Toddler-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Cooking for a toddler can be a culinary adventure. Traditional Thanksgiving dishes aren’t always appealing to them, but Long Island Mamas Network has found a few that your child will love. Picky family members will like them, too! These toddler-friendly Thanksgiving recipes are inexpensive, simple to make and healthy…so check them on when planning your meal for the Thanksgiving holiday.


Roast Pumpkin and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Prep Time: 30 minutes, Cook Time: 1 hour, Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes,


  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Carefully cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin using a knife, about 2 in x 2 in. Remove the “top.”
  3. Using you hands or a spoon, remove the seeds and rinse with water in a colander. Remove any of the stringy pulp pieces that stick to the seeds.
  4. Lay the seeds on a towel to let dry.
  5. Pour the maple syrup into the pumpkin and swirl it around coating flesh.
  6. Sprinkle cinnamon inside.
  7. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Place the top on the pumpkin and continue to cook for additional 20 minutes or until tender (the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin. Take a fork and pierce the inside of the flesh every 10 minutes towards the end of the cooking time to see if it’s tender). Uncover the pumpkin and cool.
  9. Spray another cookie sheet with a think coating of vegetable oil and evenly place the pumpkin seeds on the sheet. Lightly sprinkle pumpkin seeds with salt.
  10. Bake the seeds 20-30 minutes or until the start to turn a golden color. Save the seeds for adults and kids age five and older.
  11. Cool and serve.

Source – Recipe, Photo: Weelicious


Potato Turkey Balls
Prep Time:
10 minutes, Cook Time: 5 minutes, Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 large eggs, whisked in separate bowls
  • 1 cup roast turkey meat, chopped
  • 1 cup cheese (Monterey Jack, mozzarella or cheddar), grated
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (white or whole wheat)


  1. Stir the mashed potatoes and one whisked egg in a bowl until combined and set aside.
  2. Take 2 tsps of the turkey cheese mixture and form into 1 inch balls (roll them tight so the turkey and cheese bind together).
  3. Take 2 tbsp of the potato egg mixture and form a patty in the palm of your hand, place a turkey cheese ball in the center and fold the potato mixture around the turkey cheese ball to make a larger ball.
  4. Place the second whisked egg in a bowl and the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.
  5. Roll each potato ball gently into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs covering the balls completely.
  6. Fry the potato balls for 60 seconds until the outside is crispy or bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  7. In another bowl, combine the chopped turkey meat and grated cheese stirring to combine.
  8. Serve with gravy if desired.

Source – Recipe, Photo: Weelicious


Rachel’s Squash and Apple Bake
Prep Time:
15 minutes, Cook Time: 45 minutes, Total Time: 60 minutes


  • 1 butternut squash*, peeled and cubed (seeds removed)
  • 2-3 apples (any kind, though Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Honey Crisp are favorites) peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine squash and apples. Toss with oil, coating completely.
  2. Add spices and mix well. Pour mixture into a baking dish.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, mixing occasionally.

*Sweet potatoes can substitute for squash. Bake the potatoes on 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then add apples and reduce the heat to 375 degrees for another 30 minutes.

Photo Credit:


Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes
Prep Time:
45 minutes, Cook Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 60 minutes


  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 cups dried bread crumbs, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 8 ounces ground turkey or chicken, preferably dark meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 8 ounces small pasta, such as pennette, shells or elbows
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli, blanched
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 3/4-inch pieces, blanched


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray two (12-cup) muffin or cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Using 1 cup of the bread crumbs, coat the inside of each muffin cup with bread crumbs, shaking off any excess.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey or chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl. Stir in the cooked turkey and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the prepared pasta mixture into the cupcake molds, filling evenly to about 2/3 full. Arrange a few pieces of tomato, broccoli and asparagus into each cup. Top with a thin layer of the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully unmold with a spoon onto a serving platter.

Source – Recipe, Photo: Giada


Pear Crumble
Prep Time:
15 minutes, Cook Time: 45 minutes, Total Time: 60 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 1/2 pound ripe but firm Anjou pears, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced crystallized ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. To prepare topping: Combine oats, walnuts, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Drizzle with oil and stir until evenly moist.
  3. To prepare filling: Combine pears, maple syrup, raisins, flour, lemon juice and ginger in a large bowl and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the pears.
  4. Bake the crumble until the pears are tender and the topping is golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Source – Recipe, Photo: Delish

Hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

By Rachel Minkowsky

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