Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving.
That wonderful time of year when we gather ’round the table with family and friends to count our blessings and work for 12+ hours preparing a meal that will take 20 minutes tops to consume and whose leftovers will haunt us until Easter. I’m on the record talking dirt about all the Thanksgiving foods I’m not a fan of, but in the grand tradition of being the change we want to see in the world, I’m going into this Thanksgiving with a more open-minded attitude about turkey and its twenty billion side dishes. I’m hoping that if I get excited about stuffing, maybe C will, too.
I’m naive, aren’t I?
The truth is that every meal can be a battle if you have small children, and Thanksgiving doesn’t make that any easier. Thanksgiving presents the rare opportunity for your child to show off to your entire extended family a., her reluctance to eat anything besides Goldfish, and b., your complete lack of parental influence on her choices. Here in the South, if you make it through the Thanksgiving meal without all of your aunts saying “Bless her heart” at least four times each, go ahead and nominate yourself for parent of the year.
Here are the top five foods that will likely be included on your Thanksgiving table. Incidentally, they are also the top five foods that make your child throw up in her mouth a little.
Any other day of the year, C will give her left arm for a turkey sandwich. She worships at the altar of processed deli meat and nearly passes out in sheer ecstasy whenever her grandmother surprises her with a Lunchable.
But when you bring out meat of any kind and it looks like, y’know, meat? You better have some Hot Pockets on hand or else she might demand your soul as penance.
This year, we’re going to add some bacon to the turkey in the hopes that she’ll actually eat it. Bacon is proving to be her kryptonite and hopefully it won’t fail us on this, the most important of the eating holidays. Fingers crossed.
What she’ll eat instead: a stick of pepperoni. And not the BS turkey kind.
2) Sweet Potatoes
Anyone who has ever questioned the benevolence of God needs only to be shown the wonder that is the sweet potato. As it is written in Jeremiah 5:38*,“I shall unite the starchy glory of the potato and the savory succulence of the pumpkin to create a new vegetable that shall delight and bring comfort to all who partakes of it.”
On paper, the sweet potato sounds like it was created for the sole consumption of a toddler. ON PAPER. But of course, she’d rather eat her shoe.
*It totally doesn’t say that. I have already been smited.
What she’ll eat instead: a bag of chips
3) Cranberry Sauce
Whenever I see my daughter scarfing down SweeTarts at Halloween, I am filled with this adorable optimism that harkens back to my pre-parenthood days. Maybe, just maybe, her love for painful candy will translate into a love for cranberry sauce.
Then I remember that everything about parenthood defies logic and that since effort was actually exerted to create our family’s cranberry relish, my daughter will most definitely not eat it.
What she’ll eat instead: pickles and sugar cubes
4) Green Bean Casserole
The American Bar Association cites compulsory vegetable consumption as the #1 complaint of minors claiming emancipation from their parents. So unless you want your three-year-old to drag you to court, don’t make her eat the green bean casserole.
What she’ll eat instead: nothing. She’ll go on a hunger strike until you promise to never again sully her plate with anything green.
When I polled my Facebook friends on the dishes their kids are least likely to eat at Thanksgiving*, stuffing was far and away the most reviled dish. And can you blame the youth of today for hating it? It’s hard enough getting a child to eat plain cornbread, so the idea of crumbling it up and adding carrots, celery, and mushrooms to it is on par with just mixing in poop.
*I strive to bring you accurate information here on my blog and this is just another testament of the rigorous research I do in preparation of each post.
What she’ll eat instead: hair. Seriously. She’d rather eat hair than actual food.
What foods do you have trouble getting your kids to eat each Thanksgiving? What are the crowdpleasers? Tell me in the comments.
Just because your kid won’t enjoy Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Here are some awesome recipes that are sure to please: