Food jagging seems to be a recurring theme in my conversations with families. Yesterday, I was told three times (different versions): “He ate those fries for three weeks straight and LOVED them. Now he won’t touch them. I don’t know what to do!!!”
We call this food jagging….. your child repeatedly eats the same food, the same way for a prolonged period of time. ?Hello? Could you imagine eating a hard boiled egg for lunch every day, for a MONTH?! Sounds pretty boring to me. It is very likely that I would take a LOONG break from eating an egg for lunch after that month.
Don’t get me wrong – when your child shows enjoyment of very few foods, it is a completely natural response to give them the thing he actually enjoys. And I know in many cases, you just don’t have enough preferred foods to have something different for lunch everyday. Even so, you need to find a way to minimize the risk that he is going to cut that food from his repertoire at some point.
Now, how the heck do you do that?
Introduce that food in a slightly different way each time. For example, if your child loves strawberries, you can introduce them:
- in a different bowl or cup
- with a fork or toothpick
- cut into big pieces or whole
- dipped in yogurt or PB
- in a strawberry smoothie
- as freeze dried strawberries
- in a strawberry crisp
- as a strawberry fruit roll up
- as strawberry salsa with crackers
- in pancakes
- as a jam spread on crackers, pancakes, waffles etc
- And so on!
It seems like a significant amount of work to introduce the food in a different way each time but trust me, the investment will pay off in spades!