Helping Picky Eaters Enjoy Thanksgiving

Helping Picky Eaters Enjoy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we love talking about all the things we’re thankful for and how we can give to others! However, it’s hard to overlook that a large portion of the holiday is geared towards eating and food! As adults, we can hardly wait to feast on all the delicious food! However, we all have a picky child in our life that won’t be as willing to dig in. We’ve found some fun ways to give those traditional recipes a facelift! Try it with your hard to please child and see how it works!

Test Kitchen

Try making some of the dishes your child will see at Thanksgiving dinner in some of your dinners at home before the big day arrives. This doesn’t have to be all at once, try one dish a day and make it as simple as possible. Slowly introducing the different dishes over a period of time can make the big day less stressful if they have had a chance to try it out beforehand. 

Get them Cooking

Involve your child in the cooking process! Whether you're in charge of bringing the vegetable tray or cooking the whole meal, have your little one take part in the preparation! This involvement can be as much or as little as you prefer, but getting your child involved in the food preparation has been shown to make them more interested in trying out the food! 


Provide a Preference

Make sure your child will have at least one food you know they will eat available. This means you may need to plan ahead and bring the food item with you. Your child will have at least one food they are guaranteed to like and eat. This also shows your child you are paying attention to their preferences as you meal plan!

Find Food Bridges

Once a child has a preference for a food, find food that is similar to introduce to your child! A food bridge is using a food your child likes to find another food that is similar in color, texture, or taste to introduce. This adds variety to your child's diet and can help them try new things in a way that feels familiar!

Sweeten the Deal

While it’s ideal to have your child eat the most healthy version of food, it isn’t always realistic. Add some butter to the potatoes, put whipped cream on the fruit,  or sprinkle cheese on top of the vegetables. Getting your child to try a food is usually the hardest step! Once they’ve tried it and realize how yummy the food is, you won’t have to keep adding the extra “treat”.


If there is one thing we’ve learned about becoming a parent, it’s that your child is more willing to try something new if it looks fun to eat! Thanksgiving is a perfect time to try this tip out, you can turn almost any food into a turkey! Have a child who doesn’t have a fondness for turkeys, try turning their food into a cornucopia!



Relax! Spend your time focusing on enjoying your time together with your little one and family! If the meal doesn’t go according to plan and your child doesn’t try every food, the day isn’t a loss. While the Thanksgiving meal is a big deal for most adults, remember it’s just another meal. Don’t make the meal a fight over the food, it can end up making eating time a bad experience or causing mistrust between your child and you during meal times.


Keep in mind, no matter what you try, your picky child may still refuse food at your Thanksgiving meal and that’s okay! Whatever the case may be, keep the focus on why you are celebrating, gratitude!