Thanksgiving can be a stressful [especially if you are hosting] holiday but there is no need to stress out about what to cook your little one for this family event. With only a few adjustments your Thanksgiving meal can easily become babies first Thanksgiving meal. So pull the highchair up to the grown up table, snap on that new turkey bib your mother gave you and watch as your little one lights up with joy as as she explores new foods, laughs at all the family drama and has fun being part of the celebration.
Sweet Potatoes - Set some cooked sweet potato aside before you add any other ingredients, and either puree, smash with a fork or cube. Feel free to jazz up the puree with a smidge of butter and a dash of nutmeg for a sweet puree or thyme for a savory puree.
Turkey - The most coveted prize of the day, the TURKEY, is actually an easy dish for baby to enjoy - just hold the gravy. Simply cut the turkey meat into small pieces for baby to feed herself or puree with a little water or broth for a smooth meat puree.
Green Beans - Set aside some unseasoned green beans and serve either in small chunks for the self feeder or puree. If pureeing, adding some parsley will make this dish extra special for your little turkey.
Stuffing - As crazy as this sounds, most stuffing recipes are a great dish for your baby to enjoy as is - soft rice, bread, carrots, celery, onions, chewy dried fruit are all okay for babies to enjoy.
Cranberries - These ruby jewels can be pretty tart and acidic without first being simmered with sugar and orange juice. A great way for baby to enjoy these gems is to simply heat them slightly in the microwave, smash or puree and add to sweet potato or white potatoes. Pink potatoes are always a good idea!
Pumpkin - No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without pumpkin pie! Usually pumpkin pie filling has eggs and evaporated milk in it, which is ok for baby to eat after 8 months of age because they are cooked. If you baby is younger then that, then just reserve a couple spoonfuls of canned pumpkin puree [not canned pumpkin pie puree] and serve with cinnamon for a little special treat.
If you are lucky enough to be crashing someone else's Thanksgiving, then rejoice in the fact that you get to sleep in, enjoy that fun turkey-trot 10k you have been training for and start the celebration early with a mimosa or two while getting ready! Go to your dinner with a dish that is baby friendly and then just go with it. Most Thanksgiving dishes are fine for baby to enjoy as is. You know your baby and how she is going to react to an extra bit of butter or cream. Big family events like Thanksgiving are not the time to worry about whether the green beans your aunt brought are organic, or if the bread in the stuffing has GMOs or even if there is an excess of salt in the mashed potatoes. It's a time to rejoice in the laughter, share in the memories you are making with your baby and be thankful for your amazing family. You have every other day of the year to worry about what your baby is consuming. So just go with it, have fun and enjoy that pie together with your little one. And if that freaks you out too much, bring a banana in your purse for an emergency meal for baby :)
From all of the Baby FoodE family - Have a Happy Thanksgiving! It will be a little slow around here this week as I will be spending the week baking, playing, cooking, eating, spending time with family and most importantly consuming way too many of these Hot Carmel Apple Cocktails while the grandparents watch the kiddos! Have a great holiday week and I can't wait to grab a cup of coffee with you and catch up when I get back!
Of course if you miss me, just follow me on Instagram @micheleolivier for pics of my latest and greatest! **Warning that I post WAY too many pictures of my babies on there! But don't we all.**