Today we celebrated Thanksgiving at my Aunt and Uncle's house. There was loads of delicious food, but I was concerned going in that Henry would be too overwhelmed by all the people to actually eat. Plus, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Henry is not a big poultry fan, so I wasn't sure how balanced his meal would be.
With this in mind, I created a game plan. I know from other meals out that Henry does not do well without his own chair (with belt and tray) to sit in. So, I made sure to pack his booster seat. And, even though the Thanksgiving gathering was called for 1PM, I made sure to feed Henry lunch at 11AM (earlier than usual), so that he wouldn't be famished when we got there and then just eat all the appetizers (for him, crackers). I also didn't want to feed him his lunch too late that then he wouldn't be hungry for the Thanksgiving meal, which was earlier than his typical dinner. [Nevermind the fact that I was so prepared for Henry, that I forgot the dish that I made for the meal, only to remember (and turn around) 25 minutes into the drive...(amazingly I managed to blame that on my husband....feeling quite thankful now for my very understanding husband)].
Anyway, when we finally got to my aunt and uncle's house there were lots of appetizers out. Of course, Henry wanted all the crackers/mini-toasts. I let him have two, and then my dad took him downstairs to play with the other kids so that he wouldn't just constantly want more crackers.
Once the meal was set out, I saw that there were many options. My goal was to give him a balanced meal of turkey, a starch, and a veggie. I didn't want to confuse him with too many choices because then I felt he might just get overwhelmed and not eat (I know I get overwhelmed with lots of choices!). On his tray I put turkey, roasted brussel sprouts, and mashed sweet potatoes. Of course Henry loved the mashed sweet potatoes and avoided the other foods. But then I noticed that he liked using the fork for the sweet potatoes. So, I started spearing the fork into the turkey and then dipping it in the sweet potatoes. I did the same for the brussel sprouts. And you know what? He ate it all! Of course he also ate a bunch of cookies for dessert, but we can't win 'em all!
Happy and (mostly) healthy Thanksgiving!