A little bit of preparation can make Thanksgiving better for everyone

It is important to encourage your child to try the new food and to remember that even having your child tolerate new food on their plate is a success. When the food is on their plate they are learning about it because they can smell it, touch it and when comfortable try it. Don’t stress about your child eating all the holiday dishes – just focus on enjoying the holiday time together.



Try dishes ahead of time – Cook some of the dishes associated with Thanksgiving, like mashed potatoes, turkey or stuffing, ahead of time. This will expose your child to the food and allow them to start to become comfortable with it.



Give your child sensory input – Before heading to your family gathering, make sure to give your child some sensory input, such as jumping, running or playing with a sensory ball.


Tell your child exactly what is going to happen – It is good for your child to know exactly what to expect. You should talk to them about what you are doing, whose house you are going to and who is going to be there. It could be helpful to also show them pictures.



Let them help prepare the food – If you give your child a chance to help prepare the meal they are more likely to be comfortable with it and might be open to tasting it.



Bring back-up food – Always be sure to pack some of your child’s favorite foods. It is important to have safe foods that they know and are comfortable with in case the new environment is too much for them.





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