A Song for Eating

Feeding meatingy kid has been a difficult learning curve for me as a new mom (18 months in I still consider myself a new mom). I can barely feed myself appropriately and now I’m supposed to feed another human that can’t really do much for himself.

Breastfeeding was a real challenge for me and I didn’t get much support, even though the medical professionals around me said they would provide that. I was able to breastfeed for 6 months, but had to supplement with formula. Then, at 6 months, we introduced solid foods and struggled with interpreting all the different advice on how to do that. We persevered, and made it through, and everything turned out ok, and we probably stressed way more than we needed too. But he was slow to learn how to eat properly. At least he seemed to be slow to me–I’m sure developmentally, he was in the normal range, but he was behind the two kids his age in the mommy group I attended.

The problem we had when we introduced foods that he could pick up and eat (cereal, gold fish crackers, banana, etc.), he would stuff them in his mouth, not be able to chew, and then spit it out. Which totally grossed out his mamma….

Now, of course, he’s eating like I imagine most toddlers do. Messy and takes a long time, but takes actual bites and doesn’t spit out food nearly as much. Being the music therapist momma that I am (I can never decide how to spell momma, mama, mamma…), I created a song to help me get through some gross eating stages and to give him instructions on how to eat. What still amazes me, but probably should be obvious to me given my training, is that it worked! And still does.

I sang a song with a tune that I made up, and pointed to my mouth, and imitated what I was trying to get him to do:

Chew, chew, chew and swallow

Chew, chew, chew and swallow

Chew, chew, chew and swallow

Then you can have some more!

I repeated it so often that it wasn’t long before I could hum the melody while I was actually chewing my food and he would point to his mouth and do an exaggerated chewing motion with his mouth. He is now proudly feeding himself with a spoon and taking bites of almost everything. We have very few instances of spitting out food now and when we do it seems to be because he wants another item (perhaps we offered a different food choice too soon) or because he’s just full.

I still don’t feel confident that I’m giving him enough nutrients and variety, but he doesn’t seem to be hungry and seems to be growing appropriately and very healthy. So I’ll stop fretting about it and keep doing my best.

Let me know if you have success with this song, too, or if you have another song that you have used successfully.

Mommy Support Group Radio Show is coming up again on February 27, 2015 and we’ll answer questions and then talk about picky eating and other eating issues. You can contact me if you want to ask a question, or call the show and ask when it’s on the air.

Other Mommy Posts:

Mommy Support Group Radio Show

A Song to Brush Your Teeth By

How I Distract My Baby So I Can Complete a Diaper Change

Hear this song:

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