Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

My son is on a food jag! He will only eat chicken nuggets! Help! What can I do?

Kids often get stuck eating a particular food, mine did this too! It can be frustrating especially when you are also preparing meals for other family members.

Food jags are not uncommon and usually last a short time. Pediatricians tell us that for a short period of time this will not affect their overall health so we can relax and focus of our options to nudge them back into eating a little of everything again.

When kids decide that they will only eat one thing, as long as that is a healthy food and not candy bars, don’t make the meal a battle. It is better to try some of these options so that food is not seen as a punishment. A calm, supportive and firm approach will work wonders!

Continue to give the special jag food, in this case chicken nuggets, while also offering small amounts of the other foods you are serving. Start by serving the family meal items first and if refused, give the jag food. In order to be sure your child is hungry for meals, you may want to limit between meal snacking or drinks especially those given close to meal times.

Try to avoid making each child a different meal even if it means they miss a meal occasionally. They will come around to the idea that the family meal is important. However, be sure to offer something at each meal all will eat such as a wheat dinner roll, carrot sticks or a glass of low-fat milk.

One thing I did seemed to really help stop my child’s jag–peer pressure. I gathered together some friends and served the group different foods. When mine saw all the friends eating different foods the jag was over!

When you approach a meal as a fun family time and not a reason to refuse, your kids will be comfortable with the options and enjoy the experience.

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