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Thanksgiving Traditions and Recipes With a Twist- Diverse Family Celebrating Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Day evokes memories of holidays past, flavorful dishes passed down from one generation to the next and an opportunity to reflect on what we are thankful for. Below are a few tips on how to put a twist on Thanksgiving traditions and recipes:

It’s a Family Affair

Engage your family by assigning even the youngest something important to do; i.e. setting the table, helping bake pies or baste the turkey, folding napkins into intricate shapes, and even something as simple as piling olives in the relish dish – these simple tasks will make memories to last a lifetime.

Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Menu 

Adding a twist to Thanksgiving dinner could be as simple as injecting bold Cajun flavors into your turkey, tossing it on the grill or swapping out traditional side dishes for something with a bit more pizzazz like cranberry applesauce, sweet potatoes with cilantro, or a tasty winter slaw. For dessert, give a Thanksgiving staple a makeover by serving pumpkin mousse, instead of pie.

You may also consider adding meatless alternatives to your holiday table, such as zucchini fritters or roasted butternut squash lasagna, your vegetarian friends and family will appreciate the gesture – and leave with satisfied bellies.

Thanksgiving Traditions and Recipes With a Twist- Mother and Young Daughter Basting Thanksgiving Turkey

The Kid’s Table 

Instead of seating children at a smaller version of the adult table, make the “Kid’s Table” a fun experience they’ll look forward to each year. Purchase table paper, like butcher or kraft paper, to use instead of linens and set out crayons for the kids to create holiday doodles, write Thanksgiving messages and play games like Tic-Tac-Toe. Another fun idea is to paint each child’s name on a small gourd as a place holder, which at the end of the celebration they can take home.

Since kids can be picky eaters, consider serving turkey nuggets, pumpkin muffins and other fun finger foods for your younger guests.

Walk It Off

Take a stroll around the neighborhood after devouring your Thanksgiving meal – you’ll feel better and shed calories along the way. Or even better take the family on a long walk through a local forest preserve, state or national park to get a little exercise, fresh air and peace & quiet during the long holiday weekend. You can even join recreational outfitter REI in its second-annual #OptOutside campaign on Black Friday. It’s a healthy alternative to standing in line.

Thanksgiving Traditions and Recipes With a Twist - Friends Taking a Hike on a Fall Day

Tackle the Thanksgiving Tryptophan

Instead of settling into a comfortable spot to watch one of the many football games on TV- round up family, friends and neighbors for your own friendly game of touch football on the lawn.

Shop Til You Drop

Planning on heading to the mall after your Thanksgiving dinner? Follow these tips for holiday shopping to help make it an enjoyable experience. And remember to use your DuPage Credit Union Visa® Credit Card to rein in additional Black Friday savings.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving Day traditions and/or recipes? Please share below:

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