Parenting

4 yr old toddler not chewing food at all

Akraru
1 to 3 years

Created by
Updated on Mar 17, 2014

Hallo parents, My son is 4 yrs 3 months. However he does not chew his food at all, only swallows it, as a result m unable to give any solid food. Any parents with the same issue please suggest tips to inculcate chewing habits in my son. Seeking urgent help. TIA.

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Shikha Batra

| Mar 18, 2014

Hi dear Roopa! The issue u have mentioned is not uncommon with children. Some children since the first year of life are served food after diluting it in semi solid form or liquid consistency. When served with solid food either they out rightly reject it or vomit out. Since this continues for long this becomes their style of eating. Some of the steps that can be taken to outgrow this habit are: ONE: start with a new dish salty or sweet as per child's taste which u believe child might like. Serve in small quantity. Let the child taste it. Donot force the child. Even one or two spoons can be considered success. For Next two three days again try the same dish. Try serving the dish when the child is hungry. Say during breakfast or in the evening,TWO: the dish should be yummy as well as appealing to the eyes say u cud make star or crescent shape of it using moulds or make it in the shape of cartoon characters etc. THREE: praise the child on tasting it by giving a star or a smiley. FOUR: while serving u should not be tensed or worried about the consequences. FIVe: send the child to parties, family get togethers say on birthdays, where he sees other children having such food. SIX: invite his cousins or friends where u cud serve food such as burgers, home made French fries, etc. SEVEn: try making breakfast, lunch , dinner family time where all have food on dining table and same plates are served so that child observes everyone having similar dishes. EIGHT: u cud seek his participation in making a dish which would he wud want everyone to taste and taste himself too. Do appreciate him for his efforts in front of whole family by giving him credit for the preparation. NINe: do not loose out, if he does not like one dish. U cud try something new the other day. I am sure as he wud grow up and watch everyone eating solid food,he wud try doing so too. Hope this works!

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Akraru

| Mar 18, 2014

Dear arunima, thanks for the immediate reply. My son is a fussy eater, he eats fruits in milk shake form, maggie, rice n dal, moongdal khichdi, rawa porridge, creamy portion of cakes, pastries, however all in a slight gravy form which enables him to swallow. He does not eat food likrotis, biscuits, bread,eggs - boiled, scrambled, any fried items,rice in dry form like lemon rice,pulav,etc. The consistency of his food must be gravy or liquidy. He does not do the jaw movements. We have shown him how to bite the pieces ex. Biscuits etc, however he will only lick the biscuits, chocolates n whn done will give it back to us. Hence I grate all the vegetables, meat, and mix with the gravy and rice and is being fed to him. Hence very difficult to make him eat at restaurants n hv to carry his food always handy. Long distance travel plans are a big worry considering his such eating habits. Looking for any tips, exercises to facilitate jaw movements n start chewing habits. TIA.

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Anurima

| Mar 17, 2014

Dear Roopa. Could you elaborate a little on what he usually eats? Is his choice of food limited as he does not like to chew. It could also be that he is a fast eater and chews a little and swallows the rest. Does he have digestion issues such as upset stomach, gas, pain associated with gas and the like? You could encourage him to eat small pieces and small spoonfuls to start off with. Offer him food which are cut in small pieces, for example, break his paratha into pieces, give him small pieces of boiled egg and ask him to consciously chew on the, Let him chew 10 times before swallowing it. He may find the activity boring, but it will gradually become a habit. Also, please make sure to keep distractions at a minimum at mealtimes-he should not be watching tv, playing with any gadget, reading, writing etc while eating. Let him concentrate on his food and start with counting each time he chews and all the while you need to remain calm and help him understand the importance of chewing before swallowing. Hope this helps :)

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