Slow eating is a form of picky eating which , if not addressed, can pose a problem for your child's overall nourishment. For example, if she takes a few hours eating, the meal may not be completed. Also, if lunch drags on for too long, your child may not be hungry at dinner. These may result in a diminished intake of nutrients.
Some children do not have a problem with the food or eating per se. They may love eating - they just do it really slowly. Seeing your child hold food in her mouth can be frustrating. But with a bit of time, lots of patience and some effective feeding strategies, she could be asking for seconds in no time!
The Many Faces Of Picky Eaters Series:Part 2 : The Junk Food Lover Part 3 : The Choosy EaterPart 4 : The Small Eater
When we have a family meal, my youngest daughter never fails to take her time to eat. She sits at the table, takes a bite and then chews and chews without swallowing. My husband and I have to always remind her to swallow her food. She spends up to 2 hours at the table to finish her food and gets easily distracted during mealtimes. Sometimes she falls asleep at the dining table! Even if it's a meal she likes, it usually takes her more than an hour to finish it. I am getting a little stressed by this situation. We don't understand why she's behaving this way.
I would love any suggestions to make her eat faster. Thanks.
It is common for most children to go through a phrase of slow eating, as they tend to show more interest in play than food. This usually happens when their rate of growth tapers.
This way, your child learns to build up an appetite for the next meal and eating together as a family will be enjoyable rather than a chore.
Children may eat slowly due to other reasons, such as food allergies, reflux, oral motor developmental delays or sensory issues.
If you are concerned about your child's eating habit or growth, it is best to visit your paediatrician for assessment and advice.