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Throwing food from her highchair

(43 Posts)
Cupcakemummy85 Fri 19-Oct-12 08:23:21

Hi all,
My dd is 15 months and after cracking her routine she has thrown another spanner in the works and has started throwing food from her high chair and sometimes even flat out refuses her food(which seems to b happening a lot). She has done it this morning and I'm so upset I've had to take five mins to calm down. She threw her spoon that was loaded with porrige at me. How can I get her to stop doing this and throwing food? It's so wasteful and I feel really bad throwing away a whole bowl full of porrige in the bin. Her behaviour is just getting worse I feel. Tantrum after tantrum. She does have her good days but mot of the time she is a little madam and I'm nearly in tears every day.

TanteRose Fri 19-Oct-12 08:36:02

oh dear

she is not doing it on purpose to upset you, you know

she is doing it because she can - she realises she can exert a little bit of control over her own life AND she can get a hilarious (in her eyes) reaction from Mum!

its all about damage containment at this age - you have to expect that this is going to happen, and put newspapers down to catch the mess. Also, don't worry about "waste" - its par for the course. Give her only tiny amount each time, and if she eats it all, then give her a bit more.

hang in there - you can't "discipline" her as such - just ignore the tantrums and throwing. She is wanting a reaction from you, and will stop eventually if you stay calm and boring "Oh dear, you don't want your porridge - never mind" and clear away breakfast.

it gets easier, I promise - but you will have to stop taking things so personally! its hard, I know...

ElinElin Fri 19-Oct-12 08:38:53

My Ds is 17 months old and he also throws food. Usually when he is full and doesn't want any more. Yesterday he picked up his bowl of ricekrispies and milk and tipped it out all over the table. He chucks food on me and dd.
What I have been doing is move the food away from him when he starts throwing it. And if he really throws something or keeps doing it I will move his high chair further from the table. Once I made my point I would ask if he wants more food and try again maybe me feeding him at first. I can't say he has stopped but I thik it's just a matter of perservering untill he gets the message. I do think it is very common though. I have spoken to loads of friends whos' LO are doing this. Keep perservering to get the message across and I am sure they will grow out of it. Good luck

Iggly Fri 19-Oct-12 08:40:43

She your first?

She's 15 months. She's not trying to provoke you, just ignore it. Give her loaded spoons or try giving her something else for breakfast. Ds used to get bored (I would of porridge every day) so we'd have different options.

MeFour Fri 19-Oct-12 08:41:57

This is why we have a dog wink

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 19-Oct-12 08:47:47

Yes she is my first. She hasn't had porrige this week and has eaten it very well before. Not even one spoonful passed her lips and off it went right onto me lol. I'm pregnant at the momen so I'm taking things a little worse than I normally would. Also last night I had to change her dinner three times which made me a little defeatist. She had some smoothie before so perhaps she was full from that. She is a really lovely little girl and I know it's pretty normal behaviour for a child of her age. I think I've just had a whole week of tears and tantrums and I'm physically and mentally exhausted. But I'm not beaten yet ;)

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 19-Oct-12 08:50:32

Oh and she is waking up at night for five seconds and then going back to sleep, repeating this a few times, so we r all a little sleep deprived.

Besom Fri 19-Oct-12 08:55:17

It is hard and anxiety provoking when they won't eat. But as others have said you really need to take a step back and a deep breath, difficult though this is. It is one of the very few areas of their lives they can control, so they will.

If you don't react she will quickly get bored of the throwing.

Agree with give a wee bit at a time. My dd has phases where she eats like a sparrow, and other times she eats more. I see other kids eating heartily, but this isn't my dd. She is fit and active and healthy however, so I suppose it's just what is natural for her and she eats when she's hungry. Your dd may be the same, which is actually no bad thing because it isn't particularly healthy just to eat for the sake of eating (or because the food shouldn't be wasted).

I know how frustatring it can be though, easier said than done to be all zen about it.

Besom Fri 19-Oct-12 08:57:55

X posted with you. Oh god yes, sleep deprivation (and pregnancy) makes the zen approach rather more difficult!

adoptmama Fri 19-Oct-12 10:21:39

I say firstly give her the spoon and leave her to feed herself or have one spoon each (and an attractive plastic hat for yourself to protect your hair!) Since it is breakfast time I would strip her down to her nappy and let her feed herself - they are much easier to clean afterwards and you have less laundry (in fact I used to do this for each meal we had at home). Stick some plastic sheeting on the floor and shower it off afterwards (you can buy paint mats etc from places like mothercare) as this will help protect the floor and is a much quicker way to clean stuff up afterwards. If she is not at all interested in the food don't make a fuss, simply take it away. Don't get into a situation where she might be thinking that not eating is naughty as you really don't want food issues developing.

At the end of the day unfortunately it is a horrible messy age. You get irritated with the food throwing and dropping of toys repeatedly far sooner than they get bored of it! They will eat if hungry but have small appetites - so little and often, make it as much fun as possible (cheering, clapping etc when it goes in the right part of her body, play choo-choo train with the food etc.), let her feed herself as much as possible and have the camera handy for those classic, wonderful 'baby covered in yoghurt' photo that we all love to have smile

Flisspaps Fri 19-Oct-12 10:23:23

On top of all the above advice, don't change her tea 3 times either - one meal, that's it!

adoptmama Fri 19-Oct-12 10:25:33

I'd also advise you to give baby sign language a try. It is fantastic - you may need to stick at it a few weeks before you see them signing back to you. Teaching signs like 'more', 'drink', 'milk', 'eat' and 'finished' will really help. DD1 used these a lot - I could ask and sign to her if she wanted more etc and she could sign back more or finished so we didn't have a situation of me trying to stuff more into her than she felt she wanted. Definitely cuts down on the tantrums in all areas if you can give them some good communication tools.

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 19-Oct-12 11:42:15

She has a spoon herself and I have a spoon too and we all eat together for every meal as a family. Recently she has become very naughty at meal times especially if she doesn't like the meal she has been given. She tries to throw the whole lot on the floor. When it's at the beginning of the meal that's the whole lot gone my husband says she will b fine but how can I let her go with nothing :s I refuse to cook a 100 different meals. She eats about one good meal a day I suppose without any highchair freak outs. Lol

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 19-Oct-12 11:43:18

I will definitely try baby sign. Great idea!!

Iggly Fri 19-Oct-12 11:43:51

Yes to baby sign language!

Yes to don't change tea three times. Also what happens if you leave her when she wakes at night?

I found ds ate better at that age when we gave snacks during the day. For a while I gave up on making sure he had three decent meals and instead let him graze during the day. This was much better all around. Also he liked to eat off my plate which was fine. Now he's 3 and no problems sitting and eating nicely.

Being pregnant means you need to lower your standards a little! It'll get harder when baby arrives. Don't expect too much from your toddler, don't expect too much from yourself.

Iggly Fri 19-Oct-12 11:44:56

Sorry I will add - he always had snacks but I'd give snacks more often. Less tantrums from being hungry too. Our bodies aren't designed to have three bigs meals anyway.

Shakey1500 Fri 19-Oct-12 11:53:46

Child- YAY! Here's the food again. Hmm, not really that hungry so what else can I do with it? Feels funny, gloopy...wonder what sound it makes if it lands over there? SPLAT! Ha! Ha! I like that sound! Let's do it again....SPLAT! Ha! Oooooh! Look at Mummy's face, it looks funny all huffy and puffy and tutty. Wait...she's coming over. Still huffy puffy...interesting sound and a screwy uppy face! Oh, she's gone to the bin. Let's get her back...SPLAT! YAY! Here's the funny face again....

^etc etc^

Sorry! Yes, can only echo everyone else to try and not take it personally. I used to struggle when ds was younger and doing the same. Took me bloody ages to realise that he was messing with the food and playing around innocently enjoying my reactions. Used to stress me out to the hilt. So I stopped hovering and reacting. Plonked the food down, let him get on with it. If he ate he ate, if he didn't, it went in the bin. If he threw it, it stayed there till dinner was over.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 19-Oct-12 11:55:33

I wouldn't be making alternative meals. Make sure she is hungry at dinnertime and maybe give her milk afterwards so if she refuses the food she isn't going without. I know it's hard at this age, but I think you just have to accept there will be lots of mess and that some meals will be totally refused. In the long run it doesn't matter - unless she is underweight or has health issues.

Violetroses Fri 19-Oct-12 12:00:09

Agree with all the above, but can I just add that you are soooo lucky she's only just started hurling her food around! DS3 does it every meal, wrestles for control over the loaded spoon then waves it violently so it goes all over us. Is vile! Esp when you are pregnant and pukey.

Stay calm, take away food when she starts playing, don't take it personally and remember that little kids can go very happily without meals - they aren't always ravenous. And stop offering alternatives - that way lies madness!

LemonBreeland Fri 19-Oct-12 12:02:28

Don't make different meals for her. Toddlers eat if theyvare hungry. DD is the same age and is a nightmare to feed atm. If she doesn't eat I don't offer anything else. She has never woken up hungry yet.

DD is dc3 so it is easier for me to be relaxed about it.

WitchesTit Fri 19-Oct-12 12:03:47

This bit was really funny (and frustrating) but it doesn't last long.
My now 21 month old ds has lovely table manners, handles a fork and spoon well, drinks nicely from a cup and doesn't need a bib anymore! He is a joy to eat a meal with. He was exactly the same as your dd.

adoptmama Fri 19-Oct-12 12:07:34

Also remember '3 meals a day' is an adult concept. It has nothing to do with the feeding needs of a infant or toddler. 4-5 smaller meals a day is much better for them. It may be that your main meal time is simply not a good meal time for you child just now - how about an earlier feed and just a snack whilst you eat. Maybe that way you can also enjoy your own food in peace.

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 19-Oct-12 12:46:24

She has snacks. I just don't understand why all of a sudden she hates meal times. She has flat out refuses to eat her breakfast and lunch. It's so frustrating but at least I'm doing a separate meal for her ie purees it's just what we eat. Perhaps it's her teeth but I don't want to over calpol her. Not sure about giving calpol most days like my dh would suggest

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 19-Oct-12 12:51:35

We also have a sheet of Lino underneath the highchair as the table is in the living room. Well she refused lunch so she is playing on the floor and I've left her her lunch next to her if she wants it. That's the best I can do for now I guess. So advise is breath and don't blow up ;) here it goes lol thanks guys

Iggly Fri 19-Oct-12 13:14:35

I mean snacks instead of meals?

Also how are naps? Maybe she's tired hence flipping out at meal times.

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