Brussels Sprouts Copy

Kid-Approved Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to gather with friends and family, ushering in the holiday season and reflecting on all the things we're thankful for. But if you have a picky eater or children who aren't quite up to trying new foods, it can also be an incredibly stressful meal.

As you finalize your holiday menus, we've put together a few family-friendly recommendations to add to your holiday spread that will delight everyone from ages 1 to 101.

Kickoff Thanksgiving morning with all things pumpkin! Pumpkin pancakes and waffles, or muffins, are a wonderful way to start the morning as you get the turkey stuffed and in the oven.

If you're making a side of cranberry sauce, consider Cranberry Apple Compote -- the perfect turkey side dish AND a breakfast twist when added to Greek yogurt and granola parfaits.

Always remember, flexibility and variety are key to a kid-friendly (and adult friendly!) table. Kickstart your meal with healthy twists on fan favorite dips and appetizers like:

Greek Yogurt Spinach Artchoke Dip Hi Res
  • Butternut Squash Queso Dip - Roasted butternut squash adds a slightly sweet and creamy texture to traditional queso dip. Pair with crunchy vegetables and crackers for extra kid-friendly textures.
  • Greek Yogurt Spinach Artichoke Dip - Serve Greek Yogurt, Spinach, Artichoke Dip instead of the mayo-laden version and you’re shaving off almost 200 calories, 6 grams of saturated fat, and 150 mg sodium in a single ¼ cup serving.
  • Sweet Potato "Crostini" with Pear, Goat Cheese & Fig - Instead of the traditional French baguette, the base for our crostini is a par-baked sweet potato. We love it with seasonal pears, creamy goat cheese, and sweet fresh figs, but you can top it with your children's favorite spreads like cream cheese.

When it comes to side dishes, don't be afraid of getting creative with your vegetables.

At FISD, we're been running a monthly Veg Edge promotion that celebrates seasonal vegetables, educates students on nutritional facts and health benefits of each respective vegetable in an age-appropriate way, and provides kid-friendly touches to each dish.

Brussels Sprouts

Parmesan Brussels Sprout "Tots"

Anything coated in cheese is a win when it comes to serving vegetables to kids, but our recipes for these "tot" like brussels sprouts allows the vegetable to shine.

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Yield: 10 servings


1 lb brussels sprouts, fresh
2/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 c. panko bread crumbs
3/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. melted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Clean the brussels sprouts by removing the ends and outer leaves of the vegetable. Cut each sprout in half.
  3. In a large bowl, combine butter, salt, pepper, garlic, breadcrumbs, and grated parmesan. Toss the sprouts in the mixture.
  4. Evenly spread the coated brussels sprouts onto a parchment lined baking pan and roast for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
  5. Flip the sprouts and redistribute on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake until golden and crispy; another 10-15 minutes.

If you're looking for an outstanding kid-friendly dish, or something to appeal to your vegan and vegetarian guests, allow us to introduce you to Butternut Squash Osso Bucco.

Butternut squash may be the most recognizable winter squashes available for Thanksgiving. One cup of butternut squash has 100 calories, 28 grams carbohydrate, and 4 grams fiber. Butternut squash is also an excellent source of carotenoids such as beta-carotene that give it its bright orange color.

Additional Reading: Every Reason Why You Should be Eating Winter Squash

Vegan Butternut Squash Osso Bucco

Butternut Squash Osso Bucco

An elevated preparation on a classic autumn vegetable that will surprise your family with how flavorful, tender, and delicious squash can be.

Serving Size: 1 squash

Yield: 4 servings


1 lb butternut squash, whole (2 pieces per whole squash)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
3/4 tsp. parsley
3/4 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp.. tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes, drained, no salt added
1/3 c. red wine
1/3 cup diced carrots
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1/4 tsp. thyme
3 1/3 c. vegetable broth
Black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Halve butternut squash into the elongated top and bulb. Peel the squash and scoop the seeds from the bulb.
  3. Heat canola oil in a rondeau, or heavy bottomed brazier. If you do not have one, a Dutch oven or stockpot will work. Pan sear the squash, browning on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent and vegetables begin to caramelize.
  5. Add the tomato paste and red wine. Cook to reduce by half.
  6. Add the vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Place the butternut squash in the broth mixture, cover, and place in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  8. In a mixing bowl, combine the thyme, parsley, and lemon zest. Garnish each squash with the lemon herb mixture.


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