How to stop a toddler throwing food

(12 Posts)
shhhh Wed 18-Oct-06 15:02:11

My dd is 17 months and for the last 3 months approx when she doesn't want to eat something or has finished with a meal she throws it.

Yeah at first it seems quite cute and novel BUT it's now getting tiring. It happens at every meal and she knows its wrong but looks at me when she launches it..usually ends up at the other side of the room.
Its quite embarassing when you are in a restaurant and have to rescue a piece of bread or lasagne from someones handbag or forehead.!

I have tried to tell her it's wrong, tap her hands or even ignoring her but nothing seems to work. I am sick and tired of picking food up from the floor several times during each meal.....HELP..!

sugarfLeewhileyoustillcan Wed 18-Oct-06 15:03:24

Take the food away as soon as she's finished actively eating?

TheOneAndOnlyHUNKERMUNKER Wed 18-Oct-06 15:04:50

Agree, take the food away and be totally consistent with not reacting to her if she does throw it. I wouldn't tap her hands at all.

shhhh Wed 18-Oct-06 15:08:28

Well thing is she never shows signs of not wanting it iykiwm. There are times when I can tell BUT 99% of the time she will sit eating something and then all of a sudden launch it. Its at this occassion that I then proceed to remove the food. Although if i;m not quick enough she has managed to launch a few other items in the process, believe me she is quick...
BUT if I offer her something else or the item again, sometimes she will eat it for a while and do the same again so is obviously hungry..

docket Wed 18-Oct-06 15:11:52

My ds did this and I told him the food would be thrown away if he did it. I ended up binning a couple of meals (felt awful at the time) but that's all it took to stop him doing it, he hasn't thrown any food deliberately since.

shhhh Wed 18-Oct-06 15:15:35

suppose thats an option..but like you said, I would also feel a bit unfair doing it//. BUT maybe thats the only way they will learn. I have tried being firm and saying it will be taken away but she just laughs, throws it and then looks at where its landed.

KathyDCLXVI Wed 18-Oct-06 15:18:41

I have noticed that most of the time she is less likely to throw if I am doing something else while she eats her dinner, rather than my attention being on her.
Unfortunately it's not foolproof so it's a bit of a risky strategy as it means I sometimes get the whole plate on the floor as I won't be quick enough to stop her.

shhhh Wed 18-Oct-06 15:19:29

see, even if Im not watching her I still come back into the room to everything on the floor. Plate as well.

Cashncarry Wed 18-Oct-06 15:23:41

Hi Shhhh - my DD has been doing this practically since the time she weaned (she's nearly 2 now). I've taken to sitting in front of her with her plate and handing her pieces of food one at a time. If she throws something (or refuses it), I literally sit it out with my arms folded and looking out the window and she does usually give in!

This method might work for you in the short term but tbh if anyone's got any better suggestions feeding her piece by piece is getting very tiresome and I'm worried that a 2 yr old should really be feeding herself!

Sorry to give advice and then admit it's crap!

lazycow Wed 18-Oct-06 16:16:41

ds does this a lot. The whole plate on the floor scenario is very tiresome - particularly if it something very messy like soup or pasta where the sauce stains.

I'm afraid I don't have any real answers other than ds seems to do it if he is full (and he too goes from eating almost greedily to having had enough really quickly), not hungry, if he doesn't like it much or if he is bored. I take the following approach.

1 only give small amounts at the time (reduces the amount of mess when the throwing happens)

2 At the first throwing - offer a different food (don't make anything different but maybe offer the yoghurt/fruit/dessert)

3 If food is thrown again - remove all food and take him off the chair - with no reaction

Well that is what I do on a good day. On a bad day I say 'don't do that', 'no throwing', 'stop it', 'OH FOR GOODNESS SAKE STOP THROWING' - all the while ds laughing and giggling - You get the picture - sigh!

shhhh Wed 18-Oct-06 21:08:59

LAZYCOW..YOU ARE ME..!!! Sometimes I get so tired of it all and esp being 25 weeks pregnant its a nightmare having to pick food up constantly...

Well I suppose I am doing kind of right so far..I do give her a choice for her meal so maybe I can reduce this to one item iykwim. BUT if she throws her food I do take it away and sometimes offer something else, usually if she won't eat her mains she tends to have her dessert then her mains..Didn't work tonight and yet again dinner was everywhere.

Maybe I am stressing over nothing but at times I do worry she isn't having enough..Suppose she will say if she wants more and the fact she sleeps through at night without any problem is a good sign..Also tied of constantly cleaning the floor.!!

More advice welcome .

JoshandJamie Wed 18-Oct-06 21:37:41

My son did this for ages too. We consistently said: you don't throw food. If he threw it, he got a warning. If he did it again, the food got taken away and he got taken out of the chair. He'd scream and perform and we'd say, when you're calm, you can have more to eat. Once he calmed down, we'd ask if he wanted more. if he said yes, we'd put him back in the chair and offer it to him. If he through it again, it was game over. End of meal. Wait until the next meal. No snacks. (but I would bring the next meal forward slightly).

It took a while but it did work. Now his younger brother has entered the throwing food phase - but so far it's because he's had enough, not because he's being deliberately naughty or attention seeking. But his food still gets taken away and the older one tells him in a stern voice: don't throw food jamie. :-)

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