Guest Blog Post:
If you’re anticipating Thanksgiving with a bit of anticipation, it may be because of the shopping, the
lengthy preparation, or the guests. But if you’re a parent, it could be the fact that your child likely won’t eat anything on the table! Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole-really all kid repellent!
Many parents know that their children are likely to fill up on cheese and crackers from the appetizer table, and not touch a piece of a turkey. Children are not at all tricked by the term sweet potato. To them it doesn’t taste sweet like a donut; it’s still a potato! And roasted vegetables? Where’s the ranch dressing to dip them in.
After years of struggling with my children, I figured out-they aren’t likely to eat much of anything on the table, and especially crazy Aunt Judy’s cucumber Jell-O salad. I am not offended that my children won’t chow down on food they aren’t familiar with, but the relatives who broiled, baked and sautéed for days on end, they may be offended. They don’t understand that for a four year old, dressing is a pretty foreign concept. And a turkey thigh is very far removed from a chicken nugget.
The best advice for any holiday meal is to give you children a myriad of choices on their plate. Try to give them a bit of everything, and set them down at the kids table with an encouraging “please try a bite of everything, you never know what you will like!” Your child may not try everything, heck, they may not try anything! But you put the effort in to introduce them to the feast.
Many times this is the best we can ask for. Children need to see and eat something dozens of times before it’s comfortable for them. For this reason, toddlers and preschoolers are unlikely to eat much of what is presented to them at Thanksgiving. Tell great Aunt Judy, it’s not personal, it’s developmental. And then make up for your kid not eating the scary Jell-O salad and have a second helping. Remember, it’s just one meal. So relax and try not to stress out about it.
Share with us your tips and trick to get your picky eater to try new food at Thanksgiving.