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Health is undoubtedly the top-most priority from the earlier stages. Most of the mothers often stay in confusion about whether their kid is getting adequate nutrients or not. But sometimes, kids might end up eating only a single food meal after meal, and this results in nutrient deficiencies. For instance, a child may only want to eat only cheese bread for every meal. This condition is called Food jags. And in the end, mums end up concluding situations out of anxiety.
Reasons for Food Jags
Food jags and food aversion in children are normal part of childhood development and not related to any medical issues . Children just want to assert their independence and control over what they want to eat by showing all these tendencies.Kids tend to have a natural inclination for sweet and salty foods so they reject bitter and sour flavors which sometimes lead to food jags . Picky eating during meals is partly a control issue, too. So to help you understand food jags better, here are a few reasons and situation which I have faced while parenting –
Kids often get cranky during teething and later develop food aversion or food jags. Hence, you must not force-feed much, and if you are breastfeeding your baby, keep yourself hydrated. In my case, Shatavari milk helped a lot!
2) Growing as an independent personality:-
Toddlers want to stay independent when it comes to doing any activity. The reason behind this is people around them are doing all work on their own, and even they wish to do the same. For this reason, they start throwing tantrums every hour. Hence to overcome this, let your kid do some of their chores on their own, they will surely learn a lot.
Worm infestations is one of the common problems most toddlers face while toilet training. This situation also leads to food jags, and if ignored some serious medical ailments like anaemia, diarrhoea, stomach ache, itching might happen. You must not ignore this situation and must visit a paediatrician as soon as you can!
4) Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B 12 deficiency create food aversion and hence your kid might end up having food jags. This especially happens with vegetarian families. Try seeking constant medical advice for this issue and feed your baby animal milk products after they turn a year old.
5)Intake of more quantity of Liquid like Milk and juices
Most of the times I tried giving my daughter a lot of liquids to fix or avoid the food jag. Because I used to get a sense of relief that she ate/drank something. Eventually, I learned that I was doing a big mistake, and then I started finding the right solutions for the core problem instead of just hogging on these weird solutions.
Ways to encourage healthy eating habits in kids
First and foremost thing to do when your toddler is food jagging is to stay calm . Never force your child and simply present the food and let them choose to take a bite (or not). Keep the following tips in mind when dealing with food jags or food aversion in children:
- Always make an effort to consume a wide variety of of healthy foods at meals.Your child will likely get hungry and start eating.
- Try and Involve children in the cooking prep process: washing, sorting, stirring,
- Avoid feeding junk food between meals as snacks. Just offer very small portion of fruit, milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, or some raw vegetables
- Everyone eats the same meal and don’t make separate food for your toddlers.
- Try some positive peer pressure.Children are influenced heavily by their peers, so if their friends eat the healthy food, your child may begin to as well.
- Provide at least one “safe” food at each meal. This is a food that the child is comfortable with already.
You all will face these problems while parenting, but by establishing healthy habits, you can outgrow them all. Be patient with the process, and always seek advice from professionals and not any random relative.
I am writing 26 post in this series .Do check my earlier post