Some children just can’t enough chewing in! It’s a habit that frustrates teachers and parents alike.
They chew on shirt collars, hair, pencils and other non-food objects – sometimes constantly. What’s going on? What can be done about it?
Today I’m talking about excessive chewing behaviour, why it happens and some ideas about how to handle it.
As promised in the podcast, listed below are some key resources for oral toys and games to help manage chewing behaviour.
Oral – motor toys for regulation can be found at:
As discussed, when chewing becomes eating of non-food objects, Pica may be an issue. For more information go to Medline Plus.
Hirano, Y. & Onozuka, M. “Chewing and Attention: A Positive Effect on Sustained Attention” Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Biomed Research International, Volume 2015, Article ID 367026 http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/367026
Onozuka M, Fujita M, Watanabe K, Hirano Y, Niwa M, Nishiyama K, Saito S. “Mapping brain region activity during chewing: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.” J Dent Res. 2002 Nov;81(11):743-6.
This was a fantastic overview of the reasons why kids chew and what we can do to support them. Applicable for parents, educators and also my practice with children as a Paediatric Accredited Practising Dietitian. Thanks Julia!
Thanks Deb, I guess you would see quite a few children who have issues with this too – I’m glad that you found it helpful.