thanksgiving food served to a toddler on silicone plate

Thanksgiving Food for Babies: What's on the Menu and What to Avoid

As the aroma of roasted turkey and the warmth of family gatherings fill the air, Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and, of course, indulgent feasts. But what about the tiniest members of your family? Do you bring their baby food to the table, or do you let them join in the Thanksgiving feast? Here is how you can navigate the delicate balance of introducing your little ones to the Thanksgiving spread, ensuring a feast for their senses while keeping a watchful eye on what’s safe and delectable for their developing palates.

Baby Food or Not: A Dilemma Resolved

Embrace the spirit of togetherness, and let your baby revel in the joy of this occasion. Thanksgiving is a time for shared experiences, and watching your baby explore new flavors can be a delightful part of the celebration.

How to Serve Turkey to Your Baby

For your 6-month-old and beyond, you can offer long, thin strips of cooked turkey meat. Make sure to remove the skin and bones. As their pincer grasp develops around 9 months, you can cut the turkey meat into small, bite-sized pieces.

turkey, green beans and mashed sweet potatoes as thanksgiving dinner for 6 months old

What to Serve to Your Baby in Thanksgiving Dinner

In addition to introducing Turkey, you can serve most of the Thanksgiving delights to your baby. For 6 months - 9 months, avoid small pieces as they can be a choking hazard. You can offer green beans, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, pumpkin puree, and even some gravy. For 9 months+, you can offer all of these in smaller bite-size pieces.

turkey, gravy, green beans, mashed sweet potato and mac and cheese for toddler thanksgiving dinner

Encourage your little one to sample small portions of various Thanksgiving foods, offering more as they show interest. Be prepared for surprises – your once adventurous eater might decide that this year, all they want is mac and cheese. Don't stress; it's more common than you think. Let them enjoy what they fancy while ensuring a balanced diet over time.

mac and cheese for toddler thanksgiving dinner

Concerned about Salt Intake at Thanksgiving Dinner?

Research indicates that a slightly higher sodium intake during a special meal won't have a significant impact on your baby. Don't stress over it; balance can be easily restored by offering fresh, homemade foods throughout the rest of the week.

Sweet Indulgences

Thanksgiving desserts, especially pumpkin pie, can be tempting for little ones. While it is recommended to hold off on regular sugar introductions until around age two, a small piece of pie during the holiday won't harm their developing palates. It's all about balance.

Choking Hazards and Honey Warnings

Navigate the Thanksgiving spread with caution, being mindful of choking hazards. Ensure that food is cut into safe sizes for your little one. Additionally, steer clear of honey for babies under one year old.

Your Baby’s First Thanksgiving

As you embark on this Thanksgiving journey with your little one, remember that it's not just about the food but the shared moments and cherished memories. Do not stress over all the food; just enjoy this holiday with your baby. Happy Thanksgiving!


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