3.5 year old - does not CHEW!


3.5 year old - does not CHEW!

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Swerveut
Swerveut
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My 3.5 year old son does not chew food and it is driving me insane. Anyone please help and give advice on how to deal with this. Any advice appreciated, many thanks.

Background: he had a strong gag reflex since birth so was kept on puréed food till recently as he used to choke on all solids. He got his tonsils removed 3 months ago and since then has had a greatly increased ability to swallow food. He is very capable of chewing as he is able to chew food and swallow it when under pressure or threat that I will leave or something, but he generally chooses to not do so and it is driving me pretty insane. Meal time is like this: I give him something soft and chewable but dry to eat, like a pancake or a scrambled egg sandwich, or grapes, which he himself says he likes. He will take a bite and will chew it a few times, then will just stuff it in the side of his mouth. He then gets distracted, starts playing with his fingers, gets dazed, bored or sleepy or anything else, but just does not chew. Result - I end up threatening him that if he doesn’t chew and finish the food in his mouth, I will get angry or I will go away or he will need to stand up till he is finished in his mouth etc etc. There is much drama and crying and then after about 10 min of this tug of war and much crying, that single bite is down his throat as he finally chewed and finished it, and then after a while the drama starts again.

I am going absolutely crazy and I am not sure I can continue this any longer. Alternative is to switch to purees again so he at least gets his full nutrition, and that is something I do not want to do. Please help.
skatergirl08
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Swerveut - 17/02/2018
My 3.5 year old son does not chew food and it is driving me insane. Anyone please help and give advice on how to deal with this. Any advice appreciated, many thanks.Background: he had a strong gag reflex since birth so was kept on puréed food till recently as he used to choke on all solids. He got his tonsils removed 3 months ago and since then has had a greatly increased ability to swallow food. He is very capable of chewing as he is able to chew food and swallow it when under pressure or threat that I will leave or something, but he generally chooses to not do so and it is driving me pretty insane. Meal time is like this: I give him something soft and chewable but dry to eat, like a pancake or a scrambled egg sandwich, or grapes, which he himself says he likes. He will take a bite and will chew it a few times, then will just stuff it in the side of his mouth. He then gets distracted, starts playing with his fingers, gets dazed, bored or sleepy or anything else, but just does not chew. Result - I end up threatening him that if he doesn’t chew and finish the food in his mouth, I will get angry or I will go away or he will need to stand up till he is finished in his mouth etc etc. There is much drama and crying and then after about 10 min of this tug of war and much crying, that single bite is down his throat as he finally chewed and finished it, and then after a while the drama starts again. I am going absolutely crazy and I am not sure I can continue this any longer. Alternative is to switch to purees again so he at least gets his full nutrition, and that is something I do not want to do. Please help.

Hi Swervetut, 

Have you tried the reward system ? 
Small serves of food that your Son likes (can eat) and when he has sat at the table (without your getting upset, fighting ,tug of war) try and keep calm (i know its hard !!!)
but very important that you keep your cool even if you feel like its driving you crazy !! Keep Calm !! is the key. Over reaction sometimes Children ride on that (its the drama side of it 
attention . ) try now a different way . It works !! . 

1>. Place the small amount of liked food on a small dinner plate 

2 ...Say to your Son ..."..I would like you to chew your food slowly and finish your dinner please"
then say "If you finish dinner you will receive a reward card or token (you can make them up yourself . i have posted last year 
a post about them . If you like have a look. Up to you. 

3. Then Walk away .Do not sit at the table watching he eat , he might play up just to make you upset. Don't forget you are showing a different 
way of dealing with it. Then every now and then have a glance to see how he is getting on. 

4. After he has finished  have a look of what has been eaten and how long it took to eat. Lots of children stuff food in their mouths 
and something even when they get to Kinda the problem gets worse ...Not enough time !!! saga's .

5. If he has finished and no reaction (crying and so on) then give an reward card to place onto a reward board. Everyday he can walk past 
and see how the cards are display for good behaviour. You should after a few weeks see improvement (not over night) it takes time. 
You will be more at ease with the child....this is just the beginning of other issues that will come up and need little systems to cope with.
Kinda Run is another ...."drive you crazy " so look at putting into action now the reward system , expand as you go along. Enough 
the little moments together they grow up really quickly then Teenager years " thats another issues  and harder to move around. 
Sometimes us Mothers need to step back and have time out for 5 mins (drink a glass of water ) walk away rather then fighting 
and so with the child. Best for you and best for the child. I have an 10 year old and boy gives me a run for my money .
Lucky he has the reward system since your Sons age and it really works >>>>pocket money help around the house !
Good luck and hope things get better for you... Stay positive . Kind Regards Skatergirl08

 MOTHERS VOICES ARE THE BEST TOOLS 
 TOWARDS CHANGE FOR THE BETTER ,
HAPPY AUTISTIC  CHILDREN GROWN INTO CONFIDENT ADULTS 

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