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how to stop toddler food throwing

My 14 month old son, throws his food, even when hes hungry. I absolutely can not sit him at the table with a plate of food in front of him because he throws everything on the floor, even his cups. I am constantly picking things up. He will only eat it if I hand it to him one piece at a time. Otherwise he likes to watch it fall on the floor. How do I break a child of this? HELP! This is a huge pain, especially when trying to go out to eat. I can't even let him start to learn to use a spoon himself because of this.

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:03 PM on May. 21, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (7)
  • You answered your own question -- hand it to him one piece at a time. Yeah, you could think it's a pain to do that, but he's 14 months old. He's still a baby. He will outgrow this stage. And sitting with him handing him his food one piece at a time is a lot more pleasant than picking up his food off the floor in frustration.

    Enjoy this stage. He'll be here only once.

    Answer by May-20 at 5:21 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • I always gave my son small portions. If he started throwing, mealtime was over and he had to wait until the next meal/snack time to eat. He eats every 3 hours or so anyway, so it's nice he's going to starve and it didn't take very long for him to realize how it worked!

    Answer by missanc at 8:21 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • Give tiny portions (you can always give more) and when the throwing begins, say "all done/ finished!" signing it in sign language and smiling happily, and take him to the bath.

    Answer by txdaniella at 10:36 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • When my kids were at this age, I remember reading some dumb parenting advice that said something about 'the period of time when you pick everything up a million times.' I thought 'now that's just stupid... crows can count to three, why would I pick something up more than three times if even crows can understand 3?'

    It was a point of total amazement to other parents and friends that in less than a week I had kids who never dropped things more than twice unless they really were finished with them. No acrimony, or explanations or frustration or shouting, just a clear statement of 'oh, this means you're done with it.'

    I only ever gave my kids as much food at a time as I was happily willing to pick up in any one eating session. Including beverages --if I didn't want to mop 8oz of juice off the floor, I only gave them an ounce at a time. Seemed simpler to be the smart party in the room, and avoid creating work for me.

    Answer by LindaClement at 1:28 AM on May. 22, 2010

  • If my LO throws food on the floor she is done and I make her pick it up. I started this when she was about a year old. We don't throw food in our house and it is an unacceptable behavior. I decided that if she was capable of pick up a toy she could easily pick her food up off the floor. The 3 time rule is only implemeted when she drops something on purpsose and it isn't food. I warn her when I have doen it 2 times and tell her the next time it will be Mommy's. This helps immensely. She doesn't usually drop something more than twice. I wish you luck.

    Answer by coala at 11:16 AM on May. 22, 2010

  • This is what we did....
    If he threw something once he was scolded and it was given back. If he threw something again it was left on the floor and not given back.... it might mean he didn't have anything to eat or drink but he learned quickly that if it was on the floor he didn't get it back.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 12:33 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • My daughter did this a lot. i finally figured out that she just hated the high chair and she hated a booster seat. We got her her own little table. Its a kids table with kids chairs and she gets to sit there and eat like a big girl. She likes the freedom. He is at the age of beginning to assert his independence. Try the table, him aving ffreedom to roam a bit may help him to not throw his food on the floor!! It worked wonders for us!! She ate lunch in her highchair that day that we got her the table and she threw everything on the floor. And at dinner when she ate at her table not a single piece was dropped!

    Answer by Amanduhpanda at 2:28 PM on May. 22, 2010

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