Enjoying Thanksgiving with a Sensory Friendly Child

The time is coming yet again for another Thanksgiving spent with all of the family! This is both a joyous and fun time- but can also be a tad overwhelming if you have a sensory friendly child.  It’s important to plan as much of this day as you can so that your child (and you) have an amazing holiday. Thanksgiving will test A LOT of your child’s senses too- so you want to make sure you have all of your bases covered. Scents, sounds, textures, you get it. We wanted to help you out this holiday season with some helpful sensory tips!

Sensory Friendly Thanksgiving Tips:

-Make It Fun: Try making mini foods for your kiddo like mini pies, mini corn, or mini carrots! You could even try using mini utensils so that it’s easier for them to feed themselves.
-Try New Recipes: Sometimes kids don’t like everything- that’s ok! Try creating new and fun recipes for your child. You could try a strawberry cranberry sauce instead! This makes it a tad sweeter and more enjoyable!
-“Pre-Thanksgiving” Dinner: Do a test run with your kiddo! This can include the full table set-up or just simply trying the foods beforehand. If you know what your child will actually enjoy eating, it’ll be easier to prepare the day of with those specific foods.

Sensory tips for Thanksgiving

-Sugar Coat The Food: Not literally of course. But find ways to dress up the food to make it taste better for your child! We all know cheese on broccoli does wonders!
-Cook Together: Cooking with mom or dad is always fun- so invite your child to help you! It’s easier to convince your child to try a new food when they were able to help you make it.
-Prep Them: As always, prep your child for the change in routine by using their visual schedule. Many times Thanksgiving dinner is served at an odd time, which can really throw off a child. Using your visual schedule to help them know what is happening and when, it can help to reduce their anxiety.

We want you, and your child, to have a super fun Thanksgiving! Hopefully these tips will give you a few ideas for how to prepare for this huge day. If your child is currently in Feeding Therapy at PediaPlex, ask your therapist if they can incorporate some Thanksgiving foods into their therapy this month!

Happy Thanksgiving from the PediaPlex Family!