Thanksgiving is an exciting holiday meant for togetherness and gratitude. Those warm and fuzzy feelings can quickly turn to chaos when your child isn’t happy or stressed out from the crowded living rooms and new foods placed in front of them. I want my children to enjoy and take part in the family food traditions on Thanksgiving but, I know it can be an uncertain or overwhelming event for them.
Whether you deal with picky eaters, temper tantrums, or bloody noses (from a rogue football!) Thanksgiving with kids is nothing short of an adventure. Isn’t that everyday with kids though?
Can I get an Amen?!
Tips for Picky Eaters on Thanksgiving:
- Keep it Simple
My kids don’t like a lot of flavors together and my plate on Thanksgiving certainly makes their eyes bug out of their head. Kid’s plates are best served simple. Serve 3-4 items on a plate, then put a small spoonful of something new for them to try on the side. If it touches their other foods you may be in trouble. 🙂
- Limit the Pre-meal snacks
This is a no-brainer but sometimes my kids eat an entire sleeve of crackers before I even realize what’s going on. To avoid the pre-snacking, have an activity for the kid’s to do before the big meal.
- Pair things with their favorite condiment
If your child loves ketchup, for goodness sake, don’t forget the ketchup!
- Don’t serve them a completely different plate
Many traditions on Thanksgiving involve food and you don’t want your kids to miss out on them. There is certainly something on the Thanksgiving buffet your kids will enjoy, so resist the urge to make them instant mac-n-cheese on this holiday. Talk to them about the Thanksgiving traditions and why some of the foods are being served on Thanksgiving.
- Create New Traditions
If your child loves a certain vegetable or side fish, give it it’s own space on the food table. This can be a new family Thanksgiving food tradition, just as important as the turkey!
- Save the candy decorates until dessert time
I love decorating the kid’s tables with cute Thanksgiving cookies and waffle cone “cornucopias” filled with festive M&Ms, but there’s a huge chance all these sweets will be eaten, leaving no room for the good stuff. Save these festive sweets for after the big meal and create a kid’s dessert table.