Help with Two-Year Old’s Eating Habit

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    I’m wondering if I can get advice from any experienced Mommies here.

    My 2 year old son is a great eater. Lately he’s been keeping food in his mouth FOREVER. He just doesn’t swallow.

    He B”H has no problems with swallowing and this has only been going on in the past few weeks.

    Has anyone ever experienced a similar problem with a child? Any suggestions?

    I’m at my wits end. I tried to be nice, I tried to be strict, nothing doing. He just keeps that food in his mouth.


    Try serving him very soft foods that “slip” down easily, in order to transition back into the “food in, chew, swallow” mode; you are eliminating the “chew” component to help him get past the food-holding stage.

    When he gets over the hump of his present stage by swallowing foods like yogurt, applesauce, etc, progress to slightly firmer textures. By then, he will have hopefully transitioned out of his current “food-holding” stage and will quickly slip back into his old, normal eating patterns.


    he obviously is enjoying the food to much, try feeding him not-so-tasty foods


    OOMIS- I always make sure that the pieces of food are cut into small pieces. He just chews up the food and keeps it in his mouth. By forever I mean it literally(well almost!!)

    I once decided to ignore and see how long he’ll keep it there. After 1 and a half hours I gave up and took it out of his mouth.

    I hope its just a passing stage, but while were in that stage, its very frustrating because he ends up staying hungry. His first bite stays in his mouth and that’s it with that meal.


    I agree that soft, liquidy type foods like yogurt might help. Good suggestion. Does he feed himelf or do you feed him? Has he expressed a desire to drink from a bottle? I am just rtying to think of all the things that could trigger this? HAs there been any type of major change in the family recently (a move, a new baby, illness, etc?)Have you tried not feeding him at all until he is ravenous? (I know, I hate that idea, but maybe he will be more likely to swallow). I still would talk to the doc about this. I am stumped.


    my daughter was always a good eater. When she turned two she started shoveling food in her mouth like a squirrel & holding it there forever. She either took forever to eat it, or chewed it til it became a golf sized ball of mush and I needed to remove it from her mouth. In my situation it turns out she needed speech therapy and the therapist said that hoarding food in he mouth was common and can be remidiated with therapy. It really helped. My daughter is turning three soon and majoriy of he time she eats normally, I guess the few times she holds it in her mouth she might be wanting to save it for later.


    MCHEMTOB- that’s exactly my son!

    I was thinking about therapy but was wondering if that’s the right step.

    I still don’t understand how the two are connected(speech therapy and swallowing) but I think I’ll consider it if it will help. Thank you!



    I’m not sure why my comment wasn’t acknowledged, but have you tried my suggestion in the past?

    anon for this

    smartcookie, it’s possible that your child is not chewing his food properly (also called “pocketing” food) because the muscles in his mouth aren’t strong enough. Low oral muscle tone can also cause speech difficulties. Speech therapy targeting the appropriate muscles can help with both problems.

    If your child also has speech difficulties, google the words “early intervention” with the name of your state to find out about how to get your child evaluated. Often the evaluation can be done for free at your home.


    BEMUSED- I was wondering ab out what you suggested, if my child won’t stay hungry. He’s used to eating full meals and all types of food.

    But I do try lately to make his food real easy to chew. But he still keeps it in his mouth in a mush.

    Funny, because the same foods he eats beautifully one day, he can keep in his mouth the next day for hours.

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