The Thanksgiving Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

It’s a scene that plays out around Thanksgiving gatherings all over the country. The extended family sits down together for a meal that the family has slaved over the stove for hours. All is perfect — except for the lone child eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Sound like your child?

Most people this time of year are writing about teaching children to be thankful. Instead, let’s take some time to save yourself some embarrassment at the family gatherings. 

Here are 6 Tips on how to handle a picky eater and not have to endure an embarrassing temper tantrum in front of the entire family.

Tip 1: It’s always a good idea to teach children at a young age that eating new foods in no big deal.  If you incorporate them in as many meals as possible throughout the year, then your child will be more accepting of new foods in general.

Tip 2: Don’t make it a big deal when asking your child to try new foods.  If you fuss over making sure they eat her vegetables before she’s even tried them, then she won’t want to eat whatever you are giving them.

Tip 3: Be Calm. Even if you’re frustrated or worried about you picky eater, try to at least fake a carefree front. The last thing you want is a power struggle or temper tantrum in front of the entire family over your child trying new foods. If you are casual about it, your child will be more likely to be casual about it too.

Tip 4: Eat new foods and enjoy them yourself. Enthusiasm is contagious! If you’re not into the new food yourself, just take a bite or two. Set an example by saying appreciative things such as, “This looks so good!”  or “Thanks, Grandma, for spending so much time preparing our dinner!”

Tip 5: Get your child excited ahead of time. Talk to your child before Thanksgiving about what you’re going to be eating. Use colorful and descriptive words to describe what the dinner will be like.

Tip 6: Fancy is fun! Kids love new things, especially when they’re miniature or personalized, so consider a set of special bowls, spoons, plates or napkins–anything to make the dining experience more special.

So to save yourself embarrassment and frustration for the upcoming family gatherings, try using some of these quick tips with your family today!