Tips for Holiday Meals with Picky Eaters

Tips for Holiday Meals with Picky Eaters

Tips for Holiday Meals with Picky Eaters: Holiday mealtimes can sometimes be stressful for both picky eaters and their parents. Even the sight and different smells of the various foods can often time be overwhelming for a child with feeding difficulties. Listed below are some useful tips to consider in planning for holiday mealtimes:


  • Prepare your child for family outings and gatherings.
  • Discuss the next day’s events and share stories and pictures of family members with whom your child might not be familiar.
  • Keep a calendar of holiday events that your family will be celebrating.
  • Have your child help write the lists and go to the grocery store to help with the shopping.
  • Show them what you will be cooking, and what grandma and other family members might bring, etc. Ask them what they want you to make/contribute to the holiday meal.
  • Have them assist in the kitchen as much as possible, even if it is only setting out the ingredients, measuring, mixing or setting the table.
  • Mealtime:

  • Allow your child to help in food preparation or even placing food items on the table, without the expectation of them trying the food once seated at the table.
  • Try to serve food family-style when possible during large holiday meals.
  • Remember to keep portion sizes small.
  • Bringing a familiar sectioned plate for your child to use from home might also be helpful.
  • Bring a dish or food item you know your child will eat if you will be having a meal at somebody else’s home.
  • Try to eat as close to routine mealtimes as possible (although this can be very difficult during the holidays and especially when not eating meals at home).
  • Following Mealtime:

  • If possible, plan other activities that do not involve food. Bring crafts and games to play following mealtimes. Pinterest is an excellent source for craft and game ideas.
  • If you have any questions please ask your child’s speech therapist, feeding therapist, or your child’s physician.

    Happy Holiday!


    Michelle, Feeding Therapy and Speech Therapy Team

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