Often times, parents of tube-fed children report that it is difficult for their child to participate in holidays that have delicious treats such as Valentine’s Day or Halloween. Yes, of course, Valentine’s Day is full of yummy chocolate and candies, but there are so many other ways your child can participate! It is crucial for tube-fed children to be a part of family mealtimes. We know they can benefit from the social opportunity, exposure to food, and watching their parents or siblings eat. It is just as important that your tube-fed child is included of other holidays or routines that may revolve around food.
If you have a little one who is not yet in school, it can be fun to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with your family. Try doing a craft such as dipping their feet into paint and making Valentine cards for their caregivers. A Valentine’s Day photoshoot is also a fun idea! Use different props and dress your child with hearts, or pink and red clothes, to make for a cute photoshoot to share with family!
For a school-age child on a feeding tube, Valentine’s Day can be difficult because of all the delicious treats. Schools will often allow children to bring treats in for the day. Your child can be a part of the meal preparation, the cooking, or the packaging of these yummy treats! They can play a role by helping stir the dough for the cookies, smash the chocolate chips into the bowl, or even place each cookie into the container! For a non-food treat, you could practice making Valentine’s Day cards for everyone in their class. Allow your child to pick out what cards they want to share, and what they want to write on the card. This can practice reading and writing at the same time!