Everytime a meal was served, there would be a series of drama for the next 1.5 hours because that is roughly how long my girl would take to finish her plate of food! Yes! You heard that right, Over an hour for completing a single session of meal. I knew it couldn’t go on like that and something would have to be done.
It all started when she was as little as 2 if I faintly remember. She would keep the morsels in her mouth and sometimes forget that it had to be chewed. With constant reminding, she would take nearly 5 minutes to finish one tiny morsel and swallow it. It felt like a mission was accomplished after every successful swallow!
She would look bored and disinterested at the thought of eating or the moment her plate was placed in front of her.
Then started my slow and steady methods of trying to tackle this:
1) Thinking that watching television was getting her so engrossed that she would forget to chew, I started ensuring that its switched off while she eats.
2) Getting her to eat what she likes but with a healthy twist, for e.g. healthy ingredients
3) Setting up a target on the clock for her and challenging her to finish her meal before the deadline.
These are just some of the tricks I tried, but did they work! Noooo. I started feeling more frustrated and helpless about the whole situation. As a result I started to scold her, threaten her, blackmail and what not! (Please don’t judge me for that, it has been a very painful journey for me as a mother to deal with this). At last everything was still in vain.
Everyday she would come back with her tiffin half full saying she couldn’t manage to finish it.
With each passing day, I was getting low on patience and high on anxiety.
Someone had also suggest visiting a child psychologist and getting her counselling sessions done. While I always think counselling is a very successful way to deal with these kind of scenarios that feel uncontrollable, I was looking for solutions within myself.
One thing that I was certain of was that I would have to deal with this with alot of Patience and Love. I had to prepare myself mentally to stop looking at the clock while feeding her and get irritated about how long it was taking and get her to chew faster and using her complete jaw. The moment this understanding sunk in, I felt alot better already! Lesser stressed and more confident.
It was just a matter of time. Thankfully today she’s much better with her eating habits and I often take suggestions from her about what would she like to eat based on her preferences keeping the health in mind.
If you are dealing with a slow eating child too, remember Patience and Love are the only two catalysts that will fasten the eaten process but it will take time.
Hope you liked reading about this roller coaster experience I’ve faced.
Until next time, cheers!