Written By: Shira Danino, M.A., CCC-SLP

Multiple images of children eating food

Do you have a picky eater? Are you interested in figuring out how to include him/her in holiday meals?

We are about to begin a marathon of holiday meals, most of which picky eaters may feel left out with no place to participate. 

Here are some ideas to get your little picky eater involved in mealtime! 

Child grocery shopping with grandparent

Shopping for Ingredients:

Bringing your child to the grocery store is a great way to expand their knowledge of all different foods, colors, and shapes! You can create a list with your child and ask him to name some foods of a certain color. If you are choosing not to shop in the store itself due to social distancing, technology is here to help! Sit with your child at the computer and have him help search for foods for a curbside pickup order. This is a great start to getting your child involved in the holiday! 

Washing Vegetables:

Set your child up at the sink with a tall chair or step stool. Go over each vegetable and why it’s important to wash them! You can add some vocabulary to this activity by talking about how the vegetable feels, talk about texture and ripeness! 

child washing vegetables.
child pouring dry ingredients into a bowl.

Mixing Ingredients:

This part is so fun! Kids love to be involved in making a mess! Cracking eggs, adding flour, using a whisk, or turning on the mixer are surefire ways to get your kiddo excited about a dish! He is much more likely to be open to trying a new food if he’s engaged in the cooking process.

Coloring Placemats:

You can buy blank placemats for kids to color or paint prior to your holiday. This way, Grandma can GUSH over their artistic ability while eating the yummy food your child has helped to prepare! 

children coloring.

Children decorating cookies.

Planning and Writing the Menu:

If you have an older child who is particular in what he/she eats, have them type up a menu! Make sure you go through the dishes and have them come up with yummy, delicious, mouth-watering adjectives to describe the wonderful food you’ll be serving! 

Help Serve the Food:

Have your child bring the dishes to the table, and they can even practice some pragmatic skills on the way! “Enjoy your meal!” “Bon appetite!” or “Let me know what else I can get for you,” are great ways to expand your little ones social skills! 

Children serving food using tongs.

If you’d like to learn more about helping your picky eater, Click HERE for a FREE virtual screening!

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season! Best wishes and happy holidays from the PPT family! 


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