Tips to Prevent a Food Jag – A food jag is defined as “when children prefer to eat the same food prepared the same way every day or at every meal.” Tips to prevent a food jag in kids.
What is a Food Jag? – A food jag is defined as “when children prefer to eat the same food prepared the same way every day or at every meal.”
Here are some tips to prevent one provided by a Early On Oakland Family Support Series that I attended recently.
We often hear moms complain that their kids want to eat the same foods day after day. If it’s a serious pattern, it could be cause for concern since getting a variety of foods is best for nutrition and growth. Getting a child out of certain comfortable habits at the dinner table can also help a child expand or broaden their horizons in other aspects of early childhood development. Breaking a jag can help a child be more flexible not only at the dinner table, but in other areas of growth and development.
Tips to Prevent a Food Jag:
- Offer the preferred food only every other day, NOT every day.
- Change at least one sensory property within the preferred food EVERY time you serve that food. Examples of things to change are the shape, color, taste, texture and temperature.
- To change the shape, you can cut the foods into different forms using a cookie cutter.
- To change the color of the food, add food coloring.
- Changing the taste of food can be challenging. Add a new flavor by using spices (dill, lemon, garlic, salt…) or extra butter, flavored PAM, or parmesan cheese. Add flavored syrups or jellies, soy sauce, tomato sauce, jello powders, gravy or dried soup powders.
- You can change the texture by adding a thickening agent such as corn starch, adding an extra egg to cooking, adding extra oil to cooking mixtures, or cooking the food into a different texture e.g. make scrambled eggs vs. fried eggs.
Food Jag Prevention Source – Early On Oakland Family Support Series, a program by Great Start Collaborative of Oakland County.