Advice for moms of gobblers

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Laura in Alaska, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Laura in Alaska

    Laura in Alaska Well-Known Member

    Both of my girls are interesting eaters. Left to her own devices, M fills her mouth and cheeks like a squirrel until she can't get any more in there and then chews it for ever. G will eat one bite at a time, but she eats with both hands like its a race and she chews each bite once, maybe twice if she chews her food at all. So, I still cut their food into fairly small pieces (nickel sized or so) and I ration how much goes on their trays at once. I even cut or tear the bigger raisins in half. DH thinks I should be giving them bigger bites of food and giving the whole graham crackers, pieces of cheese, apple slices etc to take their own bites. He felt like our girls were behind when he saw some of the other, younger kids at Toddle Time eating whole crackers. To be fair to DH, I do have a horrible choking phobia. To be fair to my POV, our girls started growing teeth pretty late. So far, M doesn't have any molars and G's are just starting to break the surface. When I give my girls things that they should take bites of, they get over zealous (almost immediately) and I'm always fishing whole, giant chunks of food out of their gagging mouths. It's too tense and stressful for me. With the food throwing, cup tossing and mutual tray scavenging mealtime is already hard, I don't think I need to add a new level of stress just yet. Now DH has me 2nd guessing myself. Am I the only one who is this "cautious"?
  2. Chillers

    Chillers Well-Known Member


    I've actually had to go backwards with one of my girls!

    She does exactly the same squirrel maneuver you described and after a couple of near choking incidents and the whole chewed up wad of food being pushed out of her mouth (because she can't chew it anymore and there's too much to swallow), I've started giving her smaller bits again. So not worth the extra aggravation! I say do what feels right, they'll get it eventually!
  3. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    DH has the choking paranoia here, and we cut up their food super tiny forever. I finally, when they were around 4, got him to ease up a little bit. And they're fine, and when they go to school they will be able to eat just like the rest of the kids. :D
  4. MichelleL

    MichelleL Well-Known Member

    I was sort of afraid of choking, but not enough so to let them experiment. My girls do the packing cheeks thing too. Good grief, how much banana can you FIT in there?!

    At one point I too felt behind because others at playgroup were giving their kids crackers, bites right off the banana, etc. and I still wasn't. I started off by letting them take bites of whatever I was eating while snacking when they were playing. If I was eating a banana, I would offer them a bite or two while I was in total control. Once they got the hang of certain foods, I started offering them to them at mealtimes.
  5. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    We do the EXACT same thing for the girls. They only have 6 teeth each, no molars yet, and Ana was CRAM as much food as her little mouth will hold if left to their own devices. And both have gagged/choked because of too much food in their mouths. They can bite and when I give them goldfish crackers they usually bite it in half, but with crackers and stuff they will try to eat the whole thing at once. So for now, its small bits for us too. Just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone.
  6. ruthjulia

    ruthjulia Well-Known Member

    our mantra for cameron (alisha chimes in too!) is "one piece at a time and CHEW IT UP!" - he is such a gobbler! luckily, alisha isn't like this - since it's just one i have to deal with, i just watch him closely and tell him "one piece at a time and chew it up before you take another" if i see the wrong behavior. we've been doing this for about a year with him, so i don't know if your girls are too young to respond to this yet, but that's what we do (we give him the same size pieces as alisha, let him have whole crackers to take bites of, etc. - just watch him and correct the behavior).
  7. Becca34

    Becca34 Well-Known Member

    My older one didn't figure out for the *longest* time how to take small bites of anything -- at age 2, she still didn't bite into a slice of pizza, a sandwich, etc. So I was still cutting up her food. She did figure it out soon thereafter, though, and is now a normal eater. :)

    With my little ones, Kevan shoves everything into his mouth at once -- he has zero idea that he should chew and swallow before putting something else in there. As a result, half the food falls out (he has some oral struggles anyway), and it's just a disaster.

    So, I put ONE piece of something on both their trays at a time. Seriously -- ONE cheerio, one goldfish cracker, one half of a grape, etc. I still spoon-feed them a lot, too, or put things directly in their mouths. Mealtimes do take quite a while, but on the plus side, there's no mess! I never have to clean things off the floor -- as soon as they start tossing food, I switch to a new food, or know that they're full....

    No choking, either!
  8. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    I was that cautious with Sarah, because she is a mouth-stuffer. For the longest time (like, until she was 2) we could only put a few bites at a time on her tray, or else she would put it all in her mouth at once. And I still tend to cut her food up smaller, because if she can fit an entire fish stick in her mouth, she will!

    The good thing is that when they're around 2, you can start reminding them to "use your teeth" and show them how to bite off a piece. (You could even try this now, though I found it didn't really sink in at that age.)

    I don't have a choking paranoia, but I have a throwing-up-at-the-table paranoia. Every once in a while one of them will gag (Sarah because she puts too much in her mouth, Amy because she just eats too fast) and I'm afraid it's going to trigger a big puke. I'll cut up their food as much as I have to to avoid that!
  9. Laura in Alaska

    Laura in Alaska Well-Known Member

    You ladies are awesome! You've made me feel so much better about how I'm going about this. :D DH has conceded to just "let me have this one" since I feel so strongly about it. He still picks on me a bit though. I've only had to pull out the "I don't want to debate it, can you just let me have this one" twice and both for similar reasons: this and my "no hotdogs (not even cut up) until they have a full set of teeth" rule. My mom owned a daycare growing up and I saw WAY too many close calls with the hotdogs. If you've ever puked up hotdogs, its gross, but you can see how little they get chewed (even by adults)...and it makes your throat hurt for days! It just isn't worth it to me. So, I won't say I won, but he did concede. :D
  10. ahmerl

    ahmerl Well-Known Member

    My DD is a totaly squirrel. The only difference is that she stuffs her little cheeks full and most times will just open her mouth and let it all fall out. Very appetizing. Anyway, I just monitor how much I give her at a time. She and her brother are only 13 months and we still do not use plates so I give him a bunch of pieces on his tray but only one or two for her until she gets those down. She usually gets mad and starts trying to climb out of the high chair but that is a different post all together!

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