Many of the posts I read in regards to eating and Thanksgiving include ways to modify recipes to reduce calories, or ways to try a little bit of everything in moderation, ways not to gain weight over the holidays, etc. While these posts may be helpful, I think they take the meaning and pleasure out of this special day.
The average American adult’s weight increases by only 0.2 percent over Thanksgiving (American Journal of Medicine 2016), which may be less than half a pound for some people. I hope that with a focus on celebrating family and food, we can all take a little pressure off of ourselves, to eat with enjoyment and appreciation, and to stop eating when full. The leftovers in my house are just as good, my hubby thinks even better, the next day.
Thanksgiving presents an opportunity for me to celebrate food and what it means to me to nourish my family. My definition of nourish includes all foods, no off-limits items, and paying attention to how food makes our bodies feel. When I hear my daughter asking for more snap peas at breakfast (yes, breakfast!) to pair with her Goldfish crackers, I feel excited, happy that we have no food rules and proud that she wants more of the veggies. Overly restricting or saying no can make it confusing for kids and adults alike to listen to our internal cues driving hunger and satiety.
My son’s interest in the taste of food excites me too. He loves to taste everything from a new flavor ice cream or a new spicy sauce (he loves strong flavors) that I am trying out. Nourishing my kids has a direct physical meaning to me as well as I watch them grow. I love these two photos of them at 5 years old (my son Charlie) and 6 months (my daughter I connect the food that I present my family to creating a happy and healthy home. Thanksgiving highlights the valuable hard work that I am doing on a daily basis to nourish my family. I take this special day purely to celebrate food, love, and life and I hope you can all do the same with pure permission to prepare and to eat what feels right to you and your family.