Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Family Challenge: Counting Our Chews

As a family we eat a healthy diet, but there are still things that we struggle with. Eating too fast could possibly be at the top of the list.

I don’t know Hubby’s excuse, but mine is growing up in a large family. You had to eat fast to get first dibs on seconds or to prevent anyone from stealing the good stuff off your plate. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Hubby and I often tell each other to *stop* and *breathe* when eating. We tend to sit down and scarf down our plates and then sit there complaining about how bloated we are. It hasn’t been until now that I have decided this really is an issue that needs to be addressed.

E has been constipated a few times over the last few weeks. With constipation usually comes horrible sleep habits and a lot of stress. The first time I didn’t think much of it. The second time I attributed it to the re-introduction of soy products. But the third time I decided to get to the bottom of this arising issue.

I came to the conclusion that it is not the lack of fluids E is taking in or his diet. It’s the fact that he is practically swallowing chunks of food whole and his body is having a hard time breaking it down. Did you know that chewing is a crucial part of proper digestion? I guess our Mother's and Grandmother's were right in constantly reminding us to "chew your food". He is a good eater and I am happy about that, but a very fast one. Mrs. X tells me he is usually the first one to finish his meals. Just yesterday she told me he was half way through his 2nd pumpkin waffle at breakfast and with a completely full mouth he said, “More pumpkin waffle, please”, as clear as a bell. While she thinks it’s hilarious, she agrees that it is clearly an issue that he is eating too fast and not swallowing his food before he’s trying to shove more in! And clearly, he has mastered talking through all the food, which is another underlying bad habit all together.

I’ve been watching him very closely while he eats the last few days. And this is exactly how it goes:

Enter a piece of meat (or bread or something that requires chewing) into his mouth.
Chew 1
Chew 2

Only two chews! He is practically eating his food whole!

And so enters our family challenge. This week we are counting our chews, which I hope will 1) prevent any further constipation in E and 2) Improve all of our overall health because eating too fast is NOT healthy. During this challenge, Hubby and I will set a new example and E will learn from our behaviour. A monkey see, monkey chew deal, if you will. E will also (hopefully) find it exciting while practicing his counting.

Here it goes!

Are you a fast eater? Are your children? Do you count your chews? How many times do you chew?


  1. LOL I remember that, your mom made delicious meals, the race for seconds!! Especially with all those boys to compete with! I am your alibi for your story lol