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Huda
Huda asks:
Q:

My 3 yrs old son doesn't chew food, eats all mashed. He has no speech problems, and speaks very well.

He does not chew the food but swallows them. He often runs here and there and does not sit stable at a time. For this I have to put him on the high chair and tie him. I also, put Barney which he loves too much so that he accepts to eat after a big fight to put on chair. He is thin and a slow weight gainer. He also has short attention span and spends few min on one thing and then moves to another. He is very active but very smart. I make sure that I feed him healthy food only with very low sugar intake and no choclate or any junk food. Since many relate non chewing to speech problems, this is not the case of my son at all.
In Topics: Physical Health
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Dr.Monika
Nov 3, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Three-year-old children are busy, inquisitive, and "picky".  That's just the stage of their development.  They get into things in order to learn, and parents must assure that they do that in a safe environment.  

At this age, children may have to attention span to sit through a meal, because whatever else is going on around them is more interesting than sitting at the dinner table.  Schedule your son's meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and nutritious snacks in between, including a bed-time snack.  Do not turn a meal into a power battle, it is not worth it!  Meals are supposed to be an enjoyable time spent with the family.  If you force your child to eat, he will refuse, because at his age that's one of very few things that he has control over.  Instead, prepare a meal, expect that he eats it, and if he does not, let him leave the table.  Follow with a nutritious snack in a couple of hours, and when the next meal time arrives, your child will be hungrier!

At 3 years of age, children do not gain weight as rapidly as they did when they were babies.  As long as your son's regular health care provider has no concerns, you should not worry about it.

Suggested readings:

Nutrition and your toddler

http://pluggedinparents.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=331&Itemid=79&ed=19

Understanding picky eating

http://www.pluggedinparents.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=271&Itemid=0

Ways to help your picky eater

http://www.pluggedinparents.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=262&Itemid=0

Bets regards.
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Additional Answers (4)

JoniPT
JoniPT writes:
Hi Huda.  I think its great that you're keeping out the sugar and junk.  That eliminates the extra cause of attention problems.  Rather than a speech problem, its possible your son has problems tolerating different textures in his mouth.  You may notice some other sensory preferences?  Is he sensitive with noises?  Does he hate having his hair or nails cut?  His constant running could be because he's a "sensory seeker" in some ways and a "sensory avoider" in other ways (feeding).  All of these sensory differences can affect attention as well.

I would recommend speaking to your pediatrician and a local physical/occupational therapist training in sensory integration to see if they could help you to address your concerns.

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mheyman
mheyman writes:
While uncommon, some children with structural swallowing problems learn that they are unable to swallow solid food.  Underlying problems might include GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), a narrowing in the esophagus (due to a congenital problem that your child was born with), or maybe allergic problems including eosinophilic esophagitis (EE), an entity that is being recognized more and more frequently and that needs specific treatment including dietary restriction (teenagers may simply complain of food getting stuck in their throat or chest once in a while).  Your pediatrician should be able to help decide if one of these problems is the cause of the chewing and eating problem if your child does not respond to simple treatments.
> 60 days ago

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surkaikandace
surkaikandace , Parent writes:
At age 3, I think he should be introduced to food that he has to chew.  If you are scared he will choke, let him try cereal of dehydrated fruit for toddlers.  I would not tie him up in chair and force him to eat.  This could lead to a eating disorder.  If he doesn't want to eat, then tell him when he is hungry to let you know.  Ask him what he would like to try.  You can cut up fresh fruit and veggies.  You can always put them in a zip lock baggie if he is on the go alot.
> 60 days ago

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rashmids84
rashmids84 writes:
Hi
My 3 yrs old daughter also doesn't chew anything.
21 days ago

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