Holds Food in Mouth

Updated on June 25, 2010
J.S. asks from Lebanon, OH
9 answers

My two year old nephew, since he started eating real foods, holds his food in his mouth . He will hold it in his mouth for up to hours at a time . He is also a little "slower" at learning then my other 5 nieces and nephews . He didn't start trying to walk till a week after his first birthday . and even now he doesn't make full sentences . He knows words and names . he knows the basic body parts . he can say them and point to them . but he will not actually talk . He will not use full sentences . my sister was wondering if she should be worried about this ?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Toledo on

I had to laugh, as this brought to mind a story about my daughter. We went to get ice cream when she was 2, and when we got home, she was still holding her cone, untouched and melting all over her hand. When I asked what was the matter, she couldn't speak because she had a mouth full of peas! Anyway, the walking and talking are not a concern, but if this is more than just something he doesn't want to eat, I'd have him evaluated. You don't want to overlook something that may be important.

More Answers



answers from Columbus on

What harm would a speech evaluation do him? He has nothing to loose, and everything to gain. A two year old, boy or girl, should be saying simple sentances by age two, and that he also has an issue with chewing and swallowing could also be a sign of a speech delay- children need to chew solid food and use thier tounges to move the food from the front of the mouth to the back of the mouth to build the muscles they need for clear speech. That you have noticed something in him that makes you call him "slow" is also of concern. Have your sister call ECI and have her make an appointment with a private speech therapist too, if he needs help and gets it early, he wins. If they tell her he is fine, he wins. What is not to like about that?

Never wait with development. Children have too much to loose if you shouldn't.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Yes she should worry. Please have her call her ped and talk to them about have him tested. My son has a speech disability called apraxia and the behaviors your describing all occur with this. Also if she does not have insurance or it does not cover testing contact your local help me grow office and they will do the evaluation for free. But please don't wait. Once he turns 2 1/2 they won't provide services and will instead hand you off to the local school system.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My son did the same thing and his is 4 ½ now and will still do it if he doesn't like the food. He has issues with the textures of different meats. It wasn't all the time and it's not that big of a deal...I just tell him to spit it out. He also didn't start walking till he was 14 months old. I think that is normal for boys...my daughter started walking at 10 months. It doesn't mean anything is wrong with him. My son is older now and he is right in line with all his developmental goals so I don't think you have to worry. All kids are different and they develop at different rates and they have different quarks that help them learn how to deal with the world.


answers from Sioux City on

None of what you have described would make me any to worried. I never let my kids leave the table with a mouth of food or I am sure that I would have some do the same thing. Some of my kids just love to play with food in their mouths. A week after his first birthday isn't late for walking. As for his speech, Einstein didn't talk until he was five. Does he make eye contact? Is he able to express himself and make his wishes known?



answers from Cincinnati on

It doesn't sound like anything to worry about, but if sister is worried, she should speak to her pediatrician.

Your nephew sounds very similar to my son. My son didn't start walking until just after his first birthday, now he is in constant motion (often on high speed). He had a large vocabulary but didn't talk a whole lot. When we tried to prompt him to say something, he would rarely say it. He started using two word sentences when he was 2, maybe 2-1/2. Now he's a little chatterbox. He too went through a phase where he would keep food in his mouth. Often it was the stuff he didn't really like (we encourage him to take at least one bite of everything on his plate). When he would hold food in his mouth we would make him chew and swallow, or just spit it out. He rarely does this anymore. Just hang in there, he will get there, just on his own schedule.



answers from Columbus on

Are there other things you have noticed to earn the 'slow' title? Because if you are just basing it on the walking and talking then I doubt there is a problem, walking a week after his birthday is great actually. My son didn't walk until 13 months and at 2 had a vocab of single words but really didn't string them together in any way until about 2 1/2 when he had a vocal boom. He's 3 1/2 now, runs everywhere and never stops talking. My daughter is 14 months today and just took her first steps yesterday and she isn't slow in any way. Every child develops differently, in their own time and order.

As for the food thing, I've heard other moms say that after a meal they will swipe their finger through the childs mouth to remove any food they might be hoarding. I'd imagine that storing food in the cheek would be harmful to the gums as the food breaks down, not to mention a choking hazard.



answers from Bloomington on

My daughter used to "store" food in her cheeks all the time when she was about that age. Used to call her a little chipmunk. She would also hold on to it for a LONG time until she got ready to eat it and then she would pop it out of her cheek and eat it.

She was not "slow" on anything. She walked by 8 months and was pretty much on target for all of her "goals". She did start talking rather late, about 2 1/2 but once she started talking she had a huge vocabulary and her speach was extremely clear.

As far as the "storing of food", I wouldn't worry about it too much and I don't believe, based off of personal experience, that it signifies anything serious. The only thing that you might want to watch out for, that I can think of, is possible choking hazard if whatever he is "storing" gets into his throat by accident. We were lucky and this never ended up being an issue with us.



answers from Joplin on

If he isn't spitting the food out or gagging on it I wouldn't be concerned. My son has a slight delay with speech and some sensory issues, he is 3...he sure doesn't speak in full sentences, at age 2 I wouldn't be concerned, lots of boys are slower to talk. The basic thing to keep in mind is all children develop at their own rate...milestones are always an estimate of when children will "Typically" achieve them...they are not set in stone. If your nephew has issues if he is seeing a reputable pediatrician he or she would be able to answer any concerns or point you in a direction of some assistance. Check into Parents as teachers or see if First Steps is in your area. They both can assist with any possible delays and help you find support.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions