CHEWING IS THE FIRST STEP in digestion! But chewing our food only enough to swallow it down doesn’t count. If your child is gulping down food without pausing to take a breath, he’s robbing himself of some important benefits!
Chewing Helps Retain Energy And Absorb Nutrients
Chewing our food does more than simply give us time to taste flavors. The more we chew our food, the more it’s broken down into elements we can absorb and use. When we swallow minimally chewed food, some of the nutrients and energy remain locked in—making it more difficult to enter our bodies.
Chewing Aids Digestion
When saliva mixes with the foods we eat, we begin to digest it before we even swallow it. This is because saliva contains digestive enzymes that begin breaking our food down right away. In addition, un-chewed pieces of food can cause digestive discomfort.
Chewing Gives Us Time To Notice We’re Full
Often, especially when we’re wolfing down our food, we eat more than we should before our body is able to give us the “full” notification. Eating slower can help us control our portions and feel more satisfied.
Healthy Teeth Support A Nutritious Diet For Growing Children
If your child isn’t chewing his food properly, or opting for soft foods, is dental discomfort to blame? Malocclusion (an uneven bite), tooth sensitivity, and pain from decay can all cause minimal chewing. Your child might swallow food down earlier because chewing is uncomfortable. He might even avoid certain healthy foods just because they require more chewing.
Breakdowns in our oral health start to affect our overall health. If your child’s teeth aren’t doing their job helping your child chew, digest, and absorb nutrition from his food, don’t ignore the problem. Talk with us about it. We can get his teeth back into shape so they can better do their job.