Eat - Put food into the mouth, chew and swallow it
Usually around the 6 month mark of an infant’s life, they begin to get curious about what other people are eating. "Solids" at this stage of life generally include pureed foods in bottles or more recently in pouches. This is an ideal time to introduce safe, non choking hazard foods and chew toys that infants can use for exercise
Just like any muscle, the tongue, face and jaw muscles, need regular exercise to grow properly. Increased chewing produces more saliva and releases digestive enzymes while stimulation increases muscle tone and control. Chewing becomes more efficient and effective in prepping foods to be swallowed when using proper tongue movements.
Eating wholesome, non processed foods aids in better chewing, and eating habits. Processed foods are generally softer and not as nutritious. Soft foods such as pastas, pizza, chicken nuggets, and food in pouches don't allow for proper chewing as they can be easily broken down. This effects facial development, food preferences, and ultimately impacts whole growth and development. The action of chewing has life long benefits as we transition from childhood to adulthood.
Benefits of chewing
At Breathing Essentials Myofunctional Therapy, we want to help people discover new tastes of wholesome foods. Your taste buds will explode with new found tongue movement and chewing abilities. Chewing exercises are for all ages and we can incorporate the simple act of non food chewing in your daily schedule.