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Any tips on how to manage a food throwing toddler?

(22 Posts)
sureitsgrand Sat 15-Apr-17 07:48:18

Just that really. Every single meal gets flung on the floor. Some he eats before he throws some just get chucked straight away. I'm sick of cleaning up, I'm sick of mopping I'm sick of preparing meals he won't eat. I know it's not his fault, I don't get angry but I'm just at my wits end. Ignoring, firm directives, nothing seems to work. Do I just have to wait this out or am I missing something? Please, there is porridge all over the kitchen window and I'm almost in tears! It's been every meal every day for about 3 months.

holidaychocs Sat 15-Apr-17 07:50:09

I bought mine a hand held hoover. Stopped me stressing about it all. Now, any mess he makes he cleans up.

GemmaB78 Sat 15-Apr-17 07:52:12

Watching with interest as mine does this. With him, he starts playing/throwing when he's had enough so the trick is watch like a hawk and grab his bowl when he looks like he's full.

holidaychocs Sat 15-Apr-17 07:52:43

Ah ok re read your post. Absolutely do not do any sensory or messy play with food. Feed him smaller portions and sit in front of him watching and helping him feed. Distraction to throwing is the key.

Then pass him his new hand held Hoover.

mikado1 Sat 15-Apr-17 07:58:05

What age? I remember quite a bit of throwing around 11m, and suddenly it stopped. I would give small amounts so e.g. 1/2 pieces of carrots and only add if eaten. If he's eating independently, just a small spoon or two of porridge in bowl or give a loaded spoon one at a time. If he throws, down straight away, no reaction. If you're sighing, getting frustrated etc., he may be doing it for fun. Ensuring you'Dr giving some foods he really liked with each meal, will help. My thing about food/eating is : make a big effort with variety and healthy food and after that be (or give impression of being!) utterly unbothed. This way power struggles are avoided and they're getting the good stuff when they do eat.

tissuesosoft Sat 15-Apr-17 07:59:49

DD does this- eats some then flings. Once she starts playing with the food I take it away. If she still seems hungry I offer toast (dinner), fruit (breakfast) or a yogurt (lunch). Our handheld hoover is fantastic as means I don't have to get Hetty out (£15 in Asda!). DD gets some baby wipes and likes to stand in front of her highchair and clean it. I eat at the same time and the same thing as her which seems to encourage her to eat more.

mikado1 Sat 15-Apr-17 08:01:09


Fruitboxjury Sat 15-Apr-17 08:02:47

Is he really hungry?

I would focus on making him want the food. Make sure he's had lots of fresh air and exercise, drop milk if he's still having any, limit snack between meals. See if that makes a difference.

Then yes, small amounts only on plate.

Get a dog?!

mikado1 Sat 15-Apr-17 08:04:27

I'd be afraid that substituting with fruit/toast/yoghurt would lead to a deliberate throw to bypass dinner/lunch/breakfast and move on to these options instead? I'm pretty strict on no substitutions. Love the idea of a handheld Hoover! smile

sureitsgrand Sat 15-Apr-17 08:13:48

We gave a hand held hoover, but with things like porridge, curry, cottage pie etc I don't like hoovering them up? I offer him snacks, but feel sometimes he knows he will get them if he throws stuff? Other days I think he just doesn't understand. I will try the smaller portions. He's funny, some days he eats loads, others practically nothing. I read about these mums whose kids eat such a varied diet at his age (2 years 2 months) and think how do they do it?! I can't even get him to keep food on the table!

ferriswheel Sat 15-Apr-17 08:21:21

Omg. I had this. And I had a newborn, a one year old and a two year old. Eventually I worked out that if you feed them on the floor then it makes life much easier. I bought a large PVC tablecloth from amazon and lay it down before they ate. Then I used floor wipes to clean it all up at the end. Hope that helps.

mikado1 Sat 15-Apr-17 08:21:56

Tiny portions should do it, Inc porridge/curries etc. Definitely going into power struggle territory at that age, stay breezy, he's eating for himself not to please you and can't we all have hungry days and not too bothered days? That's a healthy sign, that he's only eating till full. Small snacks only on between meals if needed, don't give them post-throw which is end of meal. A pp mentioned milk intake and that could definitely be an issue if he's guzzling a lot.

lorisparkle Sat 15-Apr-17 08:29:23

My ds2 was 'a thrower' the other two did not do it so I do think it is something some children just do. He did grow out of it eventually. We did small portions, straight onto high chair, took it away when he started throwing , no fuss, no verbal response etc we still have wall paper ruined by dried on weetabix!

sureitsgrand Sat 15-Apr-17 08:51:20

Thanks, I know I'm not alone in it! He doesn't do it at creche, but I think he is distracted by other kids there. It's just us here and he definitely likes a reaction. I have suggested to dh we ignore but we both find it hard not to react someway the moment

NerrSnerr Sat 15-Apr-17 09:07:28

The only advice I have is wipe up weetabix straight away. If you leave it to dry you will never get it off.

lorisparkle Sat 15-Apr-17 09:33:14

Weetabix is the worst! When it hit the wallpaper it seemed to instantly dry into the paper and became a solid lump! When we tried to remove it it took the wallpaper off! Ds2 loved throwing generally and ds1 has a scar where ds2 threw his fork at him and it hit the chicken pox scab which came off and left a scar. He did get his own back as ds2 has a scar where he threw a brick at ds1 who then threw it back (with a better aim) and caught him near his eye) . Brothers!!

specialsubject Sat 15-Apr-17 09:39:47

He is playing you like a violin, they do that.

Very small portions, praise if good, as soon as throwing starts remove without comment and meal over. Make the game too dull to play.

GraceGrape Sat 15-Apr-17 09:41:41

DD2 was like this. The only thing that worked was sitting right next to her at mealtimes and watching her like a hawk. She was a bowl thrower, so one of those bowls with suction cups helped, although that won't stop a toddler intent on throwing the contents of the bowl.

tissuesosoft Sat 15-Apr-17 09:59:21

Sorry, I should have clarified, I don't offer toast, fruit etc until about 15-30 minutes after the main meal is over and she is out of her highchair. But I only offer if she is hungry. DD is 14 months now so I go by hunger cues

IfNotDuffers Sat 15-Apr-17 10:07:22

Tiny portions straight on the high chair tray so no plate to throw, getting him down once he throws. And a cheap shower curtain under the high chair, which you can shove in the washing machine every so often.

Oh, and can he say when he's finished? If not, perhaps throwing is his 'all done' signal, which you might be able to replace with a sign / word. We got a lot of use out of the 'all gone' sign from baby signing classes around that age.

Penelopewashere Sat 15-Apr-17 23:24:23

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ItsNachoCheese Sat 15-Apr-17 23:25:56

I have a dog hoover and hes worth his weight in gold when ds turns into a food throwing ninja

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