Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My toddler eats too fast.

Questioner: T


Question:

Ever since my daughter first was allowed to scoop up her baby food in little cupped baby hands and feed herself she's had a bad habit: mouthful that are FAR too big. The food would squirt out of her mouth, and she'd hover her head over her food to shovel it in faster. It was like watching someone who hadn't eaten in months!

She frequently choked on it. However, now she is a year and half old and onto solids and still doing it. She shovels the food in until it's popping back our again - literally - and her cheeks are puffed and ready to explode. She can barely chew it all and, yes, chokes frequently from accidentally breathing it in. It worries the heck out of her father and I.

We've tried everything from cutting the food into the tiniest pieces that take literally 3o minutes to hack so small, but she just shovels more in at once. we tried giving her bigger pieces that she needs to bite pieces off of thinking that that might satisfy her more and make her eat normally but she'd just shove the whole thing in at once, or, if it was really big, take the biggest bite possible and shove the rest in right behind it.


I'm back to cutting small pieces because I figure it's safer that way if they do get stuck, but this is getting ridiculous. We've gotten such flak from friends and family for being too cautious, for example if we feed her higher risk foods he prefer to give her a piece at a time she she doesn't shovel them in.

When people see us not just letting her do it herself they try to but in and give her her own portions and, sure enough, she ends up choking. I'm worried for sending her to a sitter if we ever need one (a grandma or someone) because nobody really understands how serious we are about having to watch her like a hawk.

They all cut big pieces and give them to her all at once, not understanding we already went through it and had trouble. we've tried to demonstrate good eating ourselves, we try to show her how to do it, we've tried to keep her from shoveling more in once she has a bite in her mouth and try to tell her to swallow it before she takes a new bite. Nothing is working.

The only thing that we can do to truly ensure her safety is literally to feed it to her ourselves, but at this age that's ridiculous. I want her to learn properly and she never will if we withhold letting her try. Yet, it's been a year of struggle so far and it's only getting worse the bigger her mouth gets. We keep having periods where we'll back off to see what happens but low and behold we end up with a choking kid in tears at the end of every meal, for days or weeks on end until we start stepping on her again.

What on earth is going on and is this a normal stage????? it's driving me crazy. One of these days she's going to breath in a chunk that's too big and end up in real trouble. even with spoons she piles the food on until it spills over the side and then quick shoves it in before more falls off, and it's at least once a day that she puts SO much in that she herself has to open her mouth and pull half of it out to even start chewing it.


Dear T,


If you giving her portions that are good for her is working why would anything your family & friends say be more important? I would wish for you a more supportive and kinder set of family & friends.

I promise eventually she will outgrow this and learn to eat properly. She isn't even 2 yet, can we give her more time to mature at her own pace?  I am not holding much hope out for family & friends they are already grown up....

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller