Navigating The Holidays With a Picky Eater

We are entering the Holiday Season and for families with a Picky Eater, that can be a tricky time.  

Recently I was asked what to do when Thanksgiving rolls around and your selective eater doesn’t like any of the traditional foods? What should the parent say to Grandma when she’s offended that their kiddo won’t eat the turkey or mashed potatoes?

A few thoughts: 

  • Plan ahead- If your family has been invited to Thanksgiving Dinner with family or friends, bring a slam-dunk side for your Picky Eater.  Mac and cheese, fruit platter or rolls are good options. When your side is served along with the other food it means that your kiddo is eating the same meal as everyone else, which is the goal.
  • Bonus- can kiddo help prepare this side? Knowing that there will be something that kiddo can eat can go a long way in reducing anxiety. 
  • Host Thanksgiving at your home- this gives you the option to plan the menu you’d like. And you can branch out beyond turkey.  Kiddo likes ham or roast beef? Consider adding to the buffet or make this your main dish.  There is such a strong association with turkey and Thanksgiving, but you can also serve the food that you’d like to serve. The Thanksgiving Police will not show up at your front door if you don’t serve turkey–I promise!
  • Here’s your “script” when you or your kiddo gets comments about their plate- “Thanks for your concern, but we let Kiddo choose their own foods. They can choose the food that they like and don’t have to eat/try foods that they don’t”.  Repeat, confidently, with a smile, as needed. 

Remember, food is connection.  Enjoy the day and let me know if any of these ideas worked for you. 

Snack idea: bowl of cereal with milk



Navigating The Holidays With a Picky Eater

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