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My 3.5 year son does not swallow anything. He used to eat cookies and some crunchy items earlier but now he does not eat anything at all. He keeps everything in his mouth.

My son chews the things at times but then will never swallow them. Earlier he used to eat whole banana but now he keeps the pieces in mouth but never swallows them. He is not gaining weight and already underweight. I am planning to meet to Occup. Therapist but if anybody can suggest anything, it will be of great help. Every meal is struggle for us, he does not want to eat or drink anything at all. We try to keep him starving by not giving anything but still not of much help. Eventually we give up and feed him forcibly. We know it's not proper way but we are so much frustrated at times and don't know what to do?
As such my son is very active, his mind is quite sharp as well. But when it comes to eating or drinking he is upset and then starts throwing tantrums,

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Asked by momofrg at 10:47 PM on Jul. 27, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • How long has this been going on? If it has just been for a few weeks or less, it could be that he has a sore throat. You mentioned that he has an occupational therapist, could this be a part of his special needs? 


    Answer by JeremysMom at 11:05 PM on Jul. 27, 2013

  • Good grief. Have you spoken to his pediatrician?? I mean, this is something you need to get to the bottom of asap.

    "We try to keep him starving by not giving anything but still not of much help"

    Stop that. Will he drink something like Ensure? You can't indefinitely leave him with NO nutritional support and force feeding him is going to further traumatize him.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 11:16 PM on Jul. 27, 2013

  • See an ent, it could be his tonsils are the problem, or even his adenoids.

    Answer by idareyou at 11:51 PM on Jul. 27, 2013

  • I am actually having some difficulty with this. Have you talked to your doctor and dentist to see if there is something that is causing him difficulty? I would also check with and ear, nose and throat specialist (for children)
    I would say that if you are actually forcing him, you may be causing the problem yourself but again, I am having difficulty. What I am seeing in my mind when reading your words may not be what you are trying to convey at all

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:06 AM on Jul. 28, 2013

  • What does he do after he chews? Does he spit it out? How long has this been going on and how is he surviving if he's not swallowing ANYTHING?

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 3:52 AM on Jul. 28, 2013

  • I don't think the alternating of starving him and then force feeding him is going to help this situation at all - I think it will actually, in fact, prolong and make it worse.

    You need to take him to see his doctor, have him thoroughly checked out. It could be a sore throat, swollen tonsils, stomach problems, who knows? But he needs to see his doctor.

    He must be eating and drinking something if he's still active. Which means either a. he's eating when you aren't looking (sneaking food, swallowing stuff when you look away, something) or b. this hasn't been going on very long, which means that a visit to the doctor could clear this up right now.

    Regardless, I would stop with the starve/force pattern you've gotten into. I realize your intentions are good, but it's going to do more harm than good.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:06 AM on Jul. 28, 2013

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