19 answers

6 YO Choked on Chip and Now Won't Eat - HELP!!


I have a question/worry about my 6 yo DD that I'm hoping to get help for. About a month ago, she choked on a chip. She had gotten up from the table and was messing around in the family room when she started to choke. DH saw her and quickly cleared it out of her (he hit her back then picked her up and did the heimlich). Since then, DD has basically been refusing to eat anything but soft foods - mostly desserts like popsicles and ice cream. When we eat, she mostly acts like she's eating and just moves the food around on her plate. She'll sit at the table for more than an hour with a full plate of food. More times than I can tell you, we'll finish eating and an hour or two later I'll ask what she has in her mouth and it will still be a bite of food from our meal (cheeseburger, banana, etc.). She will often chew food and then spit it out in a napkin. Uggg!!! I actually think she's starting to lose weight. Should I get her on pediasure? If so, how much? I don't want her to fill up on it and not eat but I want her to get her nutrition. Have you heard of this/gone through this? At this point, we've talked and talked about it but we haven't been fighting with her about you HAVE to eat. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. THANKS!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Start with basics until she is comfortable again. Soups, mash potatoes, and perhaps even mash up stuff like steamed brocolli with cheese. Perhaps, if you can feed her very soft foods like shredded roasted chicken or pot roast with veggies like potatoes and carrots. (You know how the carrots get real soft in pot roast... yummy!) Perhaps she'll come around quicker to eating normal again. It sound like this experience really scared her. Good luck!

My husband choked on something while he was with my daughter about 2 years ago (she was 11)and she still gets extremely upset if someone appears to be choking. I can only imagine how traumitizing it would be for a child to actually go through that.

More Answers

You might consider having her throat checked to make sure she didn't scrape anything. I choked on a chip as a kid and (seems like now) that it felt weird for weeks. Not hurt so much, just felt swollen and blocked. Turns out I had scraped up my soft palate and throat pretty badly--it was a tortilla chip that wedged in sideways.. She is certainly old enough to communicate her discomfort, but if it doesn't hurt she may be having a hard time finding the words--and she could certainly still be feeling a bit traumatized by the whole thing. Kids certainly seem to stop eating for a number of seemingly mild reasons.

1 mom found this helpful

I am so glad i found this my 9 yr old daughter is now doing the same things you have written about!!!!!!! She had chocked on a piece of hard candy.... She was fine for a couple months then all of sudden i noticed the spitting food in garbage and in napkins!!!!! Then now it a hour at table and just moves her food around on plate to look like she is eating!!!!! She now chews her food but she chews for like 2 minutes before swallowing! i ask her why now is it bothering her and not right after she chocked and she told me that she just thought one day of how from her chocking she could not be here:(:( Which breaks my heart....... We have tried talking to her but i think it is time to see a doctor because she is now losing weight..... i have her on ensure but do not want her to depend on that Please let me know how things worked out with ur case..... Thank you:)

six is a great age to teach proper nutrition and health. show her the parmid chart, teach proper hygiene, learn about exercise and how to take care of your body. Also explain to her that we need to stay at the table and chew our food very well. She got scared when she choaked but you and dad were there to help her. I would also check with the pedi and make sure there isnt anything lodged or scratched in her throat. I got the strings of a cellery stalk tangled around the hangy down thing in my throat when i was a kid and to this day i very carefully chew celery!!! i would give her pedi sure i think its one a day the package will let you know. also give her things like apples and tell her that it gets soft once she chews it enough...eventually telling her all foods get soft if they are chewed enough. good luck sorry your little one is having trouble.

Have you checked to see if her throat is swollen? Swollen tonsils, allergies or cold could be causing her throat discomfort, which might have even aggravated / caused the chip situation last week. I would ask her if her throat is sore, maybe shine a light and see if anything looks red. Then take her to the Pedi.

If her throat isn't sore and it's just a matter of her being scared of choking again... then I wouldn't stress too much about it. Eventually, she'll want to eat other foods. Pushing or worrying about it, might cause her more anxiety and make her dig her heels in even more about not eating anything that's not soft. I can understand why she's scared... just give her some time to get past the trauma. :)

As long as she's eating something - bananas, yogurt, strawberries, green beans and other soft foods - I would just give her time - even up to a month, as long as she's eating something. And be sure to check her throat for swelling or soreness. It's that time of year again. :)

Good luck!

I was going to a phsycologist who once had a case like yours. He said he used math to help the child realize how often we breath verses choking, because it is not something that happens a lot to one's self, Compared to breathing. Well, at least for this child, math seemed to put things in perspective and then he began to eat again. If this doesn't get better soon, I would suggest council. I hope things work out for you.

Until she is confident with eating again - and she will be - make sure she takes a daily childrens multi-vitamin, give her at least 1 pedisure each day depending on what she has / has not eaten.

Include yogurt - kids brands - into her diet and oatmeal (if she will eat it); you can mix fruit into both of these.

There are plenty of fruits she can eat that are softer. What about pasta - include this as well.

Help her reestablish her eating confidence by including softer foods into her diet. Don't give her a regular serving - give her smaller servings. Remember, parenting has to have flexibility in it as well as everything else and what works with one child does not necessarily work for another.

If you continue to make an issue of her eating and forcing her to eat when she's scared to do so you will only help in developing eating issues for her that she will battle for years.

Wow, sounds like she was pretty traumatized by the choking. Is there a counselor she can talk to?they are trained to help kids who've been traumatized. I'd check with the pedi or even the nearest elementary school. If the school counselor can't help, he/she should at least have a suggestion. In addition, might try super itty bitty bites and have ample water to wash it down and encourage 2 swallows per bite. You've probably already tried that, but just in case you haven't... You could also try blending/chopping her food to make it softer and more manageable...

Hi J..
Poor thing. She probably is still scared to death to swallow- or she could still have a sore throat from the chip- most likely it is trauma
I would not fuss or fight with her. Offer her the soft foods but supplement with everything else you can think of- jello, shakes, malts, yogart, ice cream, mashed potato, puddings etc- and you may even have to resort to babyfood fruits
Pedisure ofcourse- but I would not make a big deal of this- let her recover in her own time- she will eventually get over it and eat normally again- altho she may never eat a chip again in her life- but oh well- if she does not eat at meal time, do not make her sit aT the table until she does- this just reminds her of her trauma....just keep lots of puddings, jello, pedisure and other things I mentioned available to her and even offer her these at meal time instead of your selected meals.....
If she continues to lose weight then I would take her t the dr. by the time school starts she may have recovered enough to eat maybe jelly sandwiches for her lunch box.
Let her deal with this trauma without making a really big deal in the family over it. It is hard I know, but she will be fine in her own time.
Good luck and blessings

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