Manage Your Child Constantly Chewing Food witth 4 MethodsThursday, 7 June 2018
Often, parents are faced with the confusion of prolonged food chewing of the Little One. Why is that? Other than prolonging the meal duration and reducing the food portion, prolonged chewing of food can trigger the breeding of bacteria which may potentially damage the teeth. Food entering the body are mechanically and chemically processed. Mechanical digestion is conducted by the digestive organs, beginning from the teeth, jaw, muscles of mastication, and the peristaltic movements of the digestive tract. The function of this process is to reduce the size of the food entering the gastrointestinal tract. Chemical digestion is conducted with the help of digestive enzymes to break down nutrients. Parents with children at the age of learning to feed often experience several challenges. One of these is the prolonged food chewing habits of the Little One. This is certainly not a good thing because if the Little One holds the food in the mouth for a long time without chewing, the mechanical digestion process will not be optimal. This will lead to larger-sized food entering the stomach, and therefore the stomach and intestines will work harder to digest food. If left untreated, this may lead to digestive tract problems in the future. So, what causes the Little One to hold food in the mouth for a long time? There are several things that can lead to prolonged food chewing, such as:
- The food tastes boring
- The Little One is ill or in pain, for instance due to an aphthous ulcer or tooth ache
- Unaware of the correct eating method
- Add variety to and be creative with the food menu of the Little One The Little One will be lazy to eat and tends to hold their food in the mouth for a long time if they do not like the food menu being served. This can be managed by involving them in selecting the type of food. If the Little One is at a very young age where discussion may not be possible, allow them to try various types of food routinely to identify the types of food that they like. Parents should also add variety to the food being provided to the Little One to ensure that they are not bored of the food menu at home.
- Educate good eating methods early The process of introduction to complementary food is said to be successful if it is conducted in accordance to the age and abilities of the Little One. Practicing correct eating methods can be done since the Little One begins to receive complementary food at the age of 6 months. Gradually increasing the texture and solidity of the food will train them to eat well. At 9 months, the Little One can be given smooth home food. After 1 year, the home food does not need to be smoothed any longer. Teach the Little One the correct way to chew in order for them to practice the correct eating habits.
- Determine a time limit for eating Since the Little One starts to learn about eating, create a fixed eating schedule for the Little One and attempt to stick to it. Each feeding session should also be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes. If not completed within 30 minutes, do not force the Little One to finish their food. A specific duration for eating will lead to a regular feeling of hunger in the Little One, thereby increasing their willingness to eat.
- Make the eating activity fun Avoid forcefully feeding the Little One. Parents can take a positive approach, for instance telling a story about the food menu that they are consuming or telling a story about the behaviour of pets.