Merrill's baby Clara is finally old enough to eat solid foods. Armed with her greenmarket bag, a wooden spoon and a minimal amount of fuss, Merrill steps into the fray.
This week, she makes a plan for Thanksgiving.
Shop the Story
The holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about what to feed your baby.
Rather than cook separately for our guests and our 10-month-old, Clara, this year I designed my Thanksgiving menu so that several of the dishes are baby-friendly. The good news? It's really not that hard. A lot of traditional Thanksgiving favorites are a natural fit for baby's tastes, or require minimal tweaking.
Aside from the turkey itself (which Clara happens to love -- I just chop it roughly before giving it to her), there are certain types of Thanksgiving dishes that work especially well for the 1-year-or-younger set while still keeping the adults happy. I've rounded up some examples below.
Soups -- excellent for babies with few or no teeth, and great for practicing drinking out of a cup or sippy cup. Make sure to cool soups to lukewarm before you feed them to your baby. These are three of my favorites:
If you'd like to adapt some of your own tried-and-true Thanksgiving favorites for your baby, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
• Scale back the heat. Most babies, unless they're used to it, have a tough time with spice, so cut down on black pepper, chilis, etc
• If it makes you more comfortable, you can leave out wine or liquor in recipes that call for them. Do keep in mind, though, that if you're cooking the dish for a while, some of the alcohol will burn off.
• Leftovers are a godsend -- once you've calculated the amounts you'll need for the big day, plus all the turkey sandwiches and hash you'll want to make for yourselves afterwards, allow for a little extra so baby gets leftovers too.
• Don't feel you have to baby-proof every dish you serve -- 2 or 3 baby-friendly options will provide plenty of variety, both for the meal itself and for leftovers.
Join The Sandwich Universe co-hosts (and longtime BFFs) Molly Baz and Declan Bond as they dive deep into beloved, iconic sandwiches.