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Wow, it's been a loooong time since I've posted...

My son, who just turned two yesterday, has developed the strangest habit over the last few months. Whenever he eats, he tends to "save" food in the side of his cheek, a la chipmunk style. I'm not talking for a minute or two, but for like 20+ minutes!!!

He doesn't have any food or eating issues, and eats pretty healthy and regularly. We don't take food away or even really regulate when he eats (he's an on-demand kinda guy), so I don't understand it. Besides being really gross, it's not good for his teeth, and dangerous (think choking...).

We haven't figured out how to deal with it yet. Asking him to chew and swallow is futile, and we ususally end up either trying to get him to spit it out, or in really stubborn moments, having to fish it out of his mouth. Sometimes the amount is staggering, and he really DOES look like a chipmunk!

Anyone ever seen / experienced this? Just a phase?

Thanks,
Squirrel mama
 

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My ds, 3 3/4, has been doing this lately, too. I don't think it's any more of a choking hazard than eating unless he falls asleep. If your ds is like mine, he'll stop doing it sooner if you don't make an issue out of it. Maybe you can pretend he's a chipmunk and encourage him to find a nice spot to store the food for winter. Dealing with things in a playful way works best for my ds. Avoid starchy or sugary foods to minimize potential tooth decay. My ds will do it with a chunk of watermelon or prunes, not so much with crackers or a bite of a sandwich. It could be worse. They could be sipping soda or sucking a lollipop.
 

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Is this similar? Ds wants "BIG BITES" so he either takes a huge bit or takes a whole bunch of little ones but holds on to them inhis mouth until it is full,then tries to chew. I try to ignore, but he has gagged and thrown up from this new technique, so it does make me a little crazy.
 

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This reminds me of my older DS when he was little. I'd made buckeyes (chocolate covered peanut butter balls) for Christmas and I had them setting up in the fridge. I found the handle of the fridge coated with chocolate and half the buckeyes gone. I asked who did it and got a "Not me, momma" from a chocolate faced chipmunk (he had them pocketed)


On another note, I worked as a cook in a nursing home and I remember some of the residents would "pocket" food in their cheeks too. I think it's just a phase, experimentation.
 
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