It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and I’m so grateful to be able to celebrate with family.  I also wanted to arm you with a few kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes that are super fun and creative.  But also easy to whip together.

But before I do, you should know that I love Thanksgiving. That’s for a few reasons.

With the year we’ve had, I’ve been missing the social interactions with my favourite people – and my goodness, I’ve been missing the hugs. Anyone else?  I’m a hugger and was going through some serious withdrawal!  We haven’t spent time with some of the people we’re closest too, and that’s been hard.  There’s only so many virtual Zoom calls a person can take.

But this weekend, dare I say that things are starting to finally feel somewhat “normal”. While we didn’t have the Thanksgiving dinner with 30+ family members as we have in the past, (and I surely miss).  We did get a chance to celebrate with our own immediately family.  I’m so grateful for that!   We had all the hugs and embraced the face-to-face time together.

I was pretty excited about being able to enjoy a delicious meal with the people I love too.  Because I love food as much as I love hugs.

On the food front, turkey is synonymous with Thanksgiving.  One of the first dishes we see on the table is something like this.

kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes

Being a parent, I know that meat isn’t always the easiest for kids.  It is chewy. It has a strong odour. It has a tough texture. All of these sensory characteristics make the family turkey dinner a little more stressful for parents.  Especially when their child has limited options at holiday meals like this.  We can always focus on the conversation and ask some fun questions at mealtimes.  Or we can provide opportunities for encourage food exploration like with the Curious Cookie Mat.  Or we can present food in an attractive way.

That’s why I want to share these 3 super fun kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes that children actually get excited about.

The reason is that most children gravitate to appetizing dishes that are fun and friendly.

Well, I’ve got your covered with a few creative turkey dishes that are also vegetarian – because there’s no meat involved.  All of these “turkey” dishes don’t have any turkey at all!

Curious Cookie Placemat

Here are 3 creative and fun ways to serve “turkey” – and they are likely ones you’ve never seen before.  And you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to try these kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes.  Give it a go this weekend or any other time of year.

All of which are.a great sensory activity for picky eaters too (and all children).  Show them a photo of one of these kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes and let them decorate.

Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Vegetable Platter

When you’ve had too much turkey and stuffing, it all balances out with this kid-friendly thanksgiving dish that’s teeming with veggies.  Snow peas make the perfect finisher as feathers.  Rim the rest of the round plate with colourful peppers, carrots, cucumbers or whatever other veggies you have on hand.  Then the body of the turkey comes to life with the bottom of a red pepper and olives for eyes. Go a step further with the carrot feet and mouth.  So fun!

Credit goes to @itsalwaysautumnblog

kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes

Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Cheese and Cracker Platter

There’s no doubt that this will be one of the kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes that wins over the little ones.  Cheese assortments alternated with crackers, and a few spinach leaves for good measure.  Plop half a pear with cloves for eyes and carrot for a wee nose.

Credit goes to @kristynm

kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes

Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Fruit Platter

Grab a selection of colourful fruit and a round or oval plate to make this kid-friendly thanksgiving dish.  RED raspberries or strawberries, ORANGE mandarines, YELLOW pineapple or pear, GREEN grapes or apples or kiwi, BLUE blueberries, PURPLE grapes.  And place have a pear in the centre with two cloves for eyes, and a carrot nose.  Pretty easy huh!

Credit goes to @foodartbyme

kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes

So what do you think?

Which of these kid-friendly thanksgiving dishes would your family enjoy most?

Whatever you decide I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving that is full of love with friends, family, good food…and if you like your hugs, those too.

And if you’re looking for a way to keep the kids entertained at the table, and help them learn to like the foods they won’t eat…check out the Curious Cookie Mat.  It’s a great activity to have at family meals when your child is presented with foods they don’t like (yet). This resuable mat will have them trying these turkey platters (and even the turkey much faster.

Curious Cookie