Creating a healthier Thanksgiving spread of special foods for your kids.
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful, but it’s also a time synonymous with delicious feasts and holiday-favorite dishes.
Between homemade pies, freshly baked cookies, and warm hot chocolate, kids tend to enjoy more sweets than usual this time of year. Parents can help keep their kids’ overall sugar consumption to a minimum and protect their precious smiles by trying out these recipes that are tasty, healthy, and less sweet.
1. Fresh and Sweet Fruit Cornucopias
Kids hungry but dinner isn’t ready yet? A festive snack that’s super fun for youngsters is a fruit cornucopia. Fill a sugar-free ice-cream cone with your kids’ favorite fruits, add a small drizzle of real honey, and top it off with some shelled sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Presenting them stacked on a tray will really add to the cornucopia look!
2. Roasted Butternut Squash
Cubed and roasted butternut squash is a healthier alternative to traditional mashed potatoes or marshmallow-yam casseroles. Butternut squash is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the roasting process brings out its natural sweetness. Not to mention the beautiful, rich orange is really enticing for kids!
Recipe: Honey Roasted Butternut Squash
3. A Festive Pumpkin Stew
Imagine your kids’ reaction when they see a whole pumpkin on the table! Pumpkin stew is as delicious as it is healthy and makes for a wonderful main or side dish for any Thanksgiving or holiday dinner. Serving the stew in a hollowed pumpkin is eye-catching for adults and kids alike. We bet this just might become a new Thanksgiving family tradition for your table.
Recipe: Pumpkin Stew
4. Maple Roasted Carrots
A little bit of sweetness isn’t a bad thing, especially when it comes from a natural source like 100% pure maple syrup. This recipe uses carrots, a favorite veggie for many kids, and a small amount of maple syrup for a decadent kick. Remember, carrots will naturally taste sweeter after being roasted, so feel free to dial back the maple syrup!
Recipe: Maple Roasted Carrots
5. Kid-Friendly Muffin Snack Tray
A charcuterie board is a tasty snack for adults, but many younger kids aren’t big fans of fancy meats, cheeses, and crackers. The perfect alternative is a muffin snack tray designed just for kids. This is a great idea if you’re serving multiple kids. You can also get as creative as you want with festive designs, like the ideas in this recipe.
Recipe: Thanksgiving Kids Snack Board
6. Healthy Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon rolls are a family favorite on Thanksgiving morning, or even as dessert in place of pumpkin pie. But traditional cinnamon rolls are far from healthy. You can keep the family tradition but make things healthier by switching to a lower-calorie recipe. This one we’ve featured has four times less sugar than most recipes as well!
Recipe: Healthy Cinnamon Rolls
7. Tender Roasted Chicken
Kids can be picky, and even though turkey breast is fairly plain, some might prefer a main dish that’s more familiar. A roasted chicken is a great addition to turkey and will help encourage kids to eat more healthy protein. Many roasted chicken recipes are heavily seasoned with herbs and citrus, so consider your kids’ tastes when seasoning or stuffing.
Recipe: Julia’s Favorite Roast Chicken
8. Mini Pumpkin Pies
Pumpkin pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, but boy is it easy to go a bit overboard with the slices! A really fun alternative to cut back on portion size and make eating pie easier for little kids are these mini pumpkin pies. Add a dollop of sugar-free or low-fat whipped cream on top for a finishing touch.
Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Pies
9. Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Squash
Brussel sprouts and kids don’t often mix, but this recipe just might be the trick to getting your little ones to try a few bites. This recipe combines roasted Brussel sprouts with butternut squash, though you can also use other squash or pumpkin. The addition of cranberries and a splash of tangy vinaigrette adds flavor as well as color.
10. Simple and Tasty Stuffing Muffins
Kids love finger foods, but traditional Thanksgiving dishes tend to be a fork or spoon situation. This simple stuffing muffin recipe is tasty and easy enough that your kid can even help make them. Not only do stuffing muffins add some intrigue, encouraging kids to eat, but they are also great paired with Thanksgiving leftovers.
Recipe: Thanksgiving Stuffing Muffins
Have you scheduled your kids’ pre-holiday checkups?
The holiday season is not only busy, but many families also indulge in baked goods and sweets a little more often than usual. Right now is a great time to schedule a checkup and cleaning for your kids. Your child’s pediatric dentist will ensure your child’s smile is healthy and free from decay, preventing a surprise toothache from striking during the holidays.
You can schedule your kids’ checkups and cleanings by calling your preferred We Make Kids Smile location or using this online form.