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Thanksgiving Recipes Kids Will Love

Thanksgiving dinner is a feast most of us look forward to all year long. But if you have a picky eater or two at your table, and you spend half the meal trying to convince them to try a few bites of everything, it can dampen the cheer of the day.

Make your holiday celebration more relaxed and fun by adding these foolproof, kid-pleasing recipes to your menu. Don’t be surprised if the little ones come around asking for seconds!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans & Brown Sugar

These decadent sweet potatoes will give dessert a run for its money (plus they still have some nutritional value). Boil sweet potatoes until very tender, then puree in a food processor. Mix in eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Sprinkle with a mixture of brown sugar, pecans and butter, then bake until hot and bubbly.

Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole made with cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onions may be a staple at Thanksgiving dinner, but this gourmet take on gives it new life and flavor. Mix thinly sliced onions with flour, panko bread crumbs and salt, then bake until golden. Blanch fresh green beans and immediately dunk in ice water. Cook sliced mushrooms in butter and spices, then add flour, broth and half-and-half to create a creamy sauce. Combine the mushroom sauce with the green beans and some of the onions; top with more onions and bake.

Pumpkin-Cheddar Muffins

These sweet and savory muffins will tempt even kids who turn their noses up at pumpkin pie. Combine pumpkin puree and sour cream, then whisk in eggs and butter to form a smooth mixture. Add flour, pepper, baking powder, cayenne and brown sugar. Stir in cheddar cheese, then spoon batter into muffin cups. Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top and bake until golden-brown.

Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash

This hearty side dish adds just enough salty, syrupy flavor to satisfy the pickiest of taste buds. Peel the squash and remove its seeds, then cut it into small cubes. Toss squash and garlic cloves in olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and bake until it begins to brown. Add pancetta and sage leaves and bake until the squash and garlic are caramelized. Serve hot with French bread.

Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

This classic stuffing is comfort food at its best (and a hit with kids of all ages). Bake sausage, celery and onions until evenly browned. Blend the sausage mixture with cornbread, bread crumbs, chicken broth, poultry seasoning and sage. Bake until everything is cooked through.

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