As you sit down to eat dinner on Thanksgiving, surrounded by family, your 1-year-old is now old enough to join at the table. By this time, you have already introduced many different foods and they may be starting to get a taste for the foods they like. But, what can a little one enjoy at Thanksgiving, and how can you make the feast safe for a tot under two? We've got some tips!
Mashed potatoes are an infant classic. Potatoes are healthy and most babies love them. They are soft, easy to eat and taste great.
Peas/green beans/carrots/almost any other plain veggie are also great options for babies. Either cook/steam until they are soft enough to fall apart or squish them up and any veggie your baby likes is safe. Make sure there aren't any additives, especially that baby has not had before.
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Sweet potatoes can be excellent for a tot under 2, but there are some restrictions. If your sweet potato pie has nuts, you may want to skip this dish but if you can ensure there are no nuts on top, sweet potatoes are sweeter than regular potatoes and just as easy to digest (but healthier). Either blend or chunk very soft sweet potatoes before adding anything to make it even more young baby friendly.
But what about the main Thanksgiving event, the turkey? A little one may not be able to chew the meat yet and definitely can't bite it off the leg, but puree it in some gravy and you're good to go. Just make sure the gravy doesn't have too many unnatural additives. The best advice is to drain the turkey to make the gravy then blend up some of the broth with the turkey before making it into a gravy. If the baby is closer to 2 and has been eating longer, chunk the turkey and let baby feed himself.
Dressing can be baby friendly as long as you leave ingredients out. Make baby his own stuffing using just veggies and bread- if baby can eat bread now. Leave out nuts, onions or anything that may be choking hazards, hard to digest for sensitive tracts and key allergens.
And finally, we can't forget the pumpkin pie! Pie itself may be too advanced for baby's digestive tract, but pureed pumpkin with just a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg can be a very welcome dessert to very young taste buds. Even though baby is under two and likely won't remember doesn't mean he can't join in the festivities. While he may be too young for pie, pumpkin can be a welcome dessert (or a few bites of the pie if he's a little older). At this age, babies love joining in and almost always are curious about what their parents are eating.
Just make sure all foods are chopped up and soft enough for gums and that the food has no harsh additives that may be harder to digest. Keep these tips in mind and baby should be set to enjoy his first Thanksgiving feast! Also, keep in mind that his stomach is only as big as his little fists, so only give a spoonful or two of any dish.