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I’m getting ready to make a batch of Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins since my kids are officially on break, and I wanted to share something that has been on my mind a lot as many of us approach a food-centric holiday this week. (This is a message that is really important to me, so you may remember some of it from previous years.)

You and I have had our entire lifetimes to learn what all of the holiday foods are. And which ones we like, dislike, and love. Our kids deserve the same opportunity to learn and explore over time.

They do not have to eat and love everything right now. They are still SO new to our unique holiday traditions—toddlers have maybe only seen the foods once or twice at this point!

And it’s 100% okay if they only eat the rolls this year. (Or the crackers or mashed potatoes or everything or nothing.) Promise.

Toddler Thanksgiving meal.

I know this can be stressful, I know there are social media memes going around explicitly telling you to worry about this—but I also know there is real freedom in letting go of the pressure to get the kids to eat certain foods—especially on days when there’s likely so much outside of the normal routine going on. (Which is reason enough for their intake to be whatever it is!)

So I hope you enjoy your day, that you enjoy your food, and that everyone sleeps well at the end of it. And remember that our success as parents is not defined by what the kids eat or don’t eat.

(For more tips, check back to my YTF Guide to Easier Holidays and the Burnt Toast Guide to Eating with Other People, which may help you deal with comments about what the adults are eating or not eating, too.)

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