9 answers

20 Month Old Twins Not Chewing Food, Just Swallowing!! Any Ideas??

My 20 month old twin girls are not chewing their food, they just swallow it!!! as a result of which, when i cook the food,it has to be "chicken noodle soup" consistency. If the pieces of food, like vegetables, or rice, or pasta is a little too big, they gag and bring everything out!!! they eat things like cheese, cheetos and cookies, but I think they tolerate that only because they keep in their mouth long enough to get it super soggy. I am at loss as to what to do...it is really tough when we are out because i am always worried that they will throw up. Has anyone out there faced a similar situation? Any ideas or advice would help.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would consult my pediatrician if I were you.
There could be an underlying problem.
Hope not... good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You may want to ask for a consult with a speech pathologist or an occupational therapist. There may be absolutely no problem, but an expert can help you evaluate the situation, and also to develop a plan for helping your kids learn how to eat well.

My daughter had some texture sensitivity, and an overactive gag reflex. Its not a huge deal, but the OT was able to help me understand what was going on, and also to give a lot of advice for things to do. For example, she gave me a 'nuk brush' (you can buy them on line) for chewing on, which is designed to help the child get used to textures in the mouth. She also recommended that i give my daughter plenty of opportunity to experiment and play with food of different textures - its messy, but necessary. She suggested thickening applesauce and the like to give it more texture, but still not to the point of requiring chewing. My daughter is still not the world's best eater, but, she is a lot more capable than she used to be.

1 mom found this helpful

My son had chewing issues when he was a baby. He was born with a short tongue and his tongue didn't work well. He couldn't move food around in his mouth well. Have you tried to show them how by putting them in their high chairs, and then you take a bite of food and show them how to chew? Or, maybe they don't like the texture of the food and are just trying to swallow it to get it out of their mouth. I would contact a therapist (perhaps speech or occupational therapy) for children. They also work on eating and swallowing issues.
A.

1 mom found this helpful

It seems like you're caught in a vicious cycle. After all, why chew soup?

My suggestion would be to give them chicken legs, pizza slices, sandwiches... things that they HAVE to bite and chew. And yes. Gag and throw up a few times. They'll get the hang of it though.

My son was a "spitter". Least sign of trouble, and wheeeee, gag reflex. He didn't want to slow down... but eventually he learned he had to. Each and every meal I'd be reminding him how to eat for around a month. Come to think of it, I still do from time to time ("Don't talk with your mouth full, close your mouth to chew, CHEW your food don't INHALE it, slow down honey... give your stomach a chance to catch up with your mouth, elmows off the tables.... yikes. Since I can remember my own mum saying those things to me in highschool... there may be no end in sight.)

1 mom found this helpful

They sound like they might have an overactive gag reflex. A speech therapist trained in oral motor skills could help your little ones. For now you could just avoid the gag-inducing foods. If you're worried about healthier eating instead of cheetos you could give them vegetable puffs (same shape, texture, and dissolve easily but way healthier and taste great!). Good luck and God bless.

1 mom found this helpful

I would consult my pediatrician if I were you.
There could be an underlying problem.
Hope not... good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I would recommend that you ask your doctor for a referral to a feeding specialist. There could be an underlying problem with muscle development in their mouths that makes it hard for them to push food around properly so they can chew it.

1 mom found this helpful

Yep! My twins still try to get away with it(they are 9 now.) I made my self the example - it will take a little work on your part - and only gave them a few bites on the plate at a time. I would then show them how I chew my food and tell them that they have to chew 20 times before they swallow (it is technically 40, but you are up against their patience right now) and show them, constantly reminding them to chew, chew, chew...) I had to do this for a long time...still have to remind them to chew, and slow down. Good luck with your efforts.

I would talk to you ped about it and try and get speech evaluation (help with chewing/swallowing)

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