The holidays are just around the corner and they are always such a busy time of year. There are houses to decorate, turkeys to cook, presents to wrap, and a new year to celebrate. No matter where or how you will be enjoying the holidays, many activities revolve around eating a meal with family and friends. While it may be uncomfortable to join these holiday meals for someone who is tube fed, the fact that your loved one or friend has a feeding tube and cannot partake in eating the meal is no reason for him/her to miss out on all of the fun. It’s important to remember that the main reason we come together around the holidays is to enjoy spending time with the people we love. We don’t want for your family member or friend to miss out on making memories with you at holiday gatherings. There are a few things you can do to make your guest’s experience at holiday meals a little more comfortable, so here are a few tips on how to make a tubie feel more included at these gatherings…
- Ask them to help with preparations (e.g. grocery shopping, setting the table, meal planning, decorations, preparing a certain dish, planning after dinner activities, etc.)
- Include activities at your table that don’t involve eating (e.g. decorate gingerbread houses, craft DIY projects, play board games, watch football, or ring in the new year by sharing resolutions)
- Ask in advance if there are any special accommodations that you need to prepare for your guest.
- Don’t draw attention to their feeding tube. Treat them as you would anyone else.
- Avoid making comments about “feeling bad” that they cannot eat the food. Tube feeding is just another way to eat after all.