkey. Kids can be fussy when it comes to Thanksgiving appetizers, sides, and desserts. Some traditional holiday dishes just seem foreign to kids who love their nuggets, macaroni & cheese, and pizza. Let’s explore some dishes that kids might be enticed to try this holiday season!

Appetizer Platter

Children love to snack. There’s just something about bite-sized foods that makes their stomachs growl. To accommodate this, you can set out a large cutting board with a variety of healthy appetizer bites for kids to choose from. Place this on a low table in the playroom to make it just for the kids, since the adults will be enjoying some wine, cheese, and crackers. Foods to include on the kid board are seedless red grapes, apple slices, baby carrots, mildly flavored cheese cubes, mini pepperoni rounds, and oat bran pretzel twists. Homemade ranch dressing is a perfect dip that most kids will enjoy, so be sure to offer up some of that as well!

Parmesan Sweet Potato Tater Tots

What kid doesn’t like tater tots? To make a healthier version of this classic, use mashed sweet potatoes mixed with parmesan cheese. Roll the tots in cheese and bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 425°F. Serve the tots with ketchup or a creamy dipping sauce. This is a great way to get your kids to eat a vegetable that isn’t fried.

Corn Bread with Broccoli and Bacon

This is a classic trick to sneak more veggies into your child’s diet. This cornbread is sweet and savory. You simply use boxed corn muffin mix, as directed, and add chopped broccoli that has been thawed and drained along with crumbled, cooked bacon. You can add some cheese or creamed corn to make it even more enticing. Bake and cut the bread into cubes for noshing on.

Dessert Ideas

It’s hard to find a child who won’t eat dessert. However, pumpkin or mincemeat pie might not be their favorites. After all, kids are hoping for some sugary sweetness overload, not a savory treat. Here are some alternatives for them to try.

  • Baked apples with cinnamon and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top is usually a good option. Most kids like apples because they are naturally sweet. They are also great sources of fiber and vitamin C.
  • One way to have fun with your kids during Thanksgiving is to make a classic chocolate wafer icebox cake with them. It is a forgiving dessert, as it is perfectly fine if it is a little messy—ideal for kids. The best part is that there is no baking! Kids will love eating it as much as they’ll love making it.
  • If you’re not up to cooking right after the holiday, make some muffins for Thanksgiving day and hope you have enough left over for breakfast that Friday! Zucchini banana muffins are perfect because they are sweet and cakelike, while the fresh fruits and vegetables in the batter add some much-needed nutrients.