Bringing Together – Tips for Getting Your Whole Family Involved at Thanksgiving


I can’t believe it’s only a few more days until Thanksgiving is upon us. Bring on the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie! My tummy is ready.

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As we lead up to this wonderful holiday, preparing this turkey feast can be overwhelming! It’s a huge meal with lots of moving parts and ingredients, so getting help isn’t always necessary but definitely appreciated!  At my house, I get the most help from my two children {mostly my 5 year old daughter} and my husband. Since creating recipes is my job, I’m in the kitchen of the year cooking up something new. I’ve gotten used to managing these little people and getting them to do productive things to help instead of hinder the process. Here is how I get my kids in the kitchen for meal prep:

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First things first: find an easy and helpful job they can excel at and set them to work. When my daughter was first getting interested in cooking with me, I had to really think long and hard about how to include her. But, looking at my recipes and breaking them down into smaller steps helped me recognize the jobs she could participate in right alongside me.

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Things like snapping off the ends off the green beans for green bean casserole or tearing the bread for stuffing are great jobs meant for little hands. If you’re going to be making pie, rolling the dough is always kid-friendly! Plus, the scraps will keep them busy for at least an hour afterwards. {Any sort of dough is a hot commodity at my house!} Sugar cookies are also made at my house for any holiday, including Thanksgiving! Are you making any sort of hors d’oeuvres? Think about letting your wee ones arrange the platters with veggies and dip or crackers, cheeses, nuts, and olives. Filling a basket with warm rolls or tearing lettuce should also make the top of the list.

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Be sure to remember non-food related jobs too, like: folding napkins, setting the table, creating place cards for the table, unloading the dishwasher, making a guest list of everyone in attendance, etc.

A little creativity can keep you and the rug-rats productively busy in the kitchen this holiday season!

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One of my favorite kid-friendly recipes is Butterball’s Pumpkin Pie Sundae! It is a fun twist on the traditional pumpkin pie dessert and really easy to make. Plus the kids always have fun decorating their sundaes with all the toppings.

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Pumpkin Pie Sundaes

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: Less than 20 minutes

Servings: 8


1 (9-inch) prepared pumpkin pie

8 scoops vanilla ice cream

1 cup whipped heavy cream

24 candied pecan halves

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips



1. Crumble pumpkin pie into large mixing bowl. Stir to combine pie filling and crust.

2. For each sundae, place 2 large (2-inch diameter) scoops pie mixture in a dessert dish. Top with 1 scoop ice cream, 2 tbsp. whipped cream, 3 pecan halves and 2 tbsp. chocolate chips.

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