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Dinner time trouble!!

(14 Posts)
Hawest1 Tue 13-Oct-15 09:01:06

My 1 year old is constantly throwing food! Wether I give him it on a plate in the floor or at the table, it gets thrown everywhere! I'm lucky if he eats one or two bites before the plate gets launched across the room sad If I try to help him eat he throws massive tantrums & refuses to eat so he's got to be left to do it alone but when he is this is what happens!!
If I stick the bowl to the table he just throws the food, if I leave the bowl unstuck it gets tipped out or thrown or both! My 3 year old is forever having meltdowns because he gets food thrown at him or he gets wet because the tipped out Ceriel. I never had this bother with him atall! He always say so nice to eat, so I feel I'm out of my depth on this one! I'm sick of having to scrub my carpet after every meal! I've only had it 4months & feel it's going to need replaced soon! & messy mats don't work cause then it's a challenge to see how far he can thrown it! I've tried shouting, taking the food away, I've even tried a tap on the hand & nothing seems to stop him.

So I suppose my question is has anyone else had this before & if so what's the best way to deal with it?

CultureSucksDownWords Tue 13-Oct-15 09:28:30

I would give him much less food, one or two bits, and only give him more when he's eaten the first lot. If he throws food, say "we don't throw", calmly but firmly. If he does it again, then clear away his food and finish the meal. I would assume if he's throwing food then he's not interested in eating any more.

You've got to try and remain as calm as possible and not react to the throwing beyond what I've described above. At the minute, it's an great way for him to get your attention. Give him lots of positive praise for any good behaviour, and also give attention to you other child for having good table manners.

Please don't shout at him or hit him - it's only going to make the whole situation more stressful and confrontational.

Hawest1 Tue 13-Oct-15 09:34:14

He will happily throw it then when I let him down its like a scavenger hunt & he will eat the lot off the floor of I havnt already picked it up. This morning I gave him dry ceriel, he ate 2 or 3 Cheerios then tipped the rest down his front & continued to eat them off his lap.
If I don't give him a plate to try avoid the situation, like for example when having a sandwich, he will sit & squish it all, rip it up then thrown it everywhere.
If I stay calm & say 'don't throw' he laughs & tips the bowl, if I take it away he throws a massive tantrum. I'm at my wits end with it. Every meals for the past 6-8months, even snack times are a mission! I literally dread meal times!

NinjaLeprechaun Tue 13-Oct-15 09:34:52

It's a wonderful experiment in cause and effect for him - look what my mum does when I throw food. I'd guess that toddlers who don't throw food are more rare than toddlers who do, to be honest. I agree with PP, limit the amount of food available to him and try not to react in an interesting way. And don't feed him on the carpet if at all possible.

NinjaLeprechaun Tue 13-Oct-15 09:36:56

Or feed him in the bath. grin

CultureSucksDownWords Tue 13-Oct-15 09:41:20

So, don't give him lots of cereal, literally just 2 or 3 bits. If he's thrown after being reminded, then clear away before you let him out of the high chair so he can't hunt for food when he's down. If he has a tantrum when you've cleared away, it doesn't make a difference to what you do. You have to be consistent and persistent with what you're doing for it to make a difference

Hawest1 Tue 13-Oct-15 09:42:41

Our table is in the livingroom, so can't avoid the carpet.
I know kids are supposed to be messy etc but this is beyond a joke, even if he wants it he throws it cause 9/10times he will moan to get it back then eat it fine after that. If I leave the room for even a second my 3 year old shouts 'aw mum there's a mess again' it happens with meals, juice, sweets, crisps anything!

Georgethesecond Tue 13-Oct-15 09:47:41

You have to feed him in a way that makes sense given his annoying behaviour, not in a traditional way. So never ever a bowl of cereal, a few dry ones at a time and a lidded cup of milk. Never a plate with a whole meal on it. One sandwich at a time, another if eaten, remove it if thrown, say nothing and get him down out of his chair. One item of a meal at a time, remove it if thrown, get him down.

Repeat repeat repeat. Everything has to be geared at teaching him - if you throw the food, you will be taken down and not given any more. If you tantrum I will ignore you. He associates meals with throwing and fun attention. You want him to associate them with calm and with eating. There will be a few meals along the way where he eats less than you would like. Don't worry about it.

And as others have said - no interesting reactions from you to the throwing.

Georgethesecond Tue 13-Oct-15 09:48:17

Just read your last post. If he throws it he never gets it given back!

Hawest1 Tue 13-Oct-15 09:49:51

My 3yo will moan & I'll say 'just leave it' 'just ignore him' but then he will get a roll to the face or something. He doesn't get a lot, he gets a small handful of ceriel, at lunch he will ace half a sandwich & 3 little sausages (or something around that) & tea he gets half of what his brother has. Ive gave up trying him with anything new, he only gets food I know he definately likes to try avoid this. He's a big lad, (born 10lb 2 & never dipped in centile, now off the chart for height & starting to dip in weight) & always loved his food, only now it seems more of a play thing.
It's not just me getting frustrated with it now, my 3yo is too, & heaven forbid we take him anywhere else for dinner etc! We went to the cafe for lunch the other day & I think the floor seen more food, think I apologised more than 100times for him. Thanks for ur advise I will try & remain calm & hopefully he grows out of it soon!!

Hawest1 Tue 13-Oct-15 09:57:35

Thanks georgethesecond I will try bits at a time, hopefully this will help too.
Fingers crossed that one day we will get a stress free meal time

Georgethesecond Tue 13-Oct-15 12:46:57

I'm sure you will. Then it will be potty training!

Remember the mumsnet mantra - "this too shall pass"

and with toddlers I do find the much overused "keep calm and carry on" helpful grin

GeorgeTheGiraffe Wed 14-Oct-15 10:33:37

Just wanted to offer some support and say it does pass. My daughter went through this (I wanted to cry whenever we had rice!) but we were consistent and eventually she learned that food was for the plate or mouth, not the floor!
Something that really helped us was to give her a small bowl or plate for her to put things on that she didn't want (we'd say "if you don't want it, put it here not the floor" and eventually it worked.

Have you tried putting a large old sheet underneath the chair to protect the carpet? I know you say things are being thrown but it's amazing what will land on the sheet if it's big enough! We used to use those vinyl tablecloths but found them more work to wipe them off. Now we use bits of old sheet so we can just shake it off into the bin or outside and then stick straight into the wash. Definitely made my life easier!

UnexpectedSingleMum Sun 18-Oct-15 17:12:37

My 14 month ds is a 'thrower'....drives me insane.
I only ever put food directly onto his high chair tray rather than in a plate or bowl and i don't react or look at him when he throws, just place it back in front of him from the floor. I spoon feed him 'messy' foods like beans, spaghetti etc or with cereal I sometimes soak it in milk & put it on his tray so he still feeds himself.
Sorry - I realise i have no solution, just lots of sympathy. Everything I do is simply damage limitation. I use a ridiculous amount of kitchen roll too......
Good luck
(& if you do find a proper solution please share smile

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