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To get frustrated that my almost 3 year old won't eat a meal without tipping it all over the floor?

(11 Posts)
Keely93 Tue 26-Apr-16 11:30:09

This isn't a bit of food, this isn't sometimes, it's always and all of her food, I've tried shouting, ignoring, naughty corner and talking calmly. I've tried sitting at the table, high hair, sofa, eating with her or eating at separate times to her. It's getting to the point where I'm hoovering 4/5 times a day. She's 3 next month and should surely know it's wrong by now? I've certainly tried teaching her. It's getting very frustrating, and I'm 22 weeks pregnant with severe spd so lugging the hoover round this many times a day is not going me any favours. Any suggestions?

NeedACleverNN Tue 26-Apr-16 11:32:37

Give her one piece of food at a time?

Might take longer but she can't tip it on the floor then.

The minute she deliberately drops it, take the food away

Rosa Tue 26-Apr-16 11:33:45

Give very very small portions or one bit at a time. So 1 bit of potato or carrot, 1 spoonful of mince or whatever. Yoghurt take from the pot and give her one spoonful in a small bowl at a time . She takes it and throws it on the floor then take her out of the chair and simply say well if your not hungry we will eat later . and take her off to do something else. 30 mins later she is hungry then do the same,. It sounds like she is seeing it as a game for you .
Put a plastic sheet under the high chair so its easier to clean.

ConferencePear Tue 26-Apr-16 11:34:03

I didn't have this problem OP, but when mine were learning to feed themselves I used to put their high chair in the middle of a large plastic table cloth which was much easier to clean.

LizKeen Tue 26-Apr-16 11:34:44

Is she eating any of it?

What does she do if you tell her to pick it back up?

I think if it was me (I have a 3 yo too) I would be removing her toys/turning off the TV until she picked it up.

selly24 Tue 26-Apr-16 11:42:50

Serve her meal in quarters: a quarter on the plate initially, reserving the other 3/4 high on kitchen counter. This gives her the chance to self correct her behaviour. (Eg first quarter goes on floor, she gets a telling off and warning - she will be hungry if she doesn't eat her food and throws on floor... Or are you giving snacks if her whole meal ends up on the floor. If this is the case you are going to have to be a bit tough! Clean mat on the floor under her chair, a set time to eat the meal and a calm "oh well, most of it (eg lunch) went on the floor this time". But it will be dinner quite soon (and serve dinner on the way side..)

Are there other issues here though. Does she like the meals? Is she a picky eater? It sounds like attention/reaction seeking behaviour... Does she eat elsewhere (nursery, friends, on picnics ) and do the same?

selly24 Tue 26-Apr-16 11:43:58

...meant serve dinner on the EARLY side... Sorry for typo!

Keely93 Tue 26-Apr-16 12:22:51

She is a picky eater, very picky and no, she only does it at my house, at nursery it grabdma's she's good as gold. Thanks for the suggestions, I shall certainly try them!

squeakyeggs Tue 26-Apr-16 12:28:59

Get yourself a sucker bowl.

One of my dc did the whole Frisbee dinner plate thing. So the next meal they had was in a sucker bowl.

LovelyFriend Tue 26-Apr-16 12:36:50

I got my DD a sucker bowl/mat thing - first thing she did was peel the sucker bit off the table and tip the bowl up. I felt like a bloody mug - cheers Tommee tippee.

OP it's really frustrating but as she is just doing this for you I'd say your reaction plays a massive part in this. Try not to react - keep completely neutral. As soon as the food gets tipped up take it away WITHOUT REACTING to her. I'd also give her much much smaller meals to minimize the mess - if she eats it you can always give more.

Hang in there - it will change. She's only 2.

I assume you've turned TV etc off before meals.

ElderlyKoreanLady Tue 26-Apr-16 12:49:57

I had this problem briefly with DD. Giving a small amount at a time helped and I can't recommend a plastic mat highly enough.

Weirdly, the thing that's stopped the behaviour is getting her a proper little table and chairs. If she drops something she gets up to get it reaction to that is preferable to her than my reaction to her tipping her plate.

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