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How do I get my kid to stop throwing food?

My 14 month old has been doing this for months. If I give him a plate, he tips it over. If I put it on his table or even just a few snacks on the counter for him, he moves his arms back and forth to knock it off the table.

What are some strategies to get him to stop?????

Answer Question

Asked by Amberoz at 12:41 PM on Jan. 8, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 4 (34 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • The minute he even looks like he might be going to do it you tell him NO, you will not throw your food. If he does it, take him away from the food. When he is hungry try it again. Everytime consistantly. The minute he throws it, he loses it. He will eventually associate going hungry with throwing. He will eat when he is hungry. Don't worry. He won't starve.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 12:50 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • He is learning Physics. I know it sounds weird, but this is what my Dr. told me. They want to know what will happen when something is tossed, or tipped over. It's all a big science project to them. They think "OK, well this is what happened to my food yesterday when i threw it, what will happen today?" I know it sounds strange, but it is true & most kids go through some kind of throwing stage whether it be food or objects. My DD threw her food. I just stopped putting food in front of her for a while & fed her off of my plate. I know some people don't want to try that, but at worked for me. I also found that she ate more food when she ate off my plate then when i gave her her own plate to eat off of. Guess mommy's food tastes better...


    Answer by samurai_chica at 12:52 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • Ditto Samurai_Chica. I agree completely with her on why they do it.

    What I did:
    I told him "No, we don't throw our food." when he did it. Then if he did it again he got his one and only warning. "No, we do not throw our food. If you do it again lunch is over." And if he did it again I cleaned him up and took him away from the food. He learned really quickly that when lunch was over he got hungry. Then the next time he was put in front of food he ate and didn't throw it. Some kids are a lot more stuborn the others and will continue doing for the first few times. However, my son loves meal time and loves to try new foods, so he realized that when I disobey mom I don't get my lunch.

    Be firm, be consistant, and follow through. With any punishment, boundery, or limit you have to be firm, consistant, and follow through. Otherwise they've got your wrapped around their finger.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 1:34 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • One more idea ... When you're playing on the floor with them try this:
    Get a laundry basket and have them toss bean bags or plush balls into the basket.
    Roll balls or matchbox cars across a coffee table.
    Have them throw bean bags into the air and see where they land.
    Get a toy bowling set and play with that on a hard surface. Whether a coffee table or kitchen floor.
    Build a tower of blocks and encourage them to knock it over.

    These games might stray your child from throwing the food in the high chair. Due to them seeing how things work and what results they have. Exactly what they're doing in the high chair. Also, the more energy the use in between meal time, the hungrier they're going to get. That means that they'll be more likely to eat their food rather then play with it.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 1:38 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • One more thing .. Last thing, I promise.
    Eat with your child. Children mimic adults very well, because if you're doing it then it must be something you're supposed to do. That's why every adult should refrain from swear words, violence, bad or dangerous behaviours around their children. Each child is like a little hard drive sucking up every piece of information that goes through their little senses. By eating with your child she will see what to do and how to do it. Using proper utensile techniques, actually eating, chewing, and swallowing your food, etc. This will encourage her to do this on her own. Soon enough you'll see that she's less inclined to throw her food.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 1:41 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • Thank you so much, Jazz!!

    Answer by Amberoz at 2:02 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • Take the food away. Say, "Uh Oh, this is so sad." Take him out of his highchair and put him in his crib until he is quiet. Tell him, "I'll be back when you are ready to be sweet". When he is quiet get him and bring him back and try again. Do the same exact thing every time and he'll quickly understand that he doesn't want to do it anymore. before I did this with my twins it was a full on food fight at every meal, but after a few days they pretty much stopped throwing food. Now if one of them does throw something, the other one will yell, "Uh Oh! Sad!"


    Answer by Anonymous at 2:32 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • SORAS (soap opera rapid aging syndrome); it's the only solution ;o)

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:20 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

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