Feedback Friday: How to Make Holiday Eating Better

PrintCan you believe the holidays are already here? It seems like this year has flown by. Thanksgiving is next week, people! Mitch and I are taking a quick pit stop in Boulder to spend Turkey Day with part of his family before traveling to Madison to be with mine. I’ve never been to Colorado – well, I drove through it on my move to Las Vegas – so I am excited to spend a few days exploring the Centennial State. I’m looking forward to spending time with both of our families and can’t wait to watch the Bears beat the Packers while I’m wrapped up in a blanket, sipping hot chocolate on the couch.

Believe it or not, some parts of the holidays aren’t always this delightful.

Let’s be real – food is the main attraction during most holiday festivities. Everyone enjoys sharing turkey legs, creamed corn casserole, pumpkin pie, and other holiday specialties with friends and family, right? WRONG! This is not a picky eater’s cup of cheer; this is more like a picky eater’s nightmare before Christmas. Why is the dining room table always filled with traditional holiday recipes instead of delicious picky approved plates that everyone will enjoy?

In my picky world, the Native Americans served prime rib, macaroni and cheese, and tomato soup for the Pilgrims in November 1621. That definitely beats turkey, cranberry sauce, and mashed sweet potatoes for a Thanksgiving feast…

Despite our best attempts, most picky eaters attend traditional holiday feasts rather than those that cater our picky taste buds. So, what can you do to make holiday eating better?

1. Be polite. Say “yes, please”, or more commonly, “no, thank you.” Don’t be rude or make faces when the bowl of stuffing lands in front of your face. Just say, “no, thank you” and move on.

2. Be honest. Sometimes it’s not bad for others to know about your quirky eating habits. It reduces your stress of trying to keep it hidden and can be a great conversation starter. What says holiday banter like “you don’t like mashed potatoes and gravy?” anyways?

3. Be proactive. Similar to a dinner party, you cannot control what is served at holiday celebrations away from home (and sometimes even in your own). I’m a guest in Mitch’s Aunt’s kitchen this year for Thanksgiving – I’ve never tasted her cooking nor have my picky taste buds approved it – but I’ve been in situations like this before.  It’s stressful to adjust to unfamiliar aromas and avoid unusual plates. Instead of fretting, why not bring a little piece of home with you? Offer to make something for the holiday feast. It’s a nice gesture and guarantees that you have something to eat!

4. Be merry. Like any invitation to dine out, eat something before you go. There is nothing worse than sitting through a holiday feast when your blood-sugar level is plummeting and you are surrounded by food you won’t eat. Don’t be a grumpy grinch – grab a bite beforehand so you can enjoy yourself throughout the celebration without worry.

5. Be adventurous (optional). Try something new. Why not? The holidays are the season of giving so why not give your taste buds a taste of something new? From one picky eater to another…good luck!

Pickin’ Your Brain:

  • What worries you most about this year’s holiday feasts?
  • How do you make holiday eating better?
  • What are your plans for Thanksgiving?