Thanksgiving Foods for Babies

If your baby has started eating solids, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to introduce the joys of new flavors to your tot.  But you may be timid to test new foods for fear that your baby may have a bad reaction.  If you’re wondering which Thanksgiving foods your baby can eat, you’ve come to the right place.  We’re breaking down Thanksgiving foods for babies here.

Every thanksgiving table offers a different scrumptious selection of foods and each family has traditional recipes.  Depending on what ingredients you use, most classic Thanksgiving meals offer a variety of choices for babies.  And that’s good news for parents who don’t want to make a separate meal for their babies when they are already doing quite a bit of Thanksgiving cooking.  Usually, the purest foods are the best options to serve to younger babies who are just getting used to solids, while more advanced combinations are OK for older babies.  Also keep texture, size, temperature, spices and food restrictions in mind as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast for your baby.

Thanksgiving Foods for Babies

Thanksgiving foods for babies

Many of your favorite pure Thanksgiving foods are acceptable to feed your baby on Thanksgiving.  This includes turkey, ham, green beans, peas, carrots, potatoes or sweet potatoes and pie filling are all Thanksgiving foods your baby may enjoy.  Do keep in mind that any of these items prepared with milk or other dairy products, honey or spices might not work for your baby.  If you are making most of your Thanksgiving dishes, the best way to avoid added ingredients is to put aside these foods before seasoning them with spices, glaze or gravy.  That way you can puree, mash or chop them to meet your baby’s needs prior to the meal.  If you are not doing most of the cooking yourself, you can simply rinse off other ingredients and bring a handheld device to churn traditional Thanksgiving foods into baby-friendly choices.

The same rules for consistency apply that you would use with any other meal you serve your baby.  For the youngest solid eaters, puree Thanksgiving foods to a smooth texture.  You may want to combine them with breast milk to achieve the right consistency and to add a familiar flavor.  Older babies can eat mashed or chunked foods.  Never serve a baby meat straight from the bone, however.  Also, ensure all food has cooled enough for your baby to enjoy it.

Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid for Babies

Some traditional foods are better left for future Thanksgivings.  For example, casseroles and stuffing have multiple components that may contain ingredients that are off limits to young babies, such as dairy products.  Even glazed carrots may contain honey, which babies should not eat.  Cranberries tend to be acidic and should only be served to older babies and corn often causes digestive issues in infants.  Onions, raw vegetables, nuts, crispy toppings, pie crust and other similar components should be avoided too.  Also avoid highly fatty foods that don’t add nutritional value to your baby’s meal.  If there is ever a time to teach healthy eating habits, it’s while your children are young.

Additionally, don’t forget the one new food every three days rule.  You may want to start introducing Thanksgiving foods several weeks prior to your feast to ensure your baby can tolerate the items without an adverse reaction.

On the big day, try to serve your baby a little of each of the Thanksgiving foods that are safe for babies to give him a full dose of the Thanksgiving experience.  It will be a fun and memorable holiday for all of you when your baby can partake in the Thanksgiving meal.

Happy Thanksgiving!