Thanksgiving dinner for picky toddlers

How could you NOT be utterly jazzed for this time of year! Thanksgiving around the corner, another chance to gorge on some good ole fashioned home cooking and enjoy the subsequent naps to follow, good times all around.
While YOU may be excited for all the food that will soon fill you right up, your little one may not be quite so enthused. The picky eater tendency is undoubtedly a common one amongst toddlers, and if you have a youngster, you may be in for it yourself.
So how do we combat picky eater syndrome at the dinner table this Thanksgiving. Let’s talk about how!

Implement Foods They Enjoy

Consider adding foods into the meal that your toddler does enjoy. We’ll start by stating this, by no stretch are we suggesting you completely reconstruct your Thanksgiving dinner to accommodate pickiness. It doesn’t help your little one establish good habits and it will make for a really downer on the dinner altogether. Achieve this in small, subtle ways.

Take this for instance, kids love marshmallows! And what can marshmallows be incorporated tastefully into? Sweet Potatoes! Think about dishes like this where you can integrate some of the things kids love and as a result, they’ll be more inclined to eat those items and experiment with other items on their plate.

Plain-ify Certain Items

But why would we want to make anything in our Thanksgiving dinner plane? Simple, so your little one can put their touch on it… even if it’s in a less-than-gourmet kind of way.

Kids are crazy about condiments, whether it be ketchup, mustard, or something else. Have these sauces or fix-ins at the ready for your kiddo for dunking turkey bits or something else into, and you should be successful in combatting some of the fussiness.

Have Them Help Prep

By no means are you going to assign turkey-carving-duty to your toddler. That would be reckless! But giving your little one some smaaaall degree of ownership in the process will make them that much more stoked on the final product. Meaning, they may be more inclined to be not-so-picky.

If they helped mash the potatoes, they’ll have that much more fun downing them at dinner time. If they were responsible for mixing all of the green bean casserole ingredients together, they’ll enjoy being responsible for consuming a surprisingly large portion. Get your kid involved and watch the pickiness subside!

Snacks During the Day

This one is up to you, but it’s worth us mentioning. If you feel that your child will be rebellious in eating whatever food is prepared for the big dinner, it may not be a bad idea to allow them snacks throughout the day. Your options are simple, the possibility that your child may not eat, period, or them eating earlier on and spoiling their appetite for dinner. Your call!

Bonus Tip: Proper Sleep Gear!

As we mentioned earlier in this blog, the post meal carb nap is just as much a part of the Thanksgiving tradition as is the food… seriously. For that reason, be equipped with the right gear for you toddler to get solid sleep after the big holiday celebration, by means of bedding, pillows, and more!


In conclusion, Thanksgiving is a holiday to really look forward to, and for any parent, the hope is that their children will enjoy the celebration the same way they do free of fuss. Consider trying some of these methods for getting your picky eater to embrace the holiday in the best way possible!

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