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What steps should be taken to stop a 21 month old from throwing food?

My son decides that he will throw food or his cup down during pretty much every dinner. He does this after saying "all done" (so we've been trying to remove his plate before he has the chance to throw anything), but he also does this while in the middle of eating. We've given him a warning and then taken the plate away from him if he's throwing food before he's done eating. I hate to do this because he is on the small side. Has anyone else gone through this and found something to help curb this behavior?

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:03 AM on Nov. 13, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (3)
  • tell him if he throws down his food or plate/cup etc. that he will go to timeout. Explain that he can clap his hands or other physical acceptable responses. But throwing food gets him in trouble. And then when he throws down his food (because he will. there's no question there) pick him up and put him in timeout saying "If you throw your food you go in timeout".

    Once he is calm (let him calm down on his own! he is beginning the age where self soothing is important!) talk to him about his choices. and how throwing food is not okay. But that if he wants to clap his hands (or whatever you think is appropriate) that's okay. But throwing food is not okay. Keep it up! he'll keep testing you and you have to stay consistent.


    Answer by outstandingLove at 1:10 AM on Nov. 13, 2009

  • We had this problem too. Our rule was the meal was over when the food got thrown. If I didn't think he'd eaten enough, we'd restart the meal later (maybe 10 minutes or so). Also, only give him a little food at a time to limit the mess. We didn't use plates again until the problem stopped since throwing the entire plate was vastly more satisfying to him! Lastly, give him the food back and tell him he has to give it to you nicely. If you think he'll immediately throw it, keep your hand on it too and "help" him give it to you nicely. If he manages to throw i again, keep giving it back to him until he gives it to you nicely. When he's eating and you think he's getting ready to throw, just gently remind him he needs to give it to you nicely.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 9:59 AM on Nov. 13, 2009

  • Stop warning him and take it away. He sits there while the family finishes eating. As he fusses and cries for his food, remind him that HE is the one who threw it and that is not allowed.

    Very unlikely he does it for more than one or two meals.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:13 PM on Nov. 13, 2009

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