For a holiday that's all about giving thanks, it's surprisingly difficult to talk about it without someone bringing up how stressful it can be.
There are endless articles about dealing with the stress of Thanksgiving, how to make it stress-free, how to cope with family drama etc.
It can really get into your head. And then it can start affecting the way you approach other parts of the day. "On top of everything else, I have to think about what I'm feeding the baby!"
In reality, not everything needs to be that difficult. Case in point – feeding your baby should be super easy when you have tons of food already prepared!
So this week's blog is dedicated to the ways life is actually easy on Thanksgiving! Because there are already enough people talking about the stressful stuff.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links.
1. Feeding the Kids
If you usually find this difficult, then Thanksgiving should provide relief. If it's normally easy then this should be a walk in the park.
Thanksgiving means there's going to be a serious amount of food. So you really shouldn't have to prepare anything special just to feed your baby.
Need a well-balanced meal – fill around half the plate with whatever vegetables you have prepared, and split the other half between turkey and stuffing/potatoes. Et voila.
Healthy nutrition is about getting the bigger picture right and about building the right habits from day 1. That means looking at the Thanksgiving table and understanding what your plate of food should look like.
It also means that letting your child eat some of your pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving won't do any harm!
After all, "forbidden" food is always going to seem more interesting – especially if everyone else gets some.
Instead, we can allow the kids to try new foods (in reasonable quantities) and trust that the healthy habits you teach during all your regular meals will stick.
2. Entertaining the Kids
Ok I already know I'm going to get messages about this one and how wrong I am but hear me out.
If you're busy in the kitchen all day preparing a feast, there's nothing more interesting to a toddler than being included in the process. It's normal if you want them out of the way so you can just get on with things but to a toddler, everything going on in the kitchen is fascinating.
Let them help with small tasks and not only will it be fun for them but they'll be much more likely to eat new foods just because they helped prepare them.
Let them try the food as you go along and they'll love it all even more.
Here's how you do it
Get yourself a learning tower.
It lets your toddler safely join you at the kitchen counter so they can see what you're doing and help out.
We have this one, but mainly because it folds up and tucks out of the way when not being used (you know... cos New York kitchens are known for being spacious).
Let them peel some fruit, cut up vegetables with a child friendly knife, decorate cookies. My son loves to separate cloves of garlic - harmless yet fun for him.
Whether you're up at the crack of dawn to get the turkey in the oven, or sleeping in while someone does that for you, breakfast should never be something that adds stress to the day.
Lucky for you, we have a simple pancake recipes that are easy to make and will keep your kids full until the big meal.
4. Dealing with Leftovers
You know that balanced plate of food you put together for the kids during mealtime?
Well grab the tupperware and start putting together more of them.
I know you want to just chuck everything in the fridge and not think about it right now, but resist the urge and you will thank yourself later.
When you realize preparing lunch is as easy as just pulling a pre-made meal out of the fridge. And dinner.
And suddenly the weekend just passed and you didn't have to cook or clean anything at all. Hooraaaay!!!
The meal preppers among you know what I'm saying.