Turkey for All...Maybe Not!

Thanksgiving time brings families together and many new foods to the table. Picky eaters experience many challenges during this time. Together our occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists have compiled a list of strategies to make the holiday enjoyable.

Tips and Tricks for Picky Eaters:

• Do a trial run by serving Thanksgiving foods at home during normal mealtimes

• Experiment by tasting foods in a different form i.e. cranberries: Jell-O, juice, sauce or dried

• Serve familiar foods with unfamiliar foods

• Read a story about how the Thanksgiving meal came about

• Allow your child help with the meal preparation

• Encourage your child to come up with a food dish that ideally includes one new food

• Give food a catchy name i.e. terrific turkey or mighty mashed potatoes

• Provide portions that are small and simple, as children can be overwhelmed with too much on their plate

• Use divider plates to help separate food

• Limit snacks before mealtime, as picky eaters can sometimes be “too full” or “not hungry”

• Alter traditional foods i.e. frosted pumpkin cookies instead of pumpkin pie or strawberry-cranberry sauce so it’s less tart

• Use positive phrases such as “you can try your potatoes” versus “eat your potatoes”

• Encourage them to have non-preferred foods on their plate but tell them they do not have to eat it

• Allow them to use their favorite dip when trying new foods, but be clear there is no “dip only” option

We wish everyone a happy holiday!

As always, if you have any more questions related to feeding, our occupational therapists would be happy to answer! Please call us at 651-455-0561