Thanksgiving Sides


By Emily

Trying to decide on your Thanksgiving menu for this year? Here are a few ideas for the side dishes. While my kids and I do love turkey, we get more excited about the sides, and I know we’re not alone. I’ve seen that many people are skipping the turkey/turkey alternatives altogether and making a big variety of delicious sides instead.

For us, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Brussels sprouts. While we usually have them roasted, I came up with this new Warm Jeweled Brussels Sprouts Salad as another option. This easy recipe results in tender, vibrantly green and flavorful sprouts. Often Brussels can be tough or overcooked, making them either hard for young kids to chew or too mushy or bitter to be appreciated. By chopping them smaller, sauteeing them, and adding flavorful toppings, this recipe helps you avoid those pitfalls and bring out the best in the Brussels. It’s quick to make on the stovetop and is customizable to your family’s preferences. I love the “jeweled” version with pomegranate and walnuts shown here, but you can add a variety of other toppings either in addition or instead, like lemon juice, lemon zest, or shaved Parmesan cheese. Some kids may prefer them plain with no toppings, and that is a tasty option as well. No matter how you make them, they will add a pop of color and some wonderful nutrients to your holiday meals. Even if you don’t think your kids will want to try this, you could invite them to help make it as a way to familiarize them with the ingredients. Peeling the outer leaves off of the sprouts and picking the seeds out of pomegranates are great tasks for kids.

Another side we love at Thanksgiving (and any time of the year) is our Roasted Red Cabbage Crisps. These also add such a gorgeous vibrant color to the plate and are so satisfying and full of beneficial nutrients too.

Finally, don’t miss our Mango Cornbread, a recipe you can find in Sugarproof. It’s a serious winner that my kids always get excited about. Most box mixes have around 2 teaspoons of sugar per serving and the result is often dry. Our cornbread is sweetened with blended mango which adds moisture and natural sweetness, and the recipe happens to be gluten-free as well. It’s awesome made into muffins or in a pan or skillet. You can also use it for cornbread stuffing if that’s on your menu!

We’d love to see your pics if you make these or either of our pumpkin dessert recipes (bites or pie). Please post them on FB or IG and tag us @sugarproofkids.

Michael and I are wishing you and your family a healthy and delicious Thanksgiving!

For more recipes like this one, see our book Sugarproof, available here or anywhere books are sold.


Sugarproof busts myths about the various types of sugars and sweeteners, helps families identify sneaky sources of sugar in their diets, and suggests realistic, family-based solutions to reduce sugar consumption and therefore protect kids. Sugarproof isn’t about quitting sugar entirely. It’s about becoming less reliant on sweet foods and drinks as daily staples. Sugarproof offers a realistic and straightforward approach, teaching parents to raise informed and empowered kids who can set their own healthy limits without feeling restricted. Give your family a healthy reset. Available now!

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