Parenting | What Are Food Jags?

 I went on a course all about eating and the term came 'food jags' came up a lot and it's so important that as parents we understand just what food jags means. For those that don't know, food jags means eating the same foods every single day. I recently wrote about tips on what to do if your child doesn't eat but I wanted to pop this on separately as it may only appeal to a specific audience.
As I have never come across the term before you will have probably guessed right that both big and little J will eat different meals and it isn't a problem here but that's not saying that it never will be. Sometimes children change, one minute they like something and the next minute they don't.

I have come across children who will only eat certain foods and will eat them every day.  As a parent we think to ourselves ' they like it, they eat it and I've tried other stuff and they don't like it so I'll just make it for them everyday. It does happen and you may think you're doing the right thing because your child is eating and seems happy. One day they will refuse to eat that food. Whether it's because they are bored of it or they just don't like it anymore. If your child isn't used to eating a variety of foods then that's when this can become a problem.

That food that they have loved and ate every day will drop off their food radar and it will probably never return. If your child only eats 5 different foods and you lose just one that only leaves four food options to offer them. That's when it can become a problem for both the child and the parent.

If your child will only eat the same foods there are a few tips you could try to help prevent food jags

If your child wants a certain food for breakfast, lunch and dinner as a parent you may give in to their demands just so they eat something. What happens when they don't want that certain food any more? you're stuck. The key to this is only offer one food choice that they really like every other day.

Food jags only last if we, as parents give in to them. Try and introduce new foods to your child at  mealtimes. They may not eat it and they may push it away but children are slow at accepting new tastes so you need to keep introducing the foods. It takes a child tasting the same thing for at least 40 times before they can actually say whether they like it or not.

  Remember mealtimes need to be a positive experience so encourage your child without nagging.

When introducing new foods write a list of what they tried and liked. Break it down in to proteins, starches, fruit and vegetables. Hopefully your child will have as close to 10 of each as possible.

The main thing for us as parents is to give our children a balanced diet which is a struggle at times but it can be done. We just need to be strong and let them know who is boss.

Have you ever came across the term Food Jags before?

Michelle

8 comments

  1. My God Daughter does this,we're slowly breaking her habit xx

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  2. Heard of it but not by that name. Very interesting - my mum fretted that I wouldn't eat vegetables but the GP told her as I virtually lived in the fruit bowl, not to panic. He was right. Glad to see it's more understood these days.

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  3. Never heard of this term - certainly rings true - easier said than done at times to try and not give in but worth perservering

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  4. I hadn't, but I'm very familiar with what it describes. The "every other day" approach is such a great idea. It ensures that they're still getting the comfort of their familiar foods, while also keeping in the habit of exploring different ones.

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  5. this is interesting and informative

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  6. I've never heard of the term 'food jags' before but I had this problem with my daughter when she was little, only it was quite extreme. An example of just how extreme - only eating cottage pie for 3 months!

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  7. Fascinating! I used to teach home economics and had no idea there was a phrase this habit. It's very important to vary diets and not just for children.

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Thanks for your comments. I love reading them :)