The Ultimate Food Jag
Food jags are common with toddlers and preschoolers. Food jags are when kids want only a certain food and refuse other foods. Or perhaps they will begin to refuse a once favorite food like eggs or cheese. This can be a natural part of development. It’s not usually a cause of concern and doesn’t last long.
Seventeen-year-old, Stacy Irvine is the queen of picky eaters. According to news reports she eats only McDonald’s chicken nuggets and fries…since she was two! For variety, she’ll eat some potato chips or a slice of toast.
Stacey didn’t think her eating habits were a big deal, until she collapsed at work. Doctors were horrified to learn of her self-imposed diet restrictions. Doctors diagnosed Stacey with anemia and swollen veins in her tongue. She was put on an emergency vitamin regime.
Stacy Irvine Photo from CBS News.
What Happened Here?
Obviously, her parents lost control early. I know that a picky toddler can be exasperating. After a while, parents figure any food is better than none.
Her mom, Evonne, says she tried everything to get her to eat nutritious foods and she’s at her “wit’s end.” The only thing surprising is that Stacey doesn’t already have a major illness like, diabetes or cancer.
Will Stacey Change?
Obviously, the earlier diet changes are made the easier it is. If her mom had known about multi-sensory learning (the core principle in Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater) and how it applies to eating healthy foods, it would have been easier for Stacey to learn to eat whole foods as a toddler. At this point, Stacey has to WANT to change.
Perhaps, the doctors’ warning that she will die, if she doesn’t include fresh veggies and fruit into her diet will be motivation enough for her to want change. Perhaps not. When writing Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater Into a Healthy Eater, I counseled a 40-year-old man who only ate fast foods. He had numerous illnesses. He had been to various doctors and psychiatrists and still did not want to change his eating habits. Oh, he wanted to be well, but he didn’t want to change what he was eating.
How Can Stacey Change?
1. Refuse to purchase fast food.
2. Refuse to purchase junk snacks.
3. Involve all her senses during mealtimes.
4. Do meal prep.
5. Change the table talk (Head Talk). Never say negative things about the food served.
Now I’m certain Stacey, has issues with texture. That’s for sure. People, who only eat fast food, are used to the way the food always has the same texture and taste. Multi-sensory learning will be vital for Stacey. She will most likely need the assistance of a psychiatrist at this point as well. It’s imperative the negative self-talk about whole foods changes. It all begins in the brain.
Stacey is an extreme case, but many American kids are not much better off. If you have a picky eater there is hope! You can transform your picky eater into a healthy eater. That’s what Baby Bites is all about.
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