What I did when my 18 month old goes through phases like that is I start by only give him a small amount of one part of the meal at a time so he doesn't have anything to play in. If he eats well, he earns back the right to have all his food in front of him at once if he does worse, I sit and spoon feed him. He's never really spit anything out for a reason that wasn't legit IE too hot or spicy or hard on his teeth. The few times he's tried refusing because he didn't want what I was serving so he could have something else, for one, I didn't give in and two I took what he spit out and kept putting it right back in his mouth. Just keep in mind that they slow way way down eating sometimes while growing and can't eat everything on their plates. Just pick your battles wisely and stick to your guns. I'm really proud of my son's table manners today because I know I worked hard and misses several warm meals to teach him these things.
at 2:57 AM on Aug. 26, 2011