If you think Thanksgiving is stressful, imagine it from the perspective of a child.
You don’t know most of the: 1) people 2) food 3) schedule. In short, you don’t know what’s going on. And, on top of all that, you’re expected to just go along, and get along. Everyone—and that includes children—needs a plan. And that’s the reason for the ultimate Thanksgiving Day Eating Survival Guide.
OK, maybe this post is not the ultimate guide. In the last post I talked about how children need to practice with unfamiliar food before the big day. And that’s definitely part of surviving. (If you missed that post, read it here.)
Remember, this is a big, teaching moment. (Actually, it’s a process, but you get my point.) Prepare your kids for this, and every other Thanksgiving Day of their lives.
The Ultimate Thanksgiving Day Eating Survival Guide has 4 steps. Your children need to start practicing today.
Sample dialogue to discuss the day.
We’ll be at Grandma’s house. When we get there, she’ll have chips and dip out, veggies and dip, and lots of cool drinks like apple cider. Then, after about an hour, there’s going to be the Thanksgiving meal. There will be turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes… And then, the dessert. So many pies—apple, pecan, pumpkin—and ice cream too! Wow that’s a lot.
Sample questions for brainstorming.
- How are you going to get through Thanksgiving without your tummy bursting?
- What could you do if there is something you really like but you know there is pie and ice cream coming later?
If you’re interested, you can practice identifying hunger and satiety with your children. Read The Portion Size Problem.
Parents: The last survival guide step is for you. Be happy with The Happy Bite.
Children who happily eat one or two bites of vegetables end up becoming vegetable eaters. Children who eat vegetables because they’re pressured, cajoled, or bribed with dessert learn that “good” food is bad, and “bad” food is good.
Read more about The Happy Bite.
And don’t despair when the day doesn’t go exactly as planned.
After all, it’s not what you feed, but what you teach, that really matters.
~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~