Spending time with the kids is unquestionably one of the most wonderful parts of the Thanksgiving holiday. For many of us, this national holiday provides a few precious free days away from work or school, during which we can stay at home with the little ones and spend quality time together as a family.
Of course, those of us who are cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year must also find time to make magic in the kitchen outside of time with the family. But wouldn’t it be much easier to combine the two – cooking and quality time with kids – in order to spend the most time with those you truly love?
There’s no need to keep the kids out of the kitchen this year when you’re cooking Thanksgiving. Instead, ask your children to help you make these five fun Thanksgiving side dishes that are kid-friendly and that you can whip up together as a family.
1. Mashed Potatoes
No Thanksgiving feast is complete without some form of mashed potatoes. Some families prefer traditional mashed white potatoes, others opt for mashed sweet potatoes, and at some tables you may find a combination of the two.
And the best part is that making mashed potatoes of either variety is incredibly simple. Of course, the first parts should be left to the parents, including peeling and boiling the tubers in hot water. But once the potatoes have been peeled and boiled and are ready to mash, you can enlist in the help of your children. Let them use a fork, a spoon, a potato masher, or any similar utensil, and have them mash until the potatoes are creamy, adding in some butter or cream as you go. They’ll have a blast, and you’ll be left with a tasty treat.
2. Cheesy Broccoli with Rice
This delicious dish is a favorite of little kids everywhere, and it is truly simple to make! All you need for this dish is some rice, a few heads of broccoli, and your favorite type of melted cheese (many recipes suggest cheddar, although this goes great with Swiss, mozzarella, or anything else you enjoy). Cook the rice and boil the vegetables separately; once they are ready, let the kids sprinkle on as much cheese as needed to create this unbelievable side.
3. Cranberry Sauce
Does your family love to eat cranberry sauce during the holidays? If so, you’re in luck – making homemade cranberry sauce is simple, and is certainly kid-friendly. Most recipes involve boiling cranberries in a small amount of water and sugar, and adding in other garnishes, such as orange zest or cinnamon. You can have your children experiment with different flavors, and make the decision to stir in nutmeg, cloves, or anything else they find delicious.
Biscuits are a Thanksgiving staple for many families across the nation, and are relatively simple to create with your kids in the kitchen. Of course, you can always take the route of heating up premade biscuits in the oven; for this method, you simply need to open up the package, let your children roll out biscuits from the premade dough, and place them in a cookie tray in the oven until they are ready. This very often leads to delicious and golden-brown biscuits that everyone loves.
However, even if you decide to make your own from scratch, you should still be able to do so with the help of the kids. They can mix together the ingredients in a large bowl and place dollops atop a cookie tray. While you should leave the baking up to the adults, the kids can help play an integral part in this cooking process.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies may not be a common dessert on the tables of many families throughout the country; to be sure, these are often replaced by pies of various flavors. But that is not to say that chocolate chip cookies should be left out; in fact, they comprise a delicious treat that are easy to make and quick to eat. And the kids can help out in the kitchen when you are making your chocolate chip cookies. Just like with the biscuits, they can help mix together the cookie dough, even tasting as they go. And once the dough is ready, they can roll it out with a rolling pin and place it on a cookie tray in the oven, and wait until the cookies are ready to eat for an after-dinner snack.
Thanksgiving Side Dishes Kids Can Make
Are you looking for a few fun ways that your kids can help with the Thanksgiving meal? If so, consider heading to the kitchen with your little ones to make these side dishes for Thanksgiving that are kid-friendly and are truly delicious.