My 7 year old son has always been a slow eater but just recently puts food in his mouth,chews, puts more food and stores food in his cheeks for 30 or more minutes until we discover he's not swallowing. At first we thought this was becasue we made him eat a veggie he didn't want to eat but after the weekend when he didn't swallow food from a McDonald's happy meal (his favorite) I knew somethingw as wrong. My mother keeps telling me to ignore it but it's making us crazy and he's not getting a full meal and okay it's gross! He's getting water and milk to 'wash his food down' and his only excuse is that he's forgetting to swallow. We don't have the TV on when he's eating. The most embarassing is when we're out to dinner and he does this! I literally pulled him from a movie theatre over the weekend when I noticed that he still had lunch in his mouth from an hour before and told him we would not go back in to see the movie with his two buddies until he swallowed. Frankly I think it's a control issue but we've always allowed him the freedom to make decisions and have valued his opinion - He's generally a very well behaved child but we are at our wits end!
Both his weight and height are between the 90th and 75th percentile for his age which is normal. If his MD has ruled out any medically cause, then suggest asking your question in the Expert Child Behavior Forum for additional information.
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