How To Feed The Kids At Thanksgiving

How To Feed The Kids At Thanksgiving
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How To Feed The Kids At Thanksgiving

I host about 20 adults and 20 kids every year, and when I plan the menu, I never forget to include some dishes the kids will eat and love.

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Hors D’oeuvres

Have an appetizer table just for the kids. 
Put out cheese sticks, baby carrots with yogurt dip, a kid-friendly cracker like Goldfish or Ritz, and a fun to eat treat like:

Then, don't be surprised if they play the rest of the day and don't ask for a thing.

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Side Dishes

I like to have side dishes I can make in advance. The best ones for kids are the ones you can spoon onto a plate and heat up in the microwave. It is really hard for little kids to wait until all the adults are ready to eat, and where is it written they must have turkey and all the fixings?

If you only have a couple kids coming, don't fuss. Buy a bag of tater tots, some dinner rolls and 1/2 pound of Boar's Head Turkey breast. A fantastic holiday is no time to chase little ones around the house trying to get them to try something new. Everyone will express their gratitude if you keep it simple and easy for the kids.

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If it is hard for kids to wait on dinner, it is almost impossible for them to wait for dessert. You definitely won't want them digging into your perfect apple pie or brandy cake before you’ve made the coffee. Have some grab and go treats ready so, when the kids, who can't sit for a lengthy meal, are done, you can put out a quick and easy mini-dessert table.

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Here are some more tips to make Thanksgiving easy and fun for the kids.

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Leave a beverage bucket on the floor with small waters and juice boxes, so kids can serve themselves.

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Placement Cards

Buy 11 x 17 paper and markers and encourage kids to make their own placemats while adults are mingling.

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Family Activities

Consider a fun, family football game after apps and before dinner. It will allow the kids to get out some energy and give adults an appetite for the meal you slaved over.

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Make Enough

Remember, at any party, a majority of the adults will pick at food you intend for the kids. Did you ever put out a tray of chicken fingers or fries for the children? They are gone in minutes because the adults start picking. No one can resist a cheesy, sweet or fattening dish on a major holiday. Make enough for everyone.

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is all about food and family and fun. There are no presents, no bunny hopping through the door or fat guy squeezing down the chimney. Even the kids know there is something special about a day dedicated to eating and drinking and laughing.

Check out the slideshow above for tips and tricks to get the kids eating on Thanksgiving.

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Expert Approved Karen Latimer

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