View Full Version : Shoveling food !

03-26-2012, 11:18 AM
I have a little one 16 months who likes to shove as much as he can into his mouth when eating. He smacks his mouth and we can all see and hear the food moving around. :eek:
I'm very big on table manners and this is a first where it's actually grossing me out! Today it turned into a safety issue where he started to choke and I had to get the food out of his mouth from choking!!! This needs to change.

Any suggestions on how I can help him get some table manners - today at lunch I only gave him a piece at a time and he was getting annoyed with me as he is used to just shoving everything in at once and looking like a chipmunk!

Crayola kiddies
03-26-2012, 11:44 AM
I had a daycare mom who didn't believe in cutting food. She never fed her child baby food ever.... And she didn't cut things .... Her logic ? Kids will keep shoving small pieces of food into their mouths until they choke but if you give it to them whole they will bite peices off and chew. For instance she would give her a half a sandwich or a wrap and she would just eat it .... Same with apples pears plums ect.... This was all she ever knew. She didn't get teeth till 13 months and I started her in my care at 14 months ... The parent was in the medical profession. I never had an instance of the child choking. I have never come across this before (most parents give the puree crap way too long)and never really thought about the logic behind it but It seemed to work.

Inspired by Reggio
03-26-2012, 11:58 AM
I'd give him a tiny spoon or fork and keep at him to take one bite and chew ... IME shoveling tends to be caused by either fear, either real aka been underfed to his fullness factor at home or perceived aka look at all these people there might not be enough food for me , so woofing down to get enough OR there is actually a condition where the nerve sensations are not developed in the mouth properly and they just cannot TELL their mouth is full or more accurately by the time the fullness sensation gets to the brain and back to the hand to tell it too stop another three bites have gone in :(

Either way they need us to show them there is LOTS of food so no worries slow down and enjoy and help control the one bite at a time and chew it all up.

Judy Trickett
03-26-2012, 12:15 PM
where he started to choke and I had to get the food out of his mouth from choking!!! This needs to change.

If I have kids who are shovellers to the point of it being a risk to their health then this is what I do:

I pull their dominant hand/arm through their arm hole of their shirt so it is inside their shirt and against their abdomen at meal times. Then I give them a fork in their NON dominant hand. Chances are that at some point they will not use the fork and just use the hand but I have found that shovelling is far reduced when they are using a non-dominant hand.

I used to have a kid here too who shovelled until she literally choked. She would finish a plate of food in literally a minute or two that took the other kids 10 minutes to eat. The arm in the shirt thing worked wonders. NOW she understands HOW to eat without shovelling.

03-26-2012, 12:37 PM
He knows that there is a lot of food. He eats me out of budget and eats the same at home- more than one plate!
I'm thinking this might just be habit ~ what do you think? I've never come across this before either Crayola and had the same experience as you with parents who feed puree baby food longer than what I think they need to.
Do you not find Judy that this frustrates them- they get annoyed and angry?

Judy Trickett
03-26-2012, 12:42 PM
Do you not find Judy that this frustrates them- they get annoyed and angry?

No. Kids like this are so focused on the food they just go for it. The dcgirl I had like this was not frustrated. But she did have to work a little harder to get the food so it slowed her down.

In the end, I would rather a kid be frustrated and learn how to properly eat than to have them choke and die.

03-26-2012, 01:12 PM
I'd give him a tiny spoon or fork and keep at him to take one bite and chew

I'm going to try this...see how he does with using it or if he just shovels it. I'll talk to the parents about Judy's idea with the shirt. As I said, this is now a safety issue since he was choking!

Thanks ya all for the ideas!

03-26-2012, 03:05 PM
Sometimes just harping at them makes them stop as in it draws attention to what they are doing. When you see them start to stuff more food just say XXXXX stop - chew. When you start saying XXX stop as he lifts the spoon from the plate to take another bite it gradually gets him to keep the spoon on the plate - it can be full of food but it must be on the plate till he swollows. It is a learned thing and can be unlearned too.

03-26-2012, 03:37 PM
I've never had the shoveler child but I do have the lipsmacker child. I've asked him for 3 years now since he was only 1 to please eat with quiet lips. I've asked his Mom before if it bothers her and she said no, that his Dad does it too. I would have a fit! So now I can't even eat my lunch at the table with the children and I read them stories and sing songs and pull out my finger puppets and put on little shows for them and basically having my circle time as they finish their lunch works twofold: I can't hear the lipsmacking but I'm right there at the table with them, and they are all pinned down and can't stand up and run away in the middle of a song.

We daycare providers are geniuses and if you just keep trying new things you can conquer any problem!

03-27-2012, 02:51 AM
I have had shovelers.... I place the plate just out of reach and dole out the food a bite or two at at time. Verbally, I talk them through it "Bite, chew, then swallow. Then you can have more." Reminding them, like playfelt said, about what you expect.
I haven't had to go so far as what Judy suggested; but I would, if verbally asking them to eat properly wasn't working.
Totally agree that many parents cut/mash up food too long. I had an almost 2 year old that I couldn't give a whole muffin, because he would just jam it all in his mouth. I felt like a broken record reminding/teaching him how to eat without choking!