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How long has your toddler gone without solid foods?
Son had choking episode on pop corn been 6 days since solid foods

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8 replies to this topic

#1 SashaN

Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:50 PM

Hi Girls we are on day 6 now of my DS not eating any solid foods, the most he is doing is licking cream cheese off a cracker! He is having milk so that is keeping him going.

He chocked on a pop corn Tuesday night its now the following Monday!

I have spoken to the feeding clinic at the childrens hospital and they said its obviously his too scared to swallow and just dont push him but offer food of which he is not taking they said could even take another week or two my gosh : (

Anyone else been in this predicament?

Have offered, soup, pureed vegies, yoghurt, even chocolate and snakes normally a treat smoothies etc juice we made at home to no avail.


#2 splatthecat

Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

could he have something stuck still? Is he trying to eat and then spitting it out or is it that he just doesn't want to try and eat.

#3 Paddlepop

Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:24 PM

I have been that child. You probably don't want to hear what I've got to say next. I didn't eat solid food for at least one year, maybe 2. I was 6 years old when it happened, so I can't remember exactly how long it lasted. My poor mother could tell you to the day how long it was. I still haven't told her, and I'm now 32.

I was terrified of choking on food and dying. It started when I had a sore throat and had a Strepsil to suck on, but sucked a bit too hard and swallowed it. It was pretty much full size and barely any smaller than a full sized one. When it happened, I was convinced that it would lodge in my throat and stop me from breathing. I drank a lot of water to try to dissolve it, then sat down and waited to die. Obviously I didn't, but I was still scared. From that moment, solid food didn't pass my lips.

I survived on milkshakes, thickshakes, milo drinks, ice-cream, custard, super-mashed banana (so mashed that it was practically fluid) and not much else. I had the idea in my mind of choking and dying, and nothing would shift it. I think that I've only ever told 2 people ever what happened to make me not eat, one of which is my husband. Prior to that I was never a skinny child but not fat either, but boy did I get skinny. When I look back at photos from then, I was painfully thin. I can barely recognise myself as myself in those photos. My bones stuck out. My parents took me to a paediatrician but he couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.

Mum persisted with trying to get me to eat everyday, as well as getting angry with me because she was frustrated. What worked eventually was my teacher patiently sitting with me each lunchtime in our classroom and trying to get me to eat some of my honey sandwich. Eventually I did. I think that something changed in my mind to make me realise that food wasn't going to choke me, but I chewed and chewed that sandwich until it was liquid before I would swallow it. Also I was getting sick of spending every lunch hour in the classroom with my teacher (who I loved) for weeks and not out playing with my friends, so I might have eaten to be able to get out of there and play with my friends. I'm not sure.

Over a number of months I would eat things like honey, jam or Vegemite sandwiches (chewed extremely thoroughly without crusts), banana that wasn't so mashed, mashed potato, mashed pumpkin, mince and cake. As I gained confidence I started on other more normal foods and chewed things for a more normal time as well. Within a year of those first bites of food, I had regained all of my lost weight and put on extra. I've now always been overweight, but probably would have been anyway going by the rest of my family. These days I have no issues about eating food, except eating too much of the wrong stuff!

I know that what I've said is probably not what you want to hear. I don't know what you can do with your son except keep persisting and try to build up his confidence with food. Have you reassured him that the food won't hurt him or make him die? Have you reassured him that if the food did try to hurt him then you or another adult will stop it from hurting him and make sure that he is safe?

All the best to you and your son. I hope that he starts to eat again soon.

#4 SashaN

Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

TLC he sometimes trys and spits it out as once it gets to swallowing it scares him before this he was not a too bad eater would eat carrots with hommus, wraps with carrot/tomato/hommus etc, broccoli now i am worried once i do get him to eat it will be minimal i just need to get him to eat i feel sick about it : (

Paddlepop so sorry to hear your experience thats terrible i am hoping that because he tells me his scared of choking due to the pop corn we can help him over come his fears.

Yes have told him he will be okay it was naughty pop corn and that all other food is nice and yummy and goes down your throat easily.

I just hope its short term and not what you have told me i feel so worried now gosh 1-2 years how tough that would have been on you mum, i know his behaviour is starting to change as he even tells me his hungry i can tell he wants to eat as he keeps going to fridge and cupboard but just too damn scared, bloody pop corn!


#5 Paddlepop

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:22 PM

Sorry, didn't mean to worry you, just wanted to give you some insight from the other side.

I don't recall even feeling hungry so the fact that he is hungry and telling you sounds like a positive thing to me. I just completely clammed up and withdrew into myself. Perhaps you need to ceremonially throw out or crush some popcorn to help him feel like he has control over the popcorn and that he is the boss, not the popcorn ie he can hurt the popcorn, not the popcorn hurting him.

Just keep reassuring him and offering him soft, easy foods until he is eating again. Would it help if he was involved in the shopping, choosing and preparation of food? It might help to give him a sense of control over the food, and make him more interested in trying to eat because it will be what he has chosen, not what Mum has given him to eat.

What about picking out a cool new cup or plate? That might help him to feel better, and make meals a bit more exciting.

Sorry, not sure how a 3 year old's mind works. I have a 2 year old, I'm not up to 3 year olds yet!

I hope he eats soon.

#6 libbylu

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:34 PM

I am not sure how good his comprehension is as he is only little, but my DS had a lot of little anxieties and I would always explain exactly how we would fix it if a b or c happened.  Do you think it would help to tell him that now you know what to do to fix it if food gets stuck - you pop him on your lap and pat him on the back and like magic 'whoop' - out it comes!  No problem!
Maybe even demonstrate on him if he is willing (but obviously don't strike his back hard as you might if he really was choking, just a gentle pat).
This is assuming that you didn't get to this point when he choked on the pop corn - if you tried that on him and it failed then obviously this suggestion won't work!
Try giving him smoothies with banana, yoghurt, wheat germ or just wheet bix in it (it melts to almost nothing) and if you want to fatten him up, put coconut milk in, or cream.

#7 Busydays

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:47 PM

My son was 8 at the time (16 months ago now) and it took 3 months for him to start back on solids again. I had never even heard of a fear of choking before it happened to him. His baby brother chewed off a corner of a board book while I was driving and chocked a little on it. He was fine, but my DS1 panicked. From that point he couldn't swallow anything solid. He wouldn't even put anything in his mouth that he saw as a potential threat. It triggered a panic attack every single time. My DH and I were at an absolute loss about what to do, and our GP wasn't much help either. We worked with him slowly encouraging him to eat simple foods (porridge first, then eggs, then we progressed to bread). Distraction was very important, as we had to try and avoid the panic triggers being set off in his brain. The hardest part was knowing he was so hungry, yet too scared to eat sad.gif He got very skinny, but luckily there are lots of diet supplements around. You can buy a formula from the chemist designed for older kids. We also used biggest looser shakes, up and go, yoghurt etc. I downloaded an iPad ap so I could track his intake to make sure he was getting the right food balance (even if it was in liquid form). He never had any problems with food beforehand, so this was totally out of the blue. Once I even blended up a piece of pizza for him to eat (yuk!!).... Maybe try and find a good councillor that works with kids and anxiety. This might give you some strategies to start with. Have patience with him. He won't starve on a liquid diet, he might just need some time to work through his fear.

#8 SashaN

Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:30 AM

HI paddleopop thats okay your just trying to help by giving your story and i appreciate it ! The idea of shopping and making something to eat sounds good i will try anything!

Yes he definitely is saying his hungry and telling me why his not eating due to the pop corn stuck in his throat.

His had his throat checked and again going back to gp today to get urine tested to make sure hydrated and just a general checkup.

Libbylu we actually had to hit him on the back and then the pop corn must have dislodged and gone down his throat as he stopped choking. But thank you everyone for all the great ideas. Will try smoothies again as we tried but did not want them but will keep trying.

4boysandme gosh 3 months! : ( i am hoping he might start this week but something tells me its not going to happen. Luckily we have the feeding clinic to ring and will bring us in if in another week to two his not starting to eat solids they told me to get Paedialite its especially made for kids who dont eat so has the minerals and vitamins they are missing and is only one cup a day i had to put it in chocolate milk but thats okay at least he had that! Prefer smoothies but at the moment anything is good. I agree GP cant do much except check their health and its anxiety and only we can build up their confidence to eat i can tell his hungry and poor little guy tells me and is at the fridge saying i am hungry mummy : ( So he wants to eat but cant i am sorry you had to go through this with your son.

Thanks for all your help girls really appreciate it.


#9 TopsyTurvy

Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:51 AM

Just a thought but could you give him lots of tiny foods like rice, risoni, cous cous etc.

Encourage him to eat with his fingers one tiny grain at a time and promise him that it won't get stuck.

Make it fun and demonstrate to him yourself that it can be swallowed whole with absolutely no risk.  Be silly and pretend you didn't even know you swallowed it because it was so small.  Open your mouth wide and ask him to check if it's still there.

Being sillly about the food might distract him enough to start trying himself with safe foods.

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