Jan Gambino Jan Gambino's Blog

Wishing you a Memorable Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, your child with reflux can be the centerpiece of the celebration. I know your child has probably been the center of attention during past holidays but not necessarily for all the right reasons. Everyone remembers the Thanksgiving dinner when your little refluxer cried from the appetizers to the dessert or when you cried in your mashed potatoes when someone commented on how tiny your refluxer looked compared to her “Gerber baby look alike” cousin. It can be hard to face a food focused holiday when your child is on a special diet or is disinterested in food. Preparing a special meal while omitting common allergy foods can challenge even a veteran cook. An upcoming holiday such as Thanksgiving can bring back unhappy memories of dealing with reflux. Put all of that behind and set the tone for a positive Thanksgiving holiday this year.

Here are some ideas to set the tone and make your Thanksgiving a positive:

• Centerpiece: You and your child can make a centerpiece or season craft to decorate the holiday table. Go to www.familyfun.com for an amazing variety of crafts for all ages and ability levels. Your child will most certainly hear words of praise from all of the guests for creating such a wonderful creation.

• Kitchen Help: Enlist your child on the kitchen committee. Even a young child can give the potatoes a bath or count out 8 apples for the pie. An older child may be able to help prepare a salad or set the table. Make sure you comment on how delicious the pie tastes since little Sarah picked out the sweetest, most delicious apples for the special holiday pie. It doesn’t matter that your refluxer probably wouldn’t think of even licking a bit of the food she has prepared, but she can still get bonus points for helping.

• Prayer Committee: I will never forget the moment my daughter recited the prayer she learned in preschool during the family meal. It was a precious moment to see that little angelic face. I am sure you and your child could think of a list of things you are thankful for and draw a picture to present to the guests at the Thanksgiving table. Or simply Google “children’s prayer” for a full selection of short, easy prayers for your child to recite at the dinner table.

• Take a Picture: You and your child will cherish the pictures you take of the friends and family that share the holiday with you.

• Start a New Tradition: Start a new holiday tradition that takes some of the focus away from the food. Perhaps you could buy a jigsaw puzzle and gather everyone around to help or play a board game. Another fun tradition is to watch a favorite movie such as The Sound of Music or take a refreshing afternoon walk.

I know you are skeptical about this plan but it may just work. You can’t stop others from making hurtful comments about your child’s digestive system and you certainly can’t stop your refluxer from belching loudly in the middle of the meal. But you can adjust your attitude and take control to make this holiday a memorable one.


Check with your
doctor first!