I have a question regarding my girlfriend's 10yr old daughter (one of twins). Normal build for her age, though it is noticeable that she is slightly smaller than her twin, who eats normally. Meal times is becoming a struggle!
The crux of the problem is she eats very slowly and it has been noticed that she still continues to put food into her mouth, though having not yet swallowed the previous mouthful, she does eventually swallow some but her cheeks resemble that of a hamster's!! But just chews and chews, whilst has said contine to fill her mouth with food.
This behaviour occurs to a variety of foods but predominately at evening meal time. The other 5 members of the family all eat at a moderate speed and finish their meals normally, yet X will eat her's slowly (which is her prerogative) but we could all be waiting an extra 30mins sometimes, this is also on top of her amounts that are on her plate have been reduced.
However put something nice and tasty delicious before her (such as ice cream or sweets) and there is no evidence of the fore mentioned behaviour.
When quizzed on this eating habit, she has no answers though did once approach about not liking to swallow stuff ...and it has come to light very recently that her Dad said he was tubby when a child!! I should mention that this has happened before but the problem seem to have disappeared or so we thought.
So is this some sort of real food disorder or maybe a psychological problem, any advice or previous experience on this issue would be greatly appreciated.
It seems like a psychological problem to me, especially since she is mechanically able to chew and swallow any kind of food, however slowly. And then again, she is able to eat sweets. Eating slowly is not a bad thing, but keeping it in your mouth for too long is a concern. She could end up choking. Do you think that maybe she is too tired by the end of the day to eat normally? Does she mention any pain when she swallows or chews?
Maybe you should try blending up all her food and see if she is able to eat it better that way...it doesn't taste as good, doesn't look as good, and maybe if she realizes that that is the only thing she will get if she doesn't change her habits, she will start eating normally. Worth a try: let me know.
Thank you for the reply. As far as we are aware she does not have any pain (only in my neck!) or discomfort when eating or swallowing. As to being tired at the end of the day well interesting point I hadn't fully considered that view, though as a 10yr she is fully vibrant when she gets through the door and wants out with her sis to play asap. But she has been tired on one or two occasions so could be put down to being irritable or a contributing factor!
There as been a slight improvement of late, as she is fully aware the spotlight is upon her and all snacks after school are now denied, which causes a certain amount of tears. So she is genuinely hungry at the table or at least I think she is! Still considerably slow and still 'pouching' her food but she seems to be making progress, portions are still small compared to the rest of us.
I like the idea of blending her food lol even suggested it once, she didnt appreciate it;) but as I tend to do the cooking it seems to be a lot of effort and gives her in one respect the focus of attention.
We are also going down the road of bad eating habits can lead to poor health problems and shown her pic's on the net of ultra skinny models/women etc, I know it's scare tactic's but just trying to give senses a jolt!