Information taken from the ASHA Leader Blog
WHAT IS A FOOD JAG?
A food jag is a condition where an individual eats a very limited number of foods and refuses all others. A child may insist on eating the same food that is prepared in the same manner on a consistent basis. This can be problematic as it is difficult to have a balanced diet. Furthermore, resistant eaters will cycle through preferred foods and then refuse to eat them in the future. At this point the child may have eliminated many previously preferred foods until there are very few foods for him / her to consume.
WHAT CAUSES FOOD JAG?
Food jag may be caused by pre-existing disorders (i.e., autism). However, children who are considered to be “picky eaters” may begin to eat only a few types of food, eventually progressing to a feeding disorder.
HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD AT HOME?
Here are some tips that may help you at home:
- Expose your baby to as many safe foods as possible
- Rotate the food that you give to your child
- Allow your child to explore the food on his plate through touch, taste, smell, and sound (i.e., the crunch of a potato chip)
- Make recipes with different or new ingredients (i.e., add red pepper to your lasagna)
- Talk to your child about food (i.e., through song, at the grocery store, etc.)
- Seek professional help early
- Include your entire family at meals (don’t just have your child eat alone)
- Let your child help you cook
- Talk positively about food
OUR APPROACH AT KEY THERAPIES:
We will work with you and your family to help your child eat a well balanced diet. Strategies will be given to help your family create mealtime structure as well as set feeding expectations for your child.