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12 Yummy Side Dish Thanksgiving Recipes for Kids

Get these nutritious Thanksgiving recipes for kids in time for the holiday, approved by dietitians.

Side Dish Thanksgiving recipes for kids from dietitians

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday but it can be overwhelming for kids. Having a ton of new Thanksgiving food ideas for kids can backfire.

Even though you may want to introduce adventurous Thanksgiving food ideas to your child, it can be a touchy time to do so.

Stuffing, green bean casserole, gravy, and pumpkin pie—these are Thanksgiving foods that many kids don’t get in their diet routinely. It’s no surprise the Thanksgiving holiday may quickly become a bit stressful for kids and parents alike.

Then, there’s the huge turkey. For many kids, the size of the turkey alone is foreign, not to mention, some kids might only know turkey from the deli.

Let’s not forget that while Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with relatives and friends, it can elicit parental pressure to perform in the eating department.

Parents want their kids to eat well. And picky eaters, or ill-mannered kids may not be tolerated by adults.

All in all, Thanksgiving can be a tricky holiday for kids. Thanksgiving recipes for kids that are attractive and somewhat familiar can help.

Dietitian-Approved Thanksgiving Kids’ Recipes 

You can prepare your child for the different foods she will see, review the manners that will be expected by family members, and check your own tendency to pressure your child at the door, but the success of Thanksgiving can still be a wild card.

When I host Thanksgiving, I try to include Thanksgiving sides, appetizers and desserts that will appeal to kids.

For example, I have kids help out with simple appetizer assembly, I always include ice cream on the dessert menu, and have been exploring some unique, kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes for side dishes.

12 Kid’s Thanksgiving Food Ideas

I asked some of my dietitian friends to throw down some Thanksgiving recipes for kids targeting side dishes to appeal to the younger guests at my Thanksgiving feast. Maybe you’ll want to try these kid-friendly Thanksgiving sides, too!

Sweet potato bites Thanksgiving recipe for kids

1. Sweet Potato Pie Bites  by Nutritionist Reviews

“Roasted maple sweet potatoes with cinnamon cream cheese and maple pecans make this dish mouth-watering!”

2. Carrots with Feta Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts by EA Stewart, The Spicy RD

“I’m a little hesitant to call this a recipe, because it is SO easy, but, I think I nailed the perfect proportions of sweet carrots, salty feta, and crunchy pine nuts.”

3. Mashed Potato Cakes with Spinach and Cheese by Mom to Mom Nutrition

“Make the most of leftover mashed potatoes by making baked mashed potato cakes. Mixed with fresh veggies and cheese, they are a unique way to get your kids to eat their greens!” 

4. So-Simple Cinnamon-Roasted Apples by Amy Gorin Nutrition

Who can go wrong with apples?

5. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Apple Bake by The Real Food RDs

“With only 4-ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time you’ll have this healthy dish whipped-up and in the oven in no time. Serve it along side with a tender pork roast and a veggie of choice.”

Garlicky Green Beans Thanksgiving recipe for kids

6. Garlicky Green Beans by Jessica Levinson

“Take green beans to another level by roasting them with sliced garlic. Crisp and delicious, you’ll never look at green beans the same way again!”

7. Cranberry Corn Muffins by The Lean Green Bean

“These Cranberry Corn Muffins are lightly sweetened and bursting with tart fresh cranberries. They make the perfect dinner side dish. Serve them with a hearty chili or make a batch for your holiday dinner.”

8. Cheesy Cauliflower Tots by RDelicious Kitchen

“Sneak in more vegetables by revamping a childhood favorite and instead making Cheesy Cauliflower Tots.”

9. Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes & Figs by Abbey’s Kitchen

“These Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes & Figs will make a perfect healthy Holiday side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas.”

10. Roasted Acorn Squash (How To) by The Average RD

“This quick and easy acorn squash recipe was easy for {my littles} to eat with their hands, and had them both trying a second slice.” 

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes Thanksgiving recipe

11. Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes by Chocolate Slopes

 “This Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes side dish is sure to be a hit at Thanksgiving with it’s simple yet sweet flavors.”

12. Whole Wheat Butternut Squash Banana Bread by Kara Lydon

“Comforting, sweet, and satisfying, this whole wheat butternut squash banana bread packs in fruits AND vegetables, whole grains, and nuts for a nutrient-packed breakfast or snack.”

What are your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes to serve to the kids at your table?

P.S. Looking for more kid-friendly recipe ideas? Have a peek at the cookbooks in my Nutrition Store! Or, pair these sides with my Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder — so yummy!

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  1. I couldn’t agree more about the stress that comes with holidays, kids, food and manners! Thanks for addressing an issue that most parents have when it comes to the holidays and for including our Cinnamon Sweet Potato Apple Bake recipe in your round up. Cheers!