My 2.5 year old has always been a great eater. Once in a while she'd overstuff her mouth with food she likes, but she has never had an issue with chewing and swallowing.
Over the past few days, she has started chipmunking food in her cheeks - usually it's something she doesn't really like, but has been told she needs to eat a few bites of (egg, apple w/ the skin), but she's also done it with oatmeal when I didn't ask her to eat more than she wanted/give any sort of ultimatum. She will hold it until someone notices, and has to be coaxed to spit it out. Yesterday I didn't realize she was doing it, and she held a mouthful of watery oatmeal for 20-30 minutes through school dropoff and errands! Today she was holding apples after breakfast, and I had to sweep her mouth after she put in a jellybean I gave her for potty training efforts, because she couldn't chew it (I had hoped she would swallow once she realized she'd get a treat).
Today I asked her if something hurt, and she showed me her throat...but that may just be power of suggestion. I've told DH we have to stop pressuring her to eat things she doesn't want to, at least for the time being, so there is no pressure for her to pocket.
Anyone's kids ever do this? I'm really hoping it is just a power struggle and not a long term feeding issue thing.