As we begin the Holiday season, the promise of good food, possible time with family, sharing of gifts and more food is exciting! Even in the middle of a pandemic, we are hoping for an inkling of a normal Thanksgiving. However, for families that have children struggling with feeding and eating skills, the prospect of a family mealtime may not bring joy. Here is hoping that these strategies make your family mealtimes more enjoyable. Maintain the Routine Stick with your child\u2019s routine not only the day of a holiday but the week leading up to the big day. Holiday gatherings, even if on a smaller scale, can be filled with lots of noise, tactile input, and smells. This can be overwhelming for a little one even before the mealtime begins. Make sure that your child is getting enough rest during the day and maintains their normal nighttime sleep schedule. A well-rested little one can regulate this sensory input easier. In short, keep feeding your child\u2019s sleep bank leading up to the day. Game Plan Decide on a game plan before the Holiday. Do you hope that your child is able to join the family at the table or do you want your child to eat the planned meal? Whatever your plan is, try not to make a game day change. If you want your child to sit with the family, make sure that they are well rested, have had a snack (or a meal) beforehand, and that there is familiar food on the table. If you want your child to eat the planned meal, practice some of these foods before the Holiday, even if it is only in small amounts. Having an opportunity to see, smell, touch, and experience foods before the Holiday will help with your child\u2019s worries or anxiety with the mealtime. If your child is in feeding therapy, make sure that your therapist is helping you practice these foods! Access to Familiar Foods Make sure that the holiday table contains familiar foods for your child, even if it is a big bowl of goldfish. Familiar foods will lower your child\u2019s anxiety and continue to have them be part of the mealtime process. Take a Break Find a safe space for your child to regroup during the day, even for your big ones that are done taking a nap. Giving your child a chance to regroup, reorganize, revitalize themselves will get you through the rest of the day. Managing the Opinions If you are dealing with too many opinions about what your child is or is not eating, BLAME YOUR THERAPIST! Tell your family that you would love for your child to try new foods, but \u201cLucy\u2019s (insert your child\u2019s name here) therapist is just too pushy and told me not to.\u201d Therapists can take it! So, enjoy your day! Just remember, it is one day of eating. If your child is happy and has a full belly, no matter how this happened, it was a good day! Colleen Wasemann is an occupational therapist and co-owner of Feeding Friends Children\u2019s Feeding Clinic and Therapy Services, Inc. in Indianapolis. She received her Master\u2019s degree from the University of Indianapolis and her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Chatham University.\u00a0 She enjoys seeing children gain independence in mealtime through decreasing their anxiety and increasing their skills. In her spare time, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband, Dave and their two children hiking, reading, and playing games.