My child holds foods in her mouth without swallowing: Advice?

Anybody else has a child who chews their food and just holds it in their mouth without swallowing it? My daughter does this, and it drives me crazy. It’s only when she is eating something she doesn’t like, which is veggies and anything green. I tell her if she swallows it, it’ll be done and over with, but she just holds it there then when she collects all the saliva and food, she either gives in and swallows a little bit, gags because it’s a gross feeling, or spits it all out. Does anybody have any advice? I wish she ate like my nephew who eats everything literally without any fight or trouble.

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We use to have to pinch our daughters cheeks as she was a cheeker with her food. Sometimes she’d swallow other times she’d spit it out. She grew out of it though.

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You don’t eat things that you don’t like. Why do we continue to push children to eat things that they obviously don’t like?


Mine does this with ground beef :face_vomiting: i usually try to offer him a drink to “wash it down” but it doesnt always work :pleading_face: hopefully just a phase bc i havent figured anything else out yet

Stop making her eat things she doesn’t like. Do you eat things you don’t like?


It could be a texture issue. Don’t force the child to continue to eat it. :woman_shrugging:t2:

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I hide my veggies in foods that I cook. But when I dont I just give them a super small serving of it and I show them that I eat it as well

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Stop making her eat things she does not like.

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I would give naked juice with meals. If she isn’t wanting to eat veggies.

Probably texture issue

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Well if she doesn’t like it… she shouldn’t have to eat it…


Its not healthy to force kids to eat things they don’t like. Taste budd change as they get older so just offer the different foods, and they might possibly like them later (or maybe not) but they will definitely never have a chance to possibly like them if you are forcing them


I’ve had the same problem, I have 4 children, 3 of them being girls n the middle 2 have both done this. It drove me crazy too but she will grow out of it, it seems to be a phase mine have gone through n they’ve grown out of it now so don’t despair :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I have similar problem my two old son doesn’t like anything. I thought as he grows he will change but nop instead he is worse

and it hurts me a lot

Don’t force kids to eat anything. We don’t eat things we don’t like why should they


Don’t force her to eat things she doesn’t like, we don’t as adults… but if you really need her to eat veggies because she won’t eat any of them try making homemade tomato soup … put whatever veggies you want her to eat in it and use lots of tomatoes and seasoning and then an immersion blender to mix it …:. Add a grilled cheese on the side and don’t mention the veggies … she won’t even know they are there.

Maybe try hiding her veggies in mash potato or cover them in sauce…
Kids NEED to eat veggies, can’t believe some of the comments I am reading :woman_facepalming:
I don’t like drinking water either, I’d prefer vodka but I still drink it because I need to :rofl:


I would get her a kids health shake and get power greens. Shake the power greens with the shake and give it to her in a cup. Its yummy and she wont even be able to tell she has a whole serving of veggies in it. Also if it’s a texture issue it should resolve it as the power greens are in a powder form and mixed with the shake

My son would only eat hot dogs for like 8 months when he was 4ish. I took him to the pediatrician, he told me he would grow out of it and to let him but he probably won’t touch one when he’s older. Lol. He’s 29 and gags at the sight of a hot dog. :joy:

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I haven’t figured this out I know some people make kids eat what they dont like in turn it’s the same people that does this you watch and they dont eat what they dont like

Why are you making her eat things she doesn’t like?


Did it suddenly become a thing to not feed your kid anything they don’t like lol… mine would be living off pizza and hotdogs if that’s the case.


I know right kids have to eat veggies

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My daughter did this about a year and a half ago. At first she had a hidden spot she was spitting it out in (in my living room.) and once I found it and yelled at her she started to chipmunk it. It only lasted a few months and she got over the hump on her own.

Please don’t force her to eat what she doesn’t like. This happened to me as a child and now have an issue as an adult. I will not eat anything I was forced to eat it literally makes me gag at the thought or it.

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Choose your battles. If she doesn’t like it why feed it to her. It upsets both of you. We don’t eat food we don’t like. Choose your battles wisely.


Plenty of other ways to get their vitiams while they out grow this phase.

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My son does this so instead of battling him I give him pedisure drinks to make sure he is getting his vitamins

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Please don’t make a child eat things they don’t like. You could be doing more harm then good. I have a child that only eats about 5 different kinds of food and veggies and protein are not in any of them. I give him a package of carnations instant breakfast everyday or a bottle of ensure. Per doctors orders. Because a child doesn’t do or eat what you want doesn’t always mean they are being defiant. It just could be a different issue that maybe they can’t explain to you or maybe they haven’t even figured it out yet. Best of luck.


Forcing kids to eat causes more problems than it solves. There are other ways to get nutrients rather than eating a vegetable. There are different KINDS of vegetables for one. It doesn’t need to all be green beans and carrots and peas. For two, vegetables have different textures depending on whether or not they are cooked and HOW they are cooked. Kids need to TRY different things and try them several times and try them in DIFFERENT ways but you do not sit there and FORCE them to eat an entire serving of something that they’ve tried time and time again and DO NOT LIKE. That is an antiquated and HARMFUL ideology.


Never had an issue with my daughter. Shes was 2 years old and most kids would run to the ice cream bar she would run to the salad bar lol. Right Caitlyn Bonniwell

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Do whats best for you all. Dont listen to the “do you eat foods you dont like?” My child loves popcorn and asks for it in the middle of every meal. Sorry kid, no you cant have popcorn, stew is for dinner. And she has some popcorn and some stew. Children need to have a veriety of things to try, some things they will dislike and some they will love. Keep TRYING the dislike ones. They are SO important.

Don’t give her anything she doesn’t like


I mean sure we would like our kids to eat their veggies but if shes gagging then she really doesnt like it. Stop forcing her to eat them or look for different veggies she might like


I hade one kid who did this ALL the time, sometimes even with stuff he liked. I think he just didn’t have a good sense of the right size, or would try to do big bites to get it done quicker.
I let my kids spit it out, then cut it into smaller pieces and try again (if it was only in their mouth for a few seconds) or spit it out and have a new helping where they can try again with smaller bites.
If I can tell theyre really having a hard time with that particular food, (and not just being stubborn) I might not make them finish ALL of it. But they’d need to finish the volume of the original bite.
(So they learn “what i think was 1 bite, should have been 5 bites” because they need to be developing that understanding moving forward)

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My daughter was tongue and lip tied even after she had that revised, she had a hyper active gag reflux… she had to have lots of sips of drinks to swallow foods down. It might always be a texture, exploring thing.

Just literally blend the veggies with an equal amount of strawberries maybe a splash of juice dont do it in front of her and she’ll think its a treat

Could be a texture issue. How fast would you chew and swallow liver?

My daughter did this but it was just a phase that passed. I even asked her pediatrician about it because I was worried it could be something more but her doctor said it would pass, which it eventually did. Unfortunately, kids do annoying things :rofl:

My kid does this to, I don’t really force it. I cut up the veggies as small as I can and give it to her in a bite that has something she does like with it or just mix it all together so she has a harder time picking it out. I can’t be :100: sure why your child is doing this, but it can be texture, taste, or even just a phase. Keep doing your best, that’s all any of us can do :heart: good luck lady

My son hated his veggies, so to make it more to his liking I would melt some cheese on top & all though he didny eat all his veggies he did it way more if them than he did before…plus if I knew he truly hated a certain veggie I didnt force him to eat them. Another truck I used was I would give him adult size portions & tell him he had to eat half so he still got the amount he needed but he thought he was doing good only eating half lol…just keep putting new veggies on her plate & let her try them on her own

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My son did that. Turned out he was tongue and lip tied.

I always made gravy and chopbthem up tiny and mix it in. Expecially with mashed potatoes

My son does this with food he doesnt like. Hes 3 and we cant make him swollow it. Now I just go out of my way to make a veggie he likes. Much easier to just make something he likes than to fight with him to eat something he doesnt like

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Not my kid but I used to do this when I was younger any meat I did it with x it took me till I was in my teens to properly grow out if it a d actually eat the thing I did ot with x

My daughter does the same thing. We have to give her a few cheddar bunnies or some water for her to finally swallow her food. She is not allowed down to play until she swallows it because she spits it out into toys when we aren’t looking.

Some 35 years ago our youngest announced that if she had to eat another pea she’d, shall we say upchuck. She hasn’t eaten a pea since. She didn’t like them then and doesn’t like them now. Now she has her own 3 year old and is dealing with some of the same food issues. It happens. Give you child what she will eat in the way of vegetables, it will be ok.

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How old is she? My granddaughter did not like any vegetables that were green. We eliminated anything green. When she turned 3 1/2 she started trying different things. She is 4 now and will taste it everything and if she does not like it, she will split it out in her hand or swallows it and say I don’t like it.

Think of some food you don’t like and absolutely can’t stand. Now imagine if I MADE you eat it. How would you react? Her taste buds will change, give it time.

My 15 month old does this :cold_sweat:

Well, how do you react when someone is forcing you to eat something that you don’t like?


I wouldnt put it on her plate.Eventually she may eat it…You could also try to change the way you make it. 🤷

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Stop giving her food she doesn’t like. My daughter does this and she’s turning 6. She always does this with food she doesn’t like. So once I know she doesn’t like something, I stop giving it to her :woman_shrugging:t3::woman_shrugging:t3:


I have to agree if they actually tried something and don’t like it don’t ever force feed them. Wait a year and try them on it again. As long as you don’t force it their taste will keep changing. You force them they’ll never eat it.

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Um…don’t give it to her? There’s plenty of other ways to give her veggies without her even knowing it…look for the bag of veggie straws, she’ll think she’s eating snacks! You are creating food aversion which leads to eating disorders.

It takes an average of 15 times to for a kid to try new food. If she doesn’t eat it now then keep placing it on her plate but don’t force her to eat it. Just model that you like it and give encouragement and eventually she will either way it to or you may find that something’s she will never like and that’s ok too. No kid will like everything. Don’t give a complex over food by forcing her to eat.

Dont give it to her for a while… We do this with my kids… If they dont like something they dont have to eat it, Although I do randomly put things on thier plate that they didnt like before since tastes change all the time

Try to find vegetables that are appealing or make them taste better add some cheese to them or something find a alternative that either makes them taste better look better or find one she likes

Shes telling you she doesn’t like it and you’re not listening.
It would be a totally different scenario if she wasnt eating at all.
Pick you’re battles…is this really 1?

I dont necessary force my kids to eat anything but I cook a well balanced meal each time and that’s what’s for dinner. Fine you don’t like it you don’t eat. And they will not get anything else until that plate it done. I know i don’t have the means to be wasting food, but thats how I grew up and the only issue I suffer from is respect… so go ahead tell me how im a horrible mother lol maybe ill listen when your posting my bills.


My daughter is 3.5, shes been eating since she had teeth at 5 months never had any issues for 2.5 years even with her friend around who would do this! Than all a sudden out of no where it started with here and there she would start, than it became more common with like almost anything that wasn’t a “snack” for a good few months. Than after fighting and working with things, we are back to normal again and have been for a few months. So just hang in there do what you doing and it will go back, just a phase! Dont give in besides here and there for one meal as a small break for both is needed.

A girl I nannied for used to do that. I figured out that cooking it differently sometimes helped. The main thing I remember her doing it with was baby carrots. Found out that if they were cooked she wouldn’t do it. :woman_shrugging: There were other things too that I would either cook or season differently and through trial and error founds ways that she would eat some of it.

Why on earth would you feed your child something they don’t like?! Would you like someone to force feed you food you hate?:frowning:

I put veggies in my meatloaf. Kids LOVE it, especially my daughter who hates cooked veggies.

I used to do this. But with meat. From the time I could eat people food until the time my Mom finally got sick of having me spit it in her hand at bath time and told me I didn’t have to eat it anymore (I think I was around 5 or 6). I’d hold it for hours in my cheek to avoid swallowing it :nauseated_face: And guess what? I don’t eat red meat or fish still, 30-odd years later. My Mom forcing me to try it did ZERO to help me like :woman_shrugging:t3:

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Give her the vegetables a different way! Can you imagine being forced to eat something you don’t like? Her taste will change as she grows. Try different vegetables and make them in different ways for her to try. If she absolutely does not like something then don’t make a big deal of it. She can get the nutrients in different foods and drinks.

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My daughter held an egg in her mouth for an hour. I didn’t even notice until we were in the car, downtown and she spit it out on the floor. I’ll never understand toddlers :woman_facepalming::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Then you can choose either a) let it slide or
B) make her take however many number of bites of everything for her age (ex: shes 4 she needs to eat 4 bites of every content on the plate then she may be excused)

My 1 yr old has a problem with eating where she thinks she needs to shove it all in her mouth :joy: idk why… Maybe she may think someone will take it away?.. :joy:

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It could be a sensory issue.

Sis, get a blender, puree the veggies into whatever you’re already cooking.
There are too many ways to inject healthy into foods to have this fight!
Please don’t force feed, they already have to accept so much without question …
Good luck to you!

I did this as a child. I would hold it in then tell my mom I had to go to the bathroom. Then I would throw it up. I grew out of it but maybe you should just talk to her and let her pick out your meals for the day.

I had to fight my son to eat them at first, now he loves them. Now I’m fighting my step sons lol. I give them more than I know they will eat. Then I tell them if they eat half they can go. They think its a win in their book. We’ve made progress, but still have a long way to go. My son loves Brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, salads.

She may have a sensory issue? (Which could be why she does this. Certain textures, tastes, smells…)

Why force your kid to eat what they dont like :woman_shrugging::woman_facepalming:. My kids were very picky. Find what they like and they will eat it. I dont like to be force feed. I domt think they do either.

Just boil blend it in with whatever youre cooking. Mince patties blend it in a blender raw then put together. Mash potatoes and broccoli boiled and blended. If you get what I mean! It could just work. Zucchini with potatoes to make hash browns.

Have your child’s tonsils and adenoids check huge tonsils can do that

I know you mean well, but stop giving her food that she dislikes to the point she’s gaging! I’ve never had this happen as a child and don’t do it to my 3. There are ways of incorporating veggies into other foods.
One example:

Hope this helps.

My son does this mostly with meat or when he is full. We are actually starting feeding therapy this week in hopes to get him to stop doing it…and other issues he has while eating.

My 3 year old used to eat EVERYTHING. When she was a baby she would literally eat anything you put on her plate. Now she’s the pickiest eater and will chew the same peice of food for 20 minutes if I let her, whether it’s a food she likes or not. As far as goods she doesn’t like… I put a little on her plate and my rule is that I have to see her take at least one bite and if she still doesn’t like it, then she doesn’t have to eat it (or I’ll make her a sandwich or a hot dog or something if it’s the main part of the meal that she doesn’t like)
A lot of the time she says she doesn’t like it but after trying it she’ll find that she actually does.

My son had a texture issue. I could not feed him anything unless it was puree could not have any lumps at all meat was a no-no. He would not even try it. It was not till he was 7 when he started to eat real food as he called it. He will eat a lot of stuff now but he still gags and throw up when the worse is anything creamy with any lumps (cream corn) is the worse. He has tried it often but still a no go He’s 16 now.