Preparing for Your Best Thanksgiving Yet | Celebree School

cornucopia-with-pumpkins-8336155The child development professionals at Celebree Learning Centers discuss ways to ensure your Thanksgiving is a touchdown this year.

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy with your loved ones and to reflect on all that you are thankful for. Unfortunately, the stresses of Thanksgiving tend to sometimes take away from the genuine meaning of the holiday. Follow these simple tips so that you and your family can focus on what truly matters this Thanksgiving.

If you have a picky eater…

It’s natural to feel frustrated when your child turns their nose up at food that you or your family has prepared—especially when you are confident that they would love it if they tried it. In order to avoid such behavior choices at the dinner table, try preparing for these moments ahead of time. Talk to your child about the kinds of food that will be available and discuss your expectations beforehand.

When you wish to introduce a new food to your child, consider hosting a mini taste testing in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. For instance, if you’d like your child to try cranberries, try preparing them in a variety of ways first and have your child pick their favorite. You can serve them in sauce, in a juice or simply dried.

If you know that Thanksgiving is not the time your child wants to expand their palette, bring a dish that you know they’ll eat. While it is not necessary to create an entire customized dinner for your child, providing simple side dishes you know they’ll love will help to make your child feel comfortable at the dinner table and avoid unwanted behavior.

When there’s a baby at the table…

There are several foods that babies tend to eat and even enjoy that coincide with the Thanksgiving theme. However, before introducing any new foods items from the Thanksgiving menu, it is essential that you have knowledge of any food allergies they may have. If you are not sure about your baby’s allergen limitations, consult with your doctor.

Stuffing typically has a perfect consistency for a teething baby. Adding finely chopped vegetables and a small amount of broth can also help to keep the mixture moist and easy to eat. You also have the option to smash the mixture with a fork or give it a quick pulse in the food processor and thin with breast milk or formula before serving. However, try to avoid giving your baby stuffing that is cooked inside of a turkey cavity, as harmful bacteria such as salmonella can reside inside of the turkey and transfer to the stuffing if not cooked properly.

Turkey is a great source of protein and iron, providing many of the nutrients that a growing baby needs. To prepare this for your baby, chop small pieces of meat up and mix well with breast milk. You may also choose to blend the turkey pieces with a mashed or roasted sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes and yams can be roasted in an oven or baked in a casserole. For the youngest Thanksgiving diners at the table, serve the potatoes and yams peeled, well-cooked and mashed. Older babies may enjoy the potatoes and yams mashed, or cooked soft and cut into small pieces. Either way, be sure the sweet potato has cooled enough before serving.

Remind your family of what is most important…

Thanksgiving comes with distractions: with the feast, preparation, holiday apparel, photos, family coordination and more, it is easy to lose sight of the true essence of the holiday. It’s important to practice ways that you and your children can remember to give thanks on such a busy day.

This year, during the week leading up to Thanksgiving, choose something in the household to fast from. Choose television, desserts, or something extra that your family doesn’t need. Once Thanksgiving comes, break from the fast and discuss all that you are thankful for at the table.

Write down three reasons you are thankful for each family member and take turns sharing at Thanksgiving dinner. If your younger children have difficulty writing, assist them or have one of their older siblings help.

Consider giving back on Thanksgiving by donating personal items to charity. Find a local church or charity drop-off and donate old toys, clothes, kitchen supplies, and more. Consider donating even if you’ve done so recently. This activity will help to teach your children that they can part with one or two toys, so that another little boy or girl can enjoy them too. When children take part in this process, they learn to be thankful for what they have while comprehending what it means to make a personal sacrifice for someone who is less fortunate.

There are many ways to shed light on the true meaning of Thanksgiving while enjoying the feast and spending quality time with one another. Celebree Learning Centers wishes a wonderful and reflective Thanksgiving to you and to yours. To join us in our own Thanksgiving celebrations on Thursday November 17th, contact us today.