Time-Saving Thanksgiving Day Tips
Thanksgiving can be one of the more stressful holidays for moms if the burden of preparing the Thanksgiving Day feast, cleaning the house, and hosting dinner falls on you.
For moms with an infant or toddler, stress levels rise exponentially. Babies Online has enlisted the help of some of our friends on Twitter for Thanksgiving time-saving tips.
- @PirateGent: Go to someone else’s house for dinner. 🙂
- @CookWriteParent: Thanksgiving Time Tip: Prepare most dishes in the days preceding the feast. Don’t forget breakfast! http://tiny.cc/dfbreak … and… All that’s left to do tomorrow is bake breakfast, turkey and make the gravy! It’s amazing how much time we can save in advance!
- Katie McNeely (Facebook) My husband is my secret weapon!… He cut up everything and bagged it all for me this morning!
- Beth Overla (Facebook) My newest addition will be having his own Thanksgiving feast when he breastfeeds!
- Laura Anderson (Facebook) Abigail is now on some solids. I found a pear pumpkin baby food for her.
My Own Tips
Like @CookWriteParent, I agree that make-ahead dishes are the best! You can save money, as well as time, by shopping the sales weeks – or months – before the holiday and stocking up on Thanksgiving staples, from cranberry sauce to stuffing.
First Thanksgiving With a Baby
If this is your first year as a new mom, don’t think you have to do it all. Enlist help from guests by asking everyone to bring their specialty holiday dish. You prepare the turkey, stuffing and one or two sides, and let everyone else bring the rest.
Also, take advantage of all the doting relatives who want to hold the baby. Chances are, they’ll be thankful for the opportunity to cuddle your new addition, and you’ll be thankful for the chance to actually eat a meal with both hands, possibly for the first time in months.
Thanksgiving With a Toddler
If your little one is in the later baby food stages, such as enjoying table food, you’re both in for a treat this Thanksgiving! Don’t stray too far from your baby’s normal eating schedule, though. Have a quick, easy lunch prepared and plenty of healthy snacks on hand.
When you sit down for the big meal, it’s a great chance for your toddler to taste all sorts of new foods. But a Thanksgiving feast can be overwhelming, make sure he doesn’t eat too much. Don’t pile his plate high the way grown-ups do. Offer only a few foods at a time, in small quantities. If something piques his interest on your plate, give him a taste. If he doesn’t like something – or doesn’t want to taste it – don’t make a big deal of it.
Ellen Satter, author of Your Child’s Weight, Helping without Harming, advises parents to keep emotions out of eating. In general, don’t show pleasure when your child eats or scold him when he doesn’t. Over the course of a week, if you offer foods in all four food groups, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, your baby will eat a balanced diet.
This is especially true on holidays like Thanksgiving. Don’t panic if your child wants to go overboard on the candied sweet potatoes and skip the green bean casserole, corn or even the turkey on this special day. After all, who doesn’t eat too much of the wrong things on Thanksgiving?
Our Readers Responded…
BabiesOnline wants to thank @PirateGent and @CookWriteParent for participating in our first-ever reader question!
Look for a new question posted on Twitter by @BabiesOnline every Monday, and reply to @BabiesOnline with the hashtag #boltips by Tuesday at 10 PM EST to see your response posted in Tuesday’s blog.
We’ll share all sorts of parenting-related tips, from advice for weaning to getting baby to sleep through the night. We know our readers have been there, done that, and have the t-shirt (covered with spit-up, probably.) We want to hear from you!
Let’s keep this going right now by posting YOUR best Thanksgiving time-savers below.