We all know how it can be with picky eaters—especially during the holidays. The holidays are a time when families cook seasonal and festive dishes, but some kids only want their classic favorites.
We get it, chicken fingers and plain pasta are delicious! But.. it can be hard on the host to make separate meals for kids. With Thanksgiving next Thursday, there’s still time to find a solution.
Here are 5 Thanksgiving recipes to try that might just get your picky eaters to give in:
- Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
This classic take on Sweet Potatoes might just be sweet enough to trick your little ones into eating vegetables.
Recipe found at Epicurious.com.
- 4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground ginger
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat. Cover dish tightly with foil.
- Bake potatoes 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts. Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown, about 3 minutes.
2. Three-Cheese Mini Macs
Need another side they might eat? Turn their favorite meal into perfect, cup-sized bites!
Recipe found at Foodandwine.com.
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
- 4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
- 1 large egg yolk
- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
- Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.
- In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk. Fold in the macaroni.
- Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.
- Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.
3. Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
If it looks like spaghetti, and tastes like spaghetti… it must be spaghetti, right? Not quite:)
Turn this seasonal vegetable into a familiar taste for picky eaters by baking it into a lasagna. They might just give it a try!
Recipe found at Fitvivo.com.
3 cups cooked spaghetti squash
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup ricotta, part skim
6 oz mozzarella, part skim and shredded
8 tsp parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F
• In an oven safe baking dish, ladle about 1/4 cup marinara sauce on the bottom.
• Top with 3/4 cup of cooked spaghetti squash and spread them evenly.
• Drop in 1/4 cup ricotta.
• Dust with 1 teaspoon of parmesan cheese and about .75 ounce mozzarella. Top it all off with the remaining sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.
• Foil it up and bake for 20 minutes, or ’til cheese is smelted and the edges start to bubble up; expose and bake more for about 5 minutes.
4. Cheese & Veggies Cornucopia
Kids love foods cut into familiar shapes. Make this festive veggie and cheese cornucopia for an appetizer that’s healthy and popular with the kids!
Recipe found at Kidfriendlythingstodo.com.
- 1 package of crescent dough makes about 8-10 cornucopia
- Refrigerated Crescent Recipe Creations – A Roll of Seamless Dough (if you can’t find this, just grab some original refrigerated crescent dough)
- Vegetables, such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, colored peppers, etc.
- Cheese bricks, such as cheddar, colby-jack, etc.
- Sour Cream – 16 oz.
- Ranch Dry Mix Packet
- Unroll the dough, and along the long side of the rectangle, slice it in about 1/2 in. long strips
- Shape foil into a V shape (about 4 inches long, and about 1/2 inch wide at the point, and 2 inches wide at the top) – Cut a square of foil, and start by pushing your fingers into the center of the square, fold the foil up and around your hand. Continue to shape it until you get your desired size
- *If you are using regular crescent dough, then unroll, and seal the seams so it becomes 1 big sheet of dough, before slicing into strips
- Starting at the bottom of your V, start wrapping a strip around the foil overlapping each time by a little bit, and pressing to seal where needed
- Pull the tip up a little for a curved shape
- Bake according to the package directions, or until the dough is turning nice and golden in color – about 10 minutes
- Let cool
- Now…here’s a trick I learned to getting the foil out – squeeze the foil together so it’s a little smaller at the top, and while holding onto the crescent roll, gently twist the foil back and forth until it loosens from the sides and pull it out.
5. Cinnamon Apple Chips
Can’t keep them away from the chip bowl? Give these delicious cinnamon apple chips a try. They’re the perfect fall alternative, and naturally sweet to satisfy your little chip-lovers.
Recipe found at Carriesexperimentalkitchen.com.
- 4 Apples, cored and sliced ⅛” thick (I used McIntosh)
- 1-2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp. Granulated Sugar, if needed
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees fahrenheit.
- Add the sliced apples to a large bowl; then coat the apples with the cinnamon and/or sugar.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and line the apples flat on the pan. You may need to use two pans so that they are not overlapping.
- Bake 2-3 hours until the chips are dry yet still soft. Allow to cool completely before placing them in an air tight container for up to 4 days (if they last that long!).