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Three Crafts to Help Picky Eaters on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving crafts are fun for kids and give you some extra time to prepare for the family feast. And if your child is finicky about food and nervous about eating with extended family, these tips will help YOU be more thankful this holiday!

Make Our Menu Craft: Discussing the Thanksgiving menu with children in advance helps them prepare for the new smells, tastes and visual changes that occur on this special occasion. With this concept in mind, I introduced an activity several years ago with my feeding therapy clients that has been very successful on turkey day! This craft helps kids stay longer at the table, eat more and even try a few new tastes. Here is my ‘Make Our Menu’ craft.

Directions

Tell your children what you are planning to serve for Thanksgiving dinner. Then give them the opportunity to pick one or two items to add to the menu. Some common favorites kids like to add are french fries, mac & cheese, chocolate chip cookies and cheese sticks. After they choose their additional food, have them write down the entire menu on some festive holiday paper. Then have them decorate the menu and place it on the table!

Now, before you cringe with thoughts of your Thanksgiving spread looking like a school cafeteria meal (because of the french fries or cheese sticks), think of this holiday from your hesitant eater’s perspective. Having a familiar food (of their choosing) on the menu gives them ownership of the meal and a better chance that they will eat it!

Ingredients

Festive holiday paper

Markers, paints, sharpies

Ribbon

Scissors

Thankful Jar Craft: This craft helps kids to reflect on the year and think about their blessings. It’s also a great icebreaker to talk and reconnect with out-of-town family members. You can even use the ‘thankful jar’ as a centerpiece, which is a great visual reminder for a hesitant eater to be thankful, keep calm and be willing to work around their feeding aversions.

Directions

Have your children pick out the jar and decorate it. You can either purchase colored clothespins or have your kids paint and embellish the clothespins. Have them write down a few things they are thankful for and add the pins to the jar. Then, encourage your children to offer the pins (and a marker) to the other guests attending the celebration. During the festivities you can take out a clothespin, read it and even clip it on a Thanksgiving banner (that your kids can make too!).

Ingredients

Jar

Colored clothespins

Washi tape

Ribbon

Sharpie marker

Scissors

Place Card Craft: Creating and decorating place cards encourages your kids to practice writing AND helps them remember family member’s names. Knowing names can help them feel more comfortable during the meal, which means less tantrums and finicky eating. In addition, letting your hesitant eater choose who they will sit next to during the Thanksgiving meal (permitting them to move place cards as necessary) will empower them to be more adventurous and less distracted during the festivities!

Directions

Provide your children with the names and spelling of each of the guests. Have them decorate the place cards, write out the names and place them on the table.

Ingredients

Festive holiday paper

Markers, paints, sharpies

Ribbon

Scissors

As we enter the season of thankfulness, I hope these crafts will help your picky eater feel more comfortable, confident and hungry this Thanksgiving! #ezpzfun #thankful #thanksgiving

Happy Feeding,

Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz



Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz

Dawn Winkelmann, a.k.a “Ms. Dawn”, has treated thousands of kids across the globe by helping families overcome picky eating stages and food refusals, while adding new foods into their diet. Her high success rate is attributed to Ms. Dawn bringing her education, experience, sense of humor and her favorite feeding products to the family dinner table.

You will find Ms. Dawn’s expert feeding advice to be positive and fun for the entire family! She adapts complicated feeding/swallowing research and makes it practical and easy for parents! Get ready to learn the science behind your favorite feeding products and ways to bring happy family mealtimes back!


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