Kids in the Kitchen: Recipes Kids Can Cook for Thanksgiving

Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, pumpkin pie…cooking a Thanksgiving meal can be tiring and stressful! Why not invite your kids into the kitchen to help out?

I know, I know…you’re wondering how having your kids in the kitchen to help is supposed to make Thanksgiving easier. But with a little forethought and planning, there are plenty of recipes your kids can make independently or with minimal assistance. Plus, there are so many other benefits to cooking with your kids!

Benefits of cooking with your children include:
  • Many kids are reluctant to try new or unusual dishes. So, if you’re trying out a new recipe, your children will be much more likely to try a taste if they helped make it. By helping make the recipe, they now have a vested interest in how it turns out AND they know exactly what went into it. Why wouldn’t they want to try something they helped create?
  • How many people do you know that didn’t even know how to boil water until they went off to college or got married? Don’t let that be your kids! Cooking is an important life skill, and it’s never too early to start learning.
  • Cooking with your kids is a great way to connect with them and spend quality time making memories they’ll remember fondly for years to come. You may even develop some special family recipes that will be passed down for generations.
  • Learning new skills, especially ones as important as cooking, help to increase a child’s sense of self-esteem and build their confidence. It’s a great feeling to see your child bursting with pride as you slice into the pumpkin pie and they get to tell everyone around the table: “I made this!”


So, now that you’re convinced, here are some fun, delicious, and easy recipes your kids can make for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Crescent Rolls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 can – Original Crescent Rolls
  • 1 can jellied or whole-berry cranberry sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Lay out the Crescent Rolls on a flat, non-stick surface. Separate the crescent rolls.
  3. On the wide end of each crescent roll, spoon about 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce.
  4. Roll up the crescent rolls and bake for 10-12 minutes.


Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10-20 minutes

Yield: 5 servings


  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Microwave the sweet potatoes (about 10-15 minutes) until they are fork tender. Alternatively, you can bake the sweet potatoes in the oven.
  2. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice in half and scoop the flesh out into a large bowl.
  3. Add the melted butter, heavy cream, maple syrup, and spices to the sweet potatoes.
  4. Mash the sweet potatoes using a potato masher or a hand mixer. For a chunkier texture, you can also use a fork to mash the sweet potatoes.


Pumpkin Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 10 servings


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 – 9-inch, deep dish pie crust
  • Whipped Cream (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Mix sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs together. Stir in the canned pumpkin and the sugar and spice mixture.
  4. Slowly pour in the evaporated milk. Mix together thoroughly.
  5. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
  6. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and bake the pie for another 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle of the pie comes out clean.
  7. Allow the pie to rest at room temperature for at least two hours before serving.





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Posted: November 16, 2018

Category: 4-H & Youth, Health & Nutrition, Relationships & Family, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: 4-H, Brevard County, Cooking, Family, Youth

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