We've included here kids Thanksgiving recipes and Thanksgiving ideas
for kids. Thanksgiving recipes can often times be time consuming or
a whole gourmet meal but we have some simple fun ideas for how to
get your kids involved in the Thanksgiving preparation.
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What Was for Dinner at the First Thanksgiving?
The first thanksgiving was a celebration of harvest with pioneers
and Native American Indians. Traditionally back in 1621 they
probably had deer, wild turkeys, fish, duck, goose, wild
cranberries, blueberries, cherries, carrots, turnips, onions,
cabbages, and corn. Deer was probably the main dish compared to
turkey now a days. It was a feast to celebrate freedom, harvest, and
friendship and lasted for three days.
Start a Gratitude Tradition this
A great Thanksgiving idea for kids is to start a gratitude
tradition. Did you know that when the pilgrims first came to America
they had very little to eat that first winter? They were allotted 5
kernels of corn per day because food was so scarce. A wonderful
tradition to start is handing out 5 kernels to each person around
the dinner table and each person has to think of 5 things they are
grateful for. It is a great reminder that we are all blessed with
lots of food and many wonderful things to be grateful for.
Roll foil pan or large sheet of heavy foil into a cone shape. Twist
the end to form a horn shape. Spray foil with cooking spray and
place on cookie sheet. Roll bread dough out into large rectangle.
Cut into 10 strips about 1 ½ inch wide. Start at end of cone shape
and wrap bread strips around and pinch ends together.
Overlap strips so no foil is showing. Continue laying down strips
and wrap around pinching ends together until completely filled. You
can add a braided edge with remaining pieces of dough. With pastry
brush, brush egg white all over bread. Let rise for 20 minutes. Bake
at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes
longer. Allow to cool and remove foil. Use as a decoration with
autumn fruits and vegetables of choice.
Harvest Feast Centerpiece
3-4 Pillar candles of varying sizes
harvest vegetables such as green beans, asparagus, carrot sticks,
Place a rubber band around each pillar candle. Tuck green beans or
other vegetables under the rubber band so that they are lined up all
around the candle. Wrap a pretty ribbon or satin ribbon on top of
the rubber band so that the rubber band isn't visible. Place on a
pretty platter and tuck fresh fall leaves or flowers around bottom
of platter. These candles look great around a table with your
favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
Sugar Cone Cornucopia
These are great for a kids Thanksgiving recipe and make fun place
settings. Fill desired number of sugar cones with a snack mix such
as the one below:
Kids Thanksgiving Recipe Snack Mix:
Bugles, horn shaped snacks
Pretzels (that symbolize arms folded in thanks and pray)
Candy corn (see the gratitude tradition further on)
Circle shaped cereal (circle of unity)
Dried fruits (represent fruits available at harvest time)
Seeds or Peanuts (represent planting new crops)
Goldfish Crackers (fish was available and part of the first
Pour ingredients in large bowl and stir together. Serve in sugar
cone cornucopias or a fun serving bowl.
Using Bugles snack chips, (they are shaped like mini cornucopias)
add a dot of frosting inside. Place 3-4 Runt candies or Trix cereal
on top of your frosting. Either of these are shaped like fruit so it
makes a fun cornucopia snack.
How Can Kids Help with the Traditional
For young kids, Thanksgiving dinner is something they aren't usually
able to help with considering cooking dinner is centered around the
stove and lots of hot dishes. If your kids are old enough, get them
involved in cooking the turkey. It is a rather easy task. Or pick
out another kids Thanksgiving recipe and find a task or two for them
to help with.
How to Cook a Turkey
Every turkey you buy will tell you just how to cook it but it is not
as scary or as difficult as some may think. Wash it, place it in a
roasting pan and place it in the oven. If your kids are too young
for cooking, another idea is to use Cornish hens. Kids can handle it
easy, wash it and stuff if and place it in the baking pan. Then they
feel a little more like they are part of the meal preparation.
Kids Thanksgiving Recipes for Making Pies
Kids can easily help with making pie dough or rolling out the dough.
Here is a recipe for pie crust. If they can't do the cooking they
can definitely get in on the prep work. And this is part of the
thanksgiving meal that can be done ahead of time.
Make Mini Pies
For a fun kids Thanksgiving recipe, use pie dough and cut out 5
circles with a 4 inch wide bowl and reserve scraps for strips.
Press 5 circles into muffin tins. Press up sides. Fill with your
favorite pie filling and top with strips. Bake at 425 degrees for
18 minutes. You can try this with any type of pie and kids can
make their own and enjoy the benefits of their labor.
Put your kids in charge of the relish tray. If they are too young
to cut vegetables for the tray have an adult cut and place in a
bowl. Then put the kids in charge of designing and creating the
platter. Let their creativity soar by having them design a turkey
out of the vegetables. They can use red, green, and yellow peppers
as feathers and other vegetables for the head and bodies. This is
a great project for the younger chefs although the older chefs
would enjoy it also.
Turkey Hand Print Cookies
Sugar Cookie dough
Candy corn for beaks and feet
Red hots for eye
Roll sugar cookie dough out on floured surface. Place kids clean
hand on the dough and with toothpick trace around hand. Remove their
hand then cut out with sharp knife. Place on greased cookie sheet or
parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Continue with all dough. Bake at
350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cool. Have kids decorate with
white frosting, a candy corn beak, 2 candy corn feet and a red hot
for an eye.
Kids Thanksgiving Recipe for Striped Turkey
Use an Oreo cookie for the base of your cookie. With a dab of
frosting place a striped chocolate cookie on the end, with the
striped part showing out. You may have to cut a sliver off the end
to make it flat. Add a dab of frosting to front and add a malted
milk ball for a head.
Fruit Loop Apple Turkey
Each child can have their own apple to work with. Have the adult or
kid chef place 5 toothpicks into the apple. Have a bowl of fruit
loop cereal (or other circle 0 shaped cereal) available. Kids can
fill up the toothpicks until the turkey feathers are all full. Place
a mini marshmallow on the top to keep the fruit loops from falling
off. For a turkey head use a toothpick and insert raisins almost to
the end then place a green olive at the end. These turkeys are lots
of fun for kids to put together.
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in one easy to read format. ***Also available in paperback.
Class Cornucopia Trail Mix
This activity works well for a cooking group or class. Before the
actual cooking day, have each student bring in 1 Cup of something to
share in a cornucopia trail mix. Such as raisins, nuts, popcorn,
bite size snacks, dried fruit, etc.
The kids add all their ingredients to a large bowl, stir it together
and fill their cornucopia sugar cones.
Sugar cones look like cornucopias. At Thanksgiving the Pilgrims and
the Indians shared their food together and had a feast this is a fun
way to get kids to act out the same idea.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 20 seconds intervals
until melted. To make pilgrim hat treats, place a chocolate stripe
cookie on serving platters with the chocolate side facing up. Dip
marshmallows into melted chocolate chips. You can stick a toothpick
or fork into marshmallow then dip. Place dipped marshmallow on top
of chocolate cookie. You can draw a yellow buckle with yellow icing
Mini Indian Corn Cakes
White or yellow cake mix and ingredients needed, according to
Reese's pieces candies or other candies that come in orange, yellow
or brown colors
Prepare cake mix according to directions. Bake in small mini loaf
pans. Allow to cool. Take out of pan and frost with vanilla frosting
covering all sides except the bottom. Layer candies all over the top
and sides of cake to look like Indian corn kernels.
Turkey Sweet Potato Soup
½ Cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon butter
5 Cups turkey broth**
1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Cups cooked turkey, shredded or cut in cubes
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ Cups corn
Saute onion in butter. In soup pan, add broth, potatoes, turkey,
onion, salt and corn. Simmer for 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are
broth: boil your leftover turkey bones with a full pot of water for
1 hour. Then strain off broth and reserve for soup. You can also use
this for a great turkey soup.
Panini is like a grilled cheese sandwich. For this sandwich place a
slice of turkey between two slices of cheese and grill or fry in
Barbecue Turkey Rolls
Add barbecue sauce to shredded turkey and serve on rolls or