Thanksgiving is all about time with family. However, kids are often shuffled around as the grown-ups work to put together the Thanksgiving feast.
The Bratz are back from hiatus and they’re busily preparing for their annual Bratz Friendsgiving, filled with unique recipes for kids of all ages.
Whether you’re planning a family Thanksgiving meal, a big Friendsgiving feast or looking ahead to the holidays, the Bratz offer tips for kids in the kitchen, a collection of rad recipes and printable recipe cards to help your kids enjoy time in the kitchen during the holidays.
Thanksgiving Tips for Kids in the Kitchen
1. Bratz believe in making empowered choices. Let kids feel like it’s their meal by involving them in the menu creation and letting them pick some of the dishes that will be served.
2. Encourage them to get creative. While you can reign in the wild and crazy suggestions you’re likely to get (cheese in the pumpkin pie, anyone?), it helps to let kids put an innovative spin on traditional family recipes that everyone will be talking about at the dinner table and remember even after the meal is over.
3. Take lots of photos. Not only will your child feel like a cooking superstar, but it will help solidify the memories from their time in the kitchen, turning it into a tradition you can both enjoy for years to come. Don’t forget to grab a selfie stick and get in some of the photos with your little chef.
4. Turn on some fun tunes. With everyone dancing around the kitchen, kids will have to join the party – they won’t want to miss out!
5. Make sure they have some cooking materials that belong to them. An apron, a special mixing spoon … whatever makes them feel like they have a vested interest in the process.
Cloe’s Creamy Buttermilk Cornbread
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 24 min.
2 cups cornmeal, yellow and white
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 can cream-style corn
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan or iron skillet. Heat oven to 425
2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl
3. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs; stir in the corn and melted butter
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until blended
5. Spoon into the prepared baking pan or iron skillet
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and the cornbread springs back when lightly touched with a finger
Jade’s Juicy Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme
Serves: 8 Peeps
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic salt
1. Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Using a large diameter strainer, transfer beans to a large bowl of ice water, cool completely. Drain well.
2. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in 1 tbsp of fresh thyme, 1 tbsp of mustard and 1 tsp of garlic salt into butter.
3. Add beans to skillet and toss until heated through, about 4 minutes.
4. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and remaining 1 tbsp of thyme.
Sasha’s Savory Sausage Stuffing
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
1 lb breakfast sausage
3/4 cup margarine, melted
3/4 cup finely diced onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
8 cups soft bread cubes
3 tsps poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet; cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown, about 10 minutes. Remove sausage from the skillet and let drain on paper towels. Combine melted margarine with the sausage drippings
2. Cook and stir onion and celery in the margarine-dripping mixture in the same skillet over medium heat until onion is tender but now browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in about 1/3 of the bread cubes. Pour onion mixture into a large bowl and stir in remaining bread cubes, sausage, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Watch your hands, it’s hot. Mix well. This stuffing is reading for baking.
Yasmin’s Lovely Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
4 cups sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsps butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsps butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
4. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.
Raya’s Retro-Rad Caramel Apple Cranberry Pie
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
1 9-inch double crust pie pastry
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsps water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Press one of the pie pastries into a 9-inch pie plate; reserve the remaining pastry.
2. Pour the lemon juice into a container that large enough for the apples and fill halfway with cold water. Peel and slice the apples into the lemon water; set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cornstarch to form a paste. Stir in 2 tablespoons of water along with the vanilla extract, ½ cup white sugar, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg; bring to a simmer. Drain the apples and add them to the sugar mixture along with the cranberries. Cook and stir 5 minutes; remove from the heat and allow to cool.
4. Pour the fruit into the pie plate and press on the top crust. Stir together 1 tablespoon of white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon; sprinkle over the pie.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and continue baking until the top crust is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
Add Kid-Friendly Snacks
Your kids may not love a variety of side dishes, but they’ll be sure to tackle the snack table. Add all natural, healthy snacks to the table and you’ll feel good about the kids nibbling.
Chips and Dips
Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips are the perfect complement to so many recipes. They’re gluten-free, all natural, made with wholesome non-GMO ingredients, and even vegan. We sampled the limited-edition Harvest Pumpkin Tortilla Chips and Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips with our family. Both varieties were a hit with the little ones and the grown-ups.
The Harvest Pumpkin Tortilla Chips are packed with all-natural pumpkin and a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg while the Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips contain a sweet blend of cane sugar and nuttiness. You’ll find lots of dip recipes on the Food Should Taste Good website to pair with both chips.
Snack Factory Pretzel Crips have reinvented the pretzel. Now the #1 pretzel in America, Pretzel Crisps are made with naturally nutritious and simple ingredients. There;s no trans fat, saturated fat or cholesterol. These appetizers pair up perfectly with Pretzel Crisps or Food Should Taste Good chips.
Sweet Potato Hummus
1 bag of Original Pretzel Crisps
3 garlic cloves
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tahini
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups baked sweet potato
Makes 3 cups of hummus
1. In a large food processor or blender, puree garlic cloves and chickpeas.
2. Add tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, brown sugar, and spices. Puree until smooth.
3. Add sweet potatoes and puree until completely combined.
4. Serve immediately with Original Pretzel Crisps or your favorite flavor. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Cranberry Pretzel Crisps
Original or Sesame Pretzel Crisps
Homemade or Store Bought Cranberry Sauce
Any Soft Cheese, Such as Goat or Ricotta
1. Spoon cheese onto each Pretzel Crisp. Dollop a little cranberry sauce on top.
2. Optional: Use a small, round cookie cutter to press the cheese and sauce into slide the cookie cutter up and serve as fancy finger food.
Make a Thankful Tree
Keep the kids busy and focused on gratitude. Use a large sheet of white construction paper. Have the kids cut a tree shape from brown construction paper and cut or tear leaf shapes from yellow, red and orange paper. Let each child write things they are thankful for on their leaves, then attach the tree and falling leaves to the white background.
Create gratitude leaves by cutting or tearing yellow, red, orange and brown paper into leaf shapes. You may also find foam leaf shapes at the craft store. Let the kids use markers to write what their blessings on each leaf.
More Tips for Kids in the Kitchen
From teens and ‘tweens to the little ones, kids enjoy helping out in the kitchen. Whether you’ll be at home or on the road, here are some additional tips for kids in the kitchen.
Invite the kids help tackle cleaning the house. Each child can choose one room to clean. Give them a list of what needs to be done and let them get started.
Bring the kids shopping with you. Make a list together of all of the items you’ll need for the meal. Kids can take turns in each aisle of the store placing the items in the shopping cart.
Put your creative kids to work making place cards for the tables. Give them white construction paper, markers, stickers and a list of those who will be at the meal and let them do the rest.
Keep the creative juices flowing and let the kids make Thanksgiving decorations for the table, fridge or wall. Use a Thanksgiving theme of gratitude to match the day. Kids can make a thankful tree or gratitude leaves with very little adult help.
Kids love to help with baking. Pies are the dessert of choice for Thanksgiving. Whether you choose America’s favorite pumpkin pie, Raya’s Retro-Rad Caramel Apple Cranberry Pie or a favorite family dessert, let the kids take over dessert duties.
Be ready for guests and let the kids set the table. Provide a chart for setting the table or teach the kids that forks and napkins go on the left while knives, spoons and glasses go on the right. If you prefer, go with the flow and let the kids set the table in their own unique style.
Use the kids for side dish help. Mashing potatoes or cooking vegetables can be done by kids at a pretty young age, but be careful of hot stove tops, sharp knives and other hazards.
Let the kids be the hosts: answering the door, greeting guests, taking coats and seating the guests. As you put the finishing touches on the meal, let the kids be your good will ambassadors.
At cleanup time, invite the kids to help too. Whether you’re using a dishwasher or washing dishes by hand, many hands make light work. The sooner the table is cleared, the sooner you can enjoy some unstructured family time.
After the work’s done, pull out a family favorite card game or board game. Pair up little ones with adults or play grown-ups vs. kids as you make memories.
Thanksgiving is a day filled with family activities. With the kids helping, the tasks at hand will be done more quickly. You’ll be less stressed and will enjoy spending time together.
Check out the articles below for more Thanksgiving planning tips, holiday hacks and recipes for fun Thanksgiving themed foods, side dishes and delightful desserts to make your holidays sparkle.