Palos Pediatric Dentistry

Thanksgiving with Children

Spending Thanksgiving with our children is an important time – we give thanks for the children who brighten our lives and give us purpose. We are also thankful for our health and well-being, and we have a chance to take a step back and appreciate everything that makes life wonderful. Thanksgiving is also a “food” holiday. We're blessed with a delicious feast on Thursday, and this provides a great opportunity to talk with our kids about food and food choices.

Take time this holiday season to cook with your kids. Start at the beginning – from planning the meal to shopping for ingredients and then finally preparing the feast. All to often our kids plan their meals based on a menu and are detached from the preparation – whether it is fast food before school, a soup and sandwich to-go on the way home from soccer practice, or a fancy weekend dinner. Children are increasingly separated from how food is made, including both the ingredients and preparation.

When preparing the meal, take time to discuss healthy food choices, including choosing foods that are low in sugar, fat, and cholesterol. Also be sure to plan a meal around the basic food groups, and explain which food groups can be eaten more often and which are for special occasions.

For younger children, chop, slice, and measure ingredients ahead of time, so that the activity is safe for your child and less frustrating for you. When all that is left is to put all of the ingredients together your young child will better be able to “help” you while still learning along the way.

Pick some old recipes – the ones that your grandma or great-grandma used to make. If you don't make the effort to keep these recipes and cooking techniques around they will be lost to future generations. These are the foods that you remember from your childhood, and hopefully your children will have similar traditions that they can pass down to their kids!


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