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Chew It is a skill that all babies must learn throughout their development, and it is parents who must enhance this learning through the foods we choose to offer them. But what to do when the child refuses to chew and everything turns into a ball in his mouth?
The sense of taste - when noticing different flavors in breast milk - as well as their ability to find information about their body and their toys with their mouth - when they bring their hands or feet to their mouth or when they suck on toys - are the first steps in this learning process of learn to chew.
Generally, when starting supplementary feeding From 6 months on, babies are prepared to make decisions about how to act when they find something in their mouths and, although their first instinct is most likely to expel it, little by little the chewing it becomes the tool that helps them decide when what they have in their mouth can be processed - reducing its size - and, therefore, swallowed.
The longer we lengthen the period in which the baby is not exposed to this learning, that is, the longer we feed our child with purees and / or very soft foods that do not require chewing, the more problems the child will have in learning what it is. an indispensable tool / skill for your future development.
If we find that the child does not chew, because you don't want to or because you don't know how to do it, we can stimulate your learning by following these little tips:
1 - It is vital that they see us chew
Even in an exaggerated way, so that they understand the process. Sometimes we can see how, after having seen how the adult does it, the child begins to do it even without food in his mouth. It is a very good exercise to practice with them.
2 - Increase the texture of your crushed
Purees can be almost liquid or start to get thicker, without the need for solid chunks. It is possible that offering a puree with pieces without crushing or a soup with minced meat, although they may seem like a good idea, they are not the most appropriate, since the child has to learn how to deal with different textures and it is difficult for them to identify them if they are found on the same plate.
3 - Ally yourself with fruits
Offer soft fruits, like bananas, strawberries, or even cooked fruits, like baked apples. They are strong enough that the child starts chewing, but they do not require the effort that a snack will entail.
4 - Rice, your great ally
Well done, rice is another one of our allies to promote chewing, since it requires very little effort, but enough for our little one to practice.
The most important part of this process is not to give up, the child will learn little by little how useful it is to move his jaw and will be able, in due time, to manage 'hard' foods without major problems.
You can read more articles similar to What to do when a child does not want to chew and everything turns to a ball, in the Eating Disorders category on site.