My daughter is a very slow eater.

@Melody1 (968)
India
March 9, 2007 4:21am CST
My eight year old daughter takes more than one hour to finish her meal.She keeps the food in her mouth without chewing. I've tried whatever I could to make her eat faster. Kindly suggest helpful tips to make my daughter finish her meals in a reasonable amount of time.
5 people like this
11 responses
@gabs8513 (48764)
• United Kingdom
9 Mar 07
Melody you just want to leave her to eat in her time. Some People can take a lot longer to eat then others. As long as she does eat let her do it her way. I know it is hard on you as you have to sit with her well depending how old she is, but you are not going to speed her up at any rate. If she is old enough to sit on her own then just leave her to it.
3 people like this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
10 Mar 07
I do let her eat on her own.what bothers me most is that her food becomes food by the time she finishes it and loses its taste.
1 person likes this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
10 Mar 07
Please don't mind the typo.Its cold intead of food :-P
1 person likes this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
9 Mar 07
Why is it an issue how fast she eats. Most of us rush through and don't even taste our foods in front of the television or whatever. What is your idea of reasonable? At least she eats and you wouldn't want her anorexic or bulemia you know. Chill out and see where there goes eventually. Good luck.
@Melody1 (968)
• India
10 Mar 07
You have indicated a very good point that food should be relished and not gulped. By reasonable time I mean that eating food should be over maximum within half an hour or so,considering the little amount that she eats. Very often I feed her so that she could go out to play with her friends. She wanted to join dance classes,but couldn't do so because she doesn't finish her meal by the time it started. I'm her mother and I want her happiness too,and I feel bad when she misses out on the usual fun that her friends have. Sometimes I try giving her a very little amount of high calorie food so that she finishes it early.But everyday she can't eat that in order to avoid indigestion.She was born premature and isn't the strongest of kids.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23709)
9 Mar 07
Melody I know this can be frustrating espescially if you have things to do and are being kept running late! Thing is that in her subconscious she probably knows that it is upsetting you and she likes to have the upper hand ( not in a nasty way) a lot of children go through phases like this! I would probably have a discussion with her about this with her on a one off basis explain to ger why it bothers her and that from now on if she doesn't eat her meal in a reasonable time the tv will be off! Otherewise I would simply ignore this practise and she may stop taking so long all by herself!
2 people like this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
10 Mar 07
At last,mummymo,someone understood exactly what the problem is.You have suggested very correctly about switching off the TV.I Think this could help,but whenever I do it,the amount of sighing,whimpering and complains by her tries my patience and I find it easier to let her be. Yes,ignoring it totally can help,and I know it will be very difficult for me,but I'll give it a shot. Thankyou for the good reply :-)
2 people like this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
12 Mar 07
Hi mummymo,Thanks for your good wishes and the good advice.You are right in saying that it would be easier to correct it now ,no matter how hard it seems.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23709)
5 Apr 07
I know its har sweety but they only get more stubborn the older they get! lol Thanks for br - I appreciate it!
1 person likes this
@jengrin (947)
• Philippines
10 Mar 07
My cousin have the same problem as yours. Her daughter takes 2 hours to finish her food.
2 people like this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
10 Mar 07
To tell you the truth,my daughter sometimes has taken even more than two hours. Now ,you see the point why I'm concerned? :-)
1 person likes this
@Tanya8 (1734)
• Canada
10 Mar 07
I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions. I just wanted to offer some empathy. My daughter is the same way. She's now at school, and comes home every day with only about 3 bites taken out of her lunch, because the kids are only given 20 minutes to eat, before being told to go out to play during lunch. I'm almost glad they do this, because she'd never make it outside, if they didn't. Natural consequences don't work. She misses out on playing and other activities, because she's so slow at the table, but she's 8 and I don't see any signs of change. My adult best friend is like this as well. When we go out to dinner, it takes her 4 hours to eat a meal. About 2 hours in, I'm going crazy, asking if she's done and ready to leave, but the answer is always "no". I guess some people are just born this way.
2 people like this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
10 Mar 07
Same pinch.Lol. I too don't see any signs of change.Maybe we both could try what mummymo has suggested. I know its not a good feeling seeing your child missing out on the usual activities.It keeps me also from doing some of things i want to.But I know I have to be there with her till she improves. But ofcourse now I'll have to put on the ignoring act :-)
1 person likes this
@rhinoboy (2129)
9 Mar 07
as classy says above. be vigilant of your daughter developing an eating disorder or a complex about food and weight. On the other hand she could just be distracted. You don't say anything about what happens during mealtimes. Is the TV on, or do your family have discussions around the table? You can also reason with her that holding food in her mouth is not good for her teeth. The sugars in all foods damage tooth enamel. Perhaps you could offer a reward for her to finish early. Her favourite dessert or a treat or outing.
2 people like this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
9 Mar 07
Yes,the TV is usually on and that could be one of the reasons. Telling her about damage to tooth enamel is a good point which I think can be effective considering the fact that she is quite conscious about her looks and fear of losing a tooth should make her eat faster :-)
2 people like this
@classy56 (2884)
• United States
9 Mar 07
maybe she dont like your cooking an dont want to swallow it..lol {jokeing}..i would tell her that she needs to learn to eat in a timely manner.but she made have things on her mind an cant concetrate on her food.talk to her about that.an if nothing is bothering her.but really i wouldnt push her to eat faster.she may have a fear of weight gaining.this is happening alot with kids nowdays.just be pateints with her."i think mother an daughter talk is the best thing for her.
2 people like this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
9 Mar 07
I don't think she dislikes what she eats.I know it because she has told me so. Yes,she is a little weight conscious,but she is too young to cut on food due to this.
2 people like this
@kgwat70 (13398)
• United States
9 Mar 07
I think it is good for a person or child to take their time and eat because eating too quickly can cause indigestion, acid reflux or other problems. An hour is a long time. Maybe it is because she does not like that particular type of food and would like to eat something else. Does she do this with all foods? Maybe you can reward her somehow if she were to eat somewhat quicker. Does she say why she does this?
@Melody1 (968)
• India
9 Mar 07
She does not say anything about the food.She eats faster only some snacks or chocolates. At my mother and sister's house she eats the same food in less time.
2 people like this
@oldboy46 (2132)
• Australia
11 May 07
We had the same problem with one of my daughters when they visited us, so my partner set some rules down. My daughter didn't like it but she did get the message that this was how things were to be done. The television went off while we were eating meals, and we allowed a certain amount of time for the meal to be eaten. We allowed 30 minutes, which was more than enough for everyone to finish. At that time, all plates were removed from the table and anyone who had not finished eating by that time, did not get anything till the next meal. They were allowed to drink water but that is all they were allowed. Plus no television and no playing or special activities that they enjoyed. The reasoning was that if they weren't "well enough" to finish the meal, then they had quiet time. That meant reading a book generally or talking to me and my partner. It was just a phase she was going through, but for her it was manipulation. She did get away with it for a while till my partner put her foot down. So we presented a united front and after a while my daughrer realised she could not manipulate the situation to suit herself. Your daughter could be doing the same, in her own way although probably not in a nasty way. At present she has you waiting for her, feeding her if she is stopping you from doing things that have to be done. Take charge now, turn off the television, give her so much time to eat the meal and then that is it. She will soon learn and if you think she is not eating enough or is on some sort of "diet conscious" thing, make sure that her meals are a little more calorie added than for the rest of the family.
@Melody1 (968)
• India
11 May 07
Thanks friend for the nice suggestions.I'll sure try to do that.
@weemam (13389)
21 Apr 07
Rotting teeth - heres one to be getting on with
I honestly wouldn't worry about it too much, I would get her to eat her meals away from the TV though and then she would probably eat it a bit quicker because she wouldn't be distracted, she could of course be doing it to get your attention and she is, My hubby takes an hour to eat his dinner, he always has but he chews it really well, If it were me, I would go into a search engine and get pictures of rotten teeth and show them to her, If she is chewing all the time that's fine but if she is holding it in her mouth it will rot her teeth, she is young and has lots to learn, If you explain that she is just so pretty and she wont be if her teeth go bad, I think it might just do the trick xx here is a good picture to start with
@Melody1 (968)
• India
23 Apr 07
Now that seems like a very effective way to make her eat faster.Holding food in her mouth for long will rot her teeth,O' yes,that's going to have an impact on her,reinforced by the picture.She definitely wouldn't want her teeth to look like that!! Thanks Pal,for the effort.I appreciate it very much. And I have to take a tip or two on how to look so young at 65.I want those cheeks at 70 too.Lol.xxxx
• China
5 Apr 07
yes, i agree with someone said. it is not a bad problem.i think it is a little girl's habit . she may have herself's thinking. i believe when she is older,she will get rid of this habit. but as a mother, you maybe worry abuot it, so tyr .if she remains it ,let her stay .
1 person likes this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
16 Apr 07
Yea schrotian,I'll try.Thanks