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How do i get my 18th month old to eat properly?

My 18th month old makes a HUGE mess every meal time, shoving food between him and the highchair. Rubbing food in his hair. Throwing food on the floor (when I'm not looking). Is this a phase or what should I be doing to instill proper eating habits? Cleaning up gets tiring after a while. Wish I could just wipe his face and hands and be done with it. help.

Answer Question
 
Miss_Angela

Asked by Miss_Angela at 8:01 PM on Jan. 29, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 12 (885 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • This is just one of those things they need to learn. It does get tiring, but it lets up a bit closer to two.
    Dr.Donna

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 8:09 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • 2 things. Feed him one type of food at a time.. Or start feeding him again. Tell him you will do it tell he stops making a mess.
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 8:11 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • Yes this is a phase and it will get better. My kids are 8 and 11 now and I remember those days! The best thing to do is get a big plastic mat to put under the high chair (I think I found one at Kids R Us and it was huge vinyl-like mat) so that I only had to rinse off the mat each meal (I rinsed it in the tub) instead of cleaning the floor 10 times a day!

    Also, an 18 mth old may be old enough for chunkier foods (like Gerber Graduates). They like to feed themselves at this age so cut up fruits and veggies into very small chunks. Also, small cookies and crackers, cubes of cheese, cubes of ham or turkey, etc.

    One thing my pediatrician told me that stuck with me: when kids make messes, they aren't doing it to make you mad or disobey, they are most likely learning how to do something and until they master it, they will be make a mess. Trust me you'll miss this age when they get older! I love my kids but I miss my babies!
    RJPLAW42

    Answer by RJPLAW42 at 8:15 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • This is normal. I have a photo of my daughter at that age with a bowl of spagetti on her head.

    Enjoy your little one, and keep lots of soft rags around. Keep a plastic tablecloth on the floor.

    Remember, the bigger the child, the bigger the problems!!
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:52 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • I always felt that once they started playing with their food they were done eating. Then we would clean up the high chair and have them just sit with us if we were still eating and they were happy there. Otherwise, it was time for them to get down. If they ate well, fine. If not they would eat better at the next meal.
    elizabr

    Answer by elizabr at 7:21 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • GIVE HIM/HER FINGER FOODS-WHCH CONSIST OF VEGETABLES, NUGGETS, AND FRUITS. THE TODDLER TIME FOODS WITH THE VEGIE AND SIDE DISH IS GOOD ALSO
    auntied222

    Answer by auntied222 at 1:12 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • This is normal, I have 11 children and the youngest is now 18 months. He is messy too. They outgrow it. He's not quite as messy as some of the others were because he hates being cleaned up.
    MelissaCarole

    Answer by MelissaCarole at 7:09 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • just another phase i think
    my doc says that they play in their food and feel it and so on
    hope it passes soon for ya
    Amanda11810

    Answer by Amanda11810 at 1:11 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

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