Tips on how to deal with my child who's "food jagging"!
All blog posts
Share this:
Blog post tags:

Tips on how to deal with my child who's "food jagging"!

by
Deirdre Doyle

Bet you’ve never heard of “food jagging” before? Well, if you have a fussy or picky eater, you are more than likely to have experienced it. Food jagging is when a child has a very limited diet. They will only eat one food item, or a very limited group of food items, meal after meal after meal until they eventually tire of it, eliminating it altogether from their diet. This can cause lots of mealtime stress as you try to encourage/plead with your little one just to try a tiny bite of …. (insert potato, carrot, kiwi, cheese, sweet potato …as required).

So what to do? Well, first things first - what kind of a fussy eater is your child? There are generally two types ; normal fussy eaters who will eat up to 30 different food items and extreme picky eaters who will only eat 10 - 15 different items and sometimes as few as 3-5 foods.

For the latter, you might need the help and advice of a feeding expert or therapist. In this blog, I am going to deal with the former, children who will accept up to approximately 30 different foods, are happy to sit at the table with the rest of the family at mealtimes and may reintroduce food again after elimination.

Firstly, this type of behaviour is quite common especially from the age of 2+. It could be that your toddler’s rate of growth has slowed down and they no longer need all the fuel they did previously so it’s easier for them to reject food. Kids like familiar things and routine so they get into the habit of only eating certain foods and recoil from trying new foods. Or, it could just be your toddler asserting some control … !

Here are some simple tips to help with a child who is “jagging”: 

  • take their favourite food (eg. toast) and change it, bit by bit (depending on their level of jagging). Toast it for longer, cut it a different way, use different bread.

  • use the rotation rule - while you might change up your dinners every day, how often do lunches, breakfast and snacks get changed? Try the rotation rule where toast cannot be eaten for more than 1/2 days in a row. Offer cereal, eggs etc. on the 3rd day, promising the return of toast on Day 5 (see more here http://itsnotaboutnutrition.com/2012/03/23/end-picky-eating-with-the-rotation-rule/

  • get them involved in food shopping. You can offer them a sense of control by allowing them to select the bread they want from 2 different options.

  • add a new food to their familiar, favourite food (eg. use different spreads on toast such as a different brand of peanut butter, chia seed jam, cheese, a thin spread of avocado).

  • only offer your children what you want them to eat so long as it includes at least one familiar food (the aforementioned toast.)

I had a cousin who only ate bananas for about 3 years straight - it’s part of our family folklore. He now eats all around him! The moral of this story is, how many adults do you know who are very fussy eaters? Probably not that many. So your child will often grow out of it, try not to worry too much (unless your child is losing weight or is otherwise unwell) and just keep presenting new foods.

May the force be with you!

Find out more about the Author:
WebsiteFacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail
Recommended articles:
Blog Categories
WIN
membership
WIN membership will get you exclusive benefits and connect you to a local and international business network that is social media savvy and build real relationships based on mutual support and you never know, you might build some real friendships also (this tends to happen a lot!).
Join Us
Women's Inspire Network
Newsletter
Subscribe so that you don't miss an opportunity to meet at a location near you and hear all the latest news about webinars, online coffee mornings and exclusive discounts only available to members.
Subscribe
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
Contact Us
Thank you! Your message has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong please try again.