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Food Glorious Food

One of the most enjoyable parts of the holidays for many is the family dinner. Special foods, recipes handed down for generations, a beautiful table setting and a gigantic feast of food for the eyes, nose, and stomach.


Unless your child is a picky eater. Or can’t sit still at the table. Or says “yuck” when Aunt Sally’s special Jell-O salad makes its way toward him/her.

As with many situations in the life of a Complex Learner, preparation is key. Here are a few ideas:

  • Bring something you know your child likes and will eat – either a dish everyone can share, or if need be, the standard chicken nugget fare.
  • Let your child eat appetizers for dinner as a special holiday treat.
  • When the wiggles hit, your child can walk around the table passing rolls or taking dessert orders.
  • Teach your child polite ways to refuse food.
  • Agree on an amount of time your child needs to sit at the table and then let him/her get up and have some quiet time or watch a movie.
  • Don’t worry if you get a few raised eyebrows from grandparents or relatives you rarely see. You know your child best and need to choose your food struggles wisely – holidays are probably not the best time.

I’m sure you have a few stories from the holiday table! Feel free to share below or give us your tips for making the holiday meal enjoyable for all.

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Anna Johnson, Head of School at The Wolf School, is a devoted, passionate educator with more than 17 years of classroom and leadership experience. She holds a BA and MAT from Brown University, and speaks locally and nationally on topics related to Complex Learners.

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