The Best Thanksgiving Snacks for Kids
You'll wish you had a seat at the kids' table.
Get little ones excited for the big meal with some festive snacks made just for them. Here are kid-approved recipes that are equal parts festive and snackable.
Guarantee a win with dip
Veggie sticks get an upgrade when they're served with Sunny Anderson's super-creamy, mint-spiked tzatziki, a sauce that's made with low-fat yogurt (you can swap in Greek yogurt for a creamier version, or omit the hot sauce for milder palates). Plain hummus is a go-to for pita chips, but try dipping 'em into this roasted butternut squash hummus for a seasonally appropriate upgrade (omit the paprika if you don't want the smokiness). This Basil Ranch Dip recipe calls for prepared pesto to create a buttermilk-ranch-inspired dip that's begging to be served with crackers, chips or a platter of cut-up veggies for dunking.
Sneak in some fruits and veggies
Brussels Sprouts-in-a-Blanket riffs on pigs in a blanket by rolling up roasted brussels sprouts and prosciutto slices in Parmesan puff pastry to create a snack that's just as buttery and savory as the original (omit the prosciutto to make it vegetarian-friendly). Melissa d'Arabian's super-easy Crispy Kale Chips recipe turns greens into a supremely snackable and healthy finger food. Pumpkins get all the love at this time of year, but don't forget that it's apple season, too. Experiment with different varieties, such as Fuji, Golden Delicious, red Empire, and Granny Smith in Trisha Yearwood's Baked Apple Chips recipe. The chips are irresistible on their own, but would make a fine match for fruit salsa or creamy Pumpkin Dip. Or try Giada De Laurentiis' winning combo of Apple Chips with Sweet Yogurt Dip. And if your Thanksgiving feast doesn't happen until later in the day, it's especially important to have some brunch-ready snacks, like Giada's Sweet Potato Puffs, stuffed with mashed sweet potatoes and mascarpone.
Invite your kids into the kitchen
It's generally true that if your kids help make a dish, they're more likely to eat it. That said, these gluten-free cheesy crackers aren't a hard sell; kids can have fun rolling out dough and using mini cookie cutters to make different shaped-crackers. Valerie Bertinelli's Everything Snack Mix (pictured) takes a party staple to the next level by adding crushed ramen noodles to the usual suspects of cereal, pretzels and cheese crackers. Kids can help measure and combine all the components before an adult takes over to prepare the melted butter coating and get the mix into the oven. Make a crowd-pleasing Pimiento Cheeseball (pictured up top), then get your kids to help fashion it into a turkey by fanning out crackers, bell pepper slices and pretzel sticks.
Just because a snack is kid-friendly doesn't mean it should be any less special. Try easy Cheesy Phyllo Cups with Butternut Squash, where roasted cubes of caramelized squash top cream-cheese-filled mini phyllo shells. Melissa's Sweet Potato and Bacon Tots with Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce are worth the extra effort to create a grown-up take that's still fully kid-approved. Putting cut-up fruit on a skewer adds instant finesse; pair the skewers with a chocolate dipping sauce to up the ante. Ellie Krieger's Rainbow Fruit Skewers with Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries are a vibrant and healthy option that tempers the sugar content by using dark chocolate in the sauce. Ree Drummond's Deviled Eggs are a fan favorite and party-worthy at any time. Set out toppings like crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, and chopped chives or parsley so kids can customize their eggs.