Tip of the Week: Slowing down fast eaters

Many children and adults with PWS have an uncoordinated swallow, placing them at risk for choking. Fast eating can make the risk even higher. Here are some things that can help reduce the risks of choking by slowing down and pacing while eating:

Bite, sip, hands in lap. This is an easy way to remind your child to slow down between bites. Taking a bite of food and then a sip of their drink and finally pausing for a few seconds with their hands in their lap can slow down your fast eater enough to be sure the food is down their throat before the next bite is taken.

Minimum chews per bite. Count how many chews your child usually has per bite of food and double that. This will slow down their eating and help them digest their food better.

Change utensils. We’ve had great success with using chopsticks to slow down our fast eaters!


Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families, and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices.

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