How Kids Can Help with Thanksgiving Dinner

They (whoever “they” are) always say that kids are more likely to try new foods when they help with the preparation.  While the Thanksgiving turkey might be a big job for little kids, there are a lot of great ways kids can get involved in making Thanksgiving dinner (in and out of the kitchen).

In the kitchen kids can:

  • Chop veggies (older kids)
  • Mash Potatoes
  • Whip up some homemade whipped cream
  • Make some pumpkin pie filling
  • Help make corn bread

Out of the kitchen kids can

  • Set the table
  • Make a centerpiece
  • Create place cards
  • Make some homemade butter

Yes, you read that right.  You can make your own butter no kitchen required (which means they can help and get out from under your feet at the same time).

Making butter at home is easy, fun, requires only one ingredient and no special tools.  It’s not too different from how settlers made butter for their dinners (see you can even tie a little history into it).

Homemade butter for kids

Here’s how it works.

Fill a jar about halfway with heavy cream.  You can add a clean marble to the container if you want to speed the process but I prefer not because we typically use a glass jar and I don’t want to risk it. Screw the lid on as tight as possible and pass to the kids to start shaking.

How to make butter just one ingredient. great for kids

The heavy cream will thicken as you shake and turn into what is basically whipped cream but without the sugar first and look like this:

Homemade butter in the whipped stage

Keep shaking and the cream will get thicker and thicker so it starts getting kinda tough to shake… but keep going. When you shake enough the butter and liquid will separate into a thick chunk of butter and the liquid separately like this:

homemade butter final stage: milk separates from butter

Strain it or pour out the liquid and there you have it! Butter for your Thanksgiving table!

Leave it as it is or, while it’s still soft, add some herbs for a special treat.  Try a bit of cranberry sauce and sugar for a yummy cranberry butter for toast or pancakes in the morning. For a savory butter, mix some garlic, parsley, basil and chives for spreading on rolls.

kids can make butter at home with just one ingredient

Happy Thanksgiving!