Dinner time

Jill - posted on 01/08/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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How do you make dinner and get a toddler to eat and stop throwing food on flloor to try to have a family dinner ( even if only for 20 minutes ) advice ?

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Chet - posted on 01/12/2014

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It's very common for toddlers to do well at breakfast and lunch, but not supper. Little kids tend to be hungrier in the morning and to also behave better because they haven't been tired out by the day yet. Your toddler is likely to be the most receptive and cooperative at breakfast if you want to have a nice family meal and use it as an opportunity to teach table manners.

Obviously supper is still important. I would just start by lowering your expectations in addition to looking for strategies to improve dinnertime behaviour.

We have four closely spaced children and for a long, long time my husband and have eaten supper after the kids went to bed because it wasn't realistic to have a nice family meal in the evening with four little kids. It was just asking too much from four. All we did was correct behaviour, refill glasses, wipe up spills, portion out food, etc... it was better for us to not bother trying to eat on top of it.

Moving supper a to be earlier (4:30pm or 5pm) may help.

I think you also want to be careful about encouraging kids to eat because of social pressure when they really aren't hungry. Try offering extremely small portions, and requiring your child to ask for more if they want more. This often helps with food throwing and dropping as well.

Lastly, I don't generally reprimand babies and young toddlers for dropping and throwing food. I'll point out that food is for eating, and I'll remove food when I think they're done eating, but I also want to respect that fact that object permanence and materials exploration are developmental stages. Toddlers drop, throw and manhandle food because they are programmed to do it as a way to learn about their world and they will outgrow it. I've found it more useful to just mitigate the stage by giving small portions, having the child eat in places that are easy to clean, eating at a low kiddie table helped, removing food when kids started playing with it excessively, and reminding the child that food it for eating (as opposed to a lot of "not" "don't" "stop" "bad" type stuff).

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Jill - posted on 01/12/2014

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Thanks for all your posts. I am putting them into practice. I agree no yelling for dropping food. If anything our family has to try not to laugh when he drops food. He is exploring his world with "dropping and throwing " all the time. What Else do picky kids at this age eat? I wil try shrimp, good suggestion.

Michelle - posted on 01/09/2014

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My son is 13 months and now we are training him to eat at his high chair, we have been training his for almost 1 month, everyday at dinner time, we put him on his chair n tell him it's dinner time, he needs to sit on his high chair for dinner, so far so good. We fed him shrimp, fish, dumplings, beaf, different kinds of greens, he likes them and happy to accept new food. My son is now 24 gram and we are all worries that he puts up on weight too fast. LOL

Loving - posted on 01/09/2014

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is celery bad?? lol he chews on it mostly, he likes the crunching. He eats peanut butter too, he loves it! I have not fed him shell fish yet tho, makes me too nervous. We never had a problem with our lil man sitting in his high chair, but now he sits at the table in his booster seat (it has a seat belt in it, and straps down to the chair). I think its all about routine.. maybe walk him to his high chair and tell him its dinner time, when he cries or gets mad, let him cry it out for a minute. Is his high chair pulled up to the table? If your at the table, he will want to be, kids love copying their parents! so if you want him to do it, you should do it! That's what we go by, it always works lol.

Jill - posted on 01/08/2014

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Yes thank you. I will try that. Really he eats celery ? I am still fearful of that. I haven't even given him peanut butter yet. I also need advice on how to get him to sit in his high chair when it is time for dinner , it is such a chaotic time of night.

Loving - posted on 01/08/2014

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My husband an I have a tought time getting our 23 Mth old son to eat. He is so picky! He also spits his food and throws it when he is full. To get him to eat we try to give him things he likes (Mac & cheese), or something new that is finger food (he loves celery). Another thing that works is pretending to eat off his plate and going on about how yummy it is, or share our food. And when that doesn't work we will eat and pretend he can't have any then he'll ask for it, and well give it to him. He loves feeling like a big boy, so a regular spoon or drinking out of a reg. small cup makes things a bit easier, and a lil messier! Also when he throws his food we tell him no and take it, we let him know it's for eating and not playing, most of the time we will make him clean up his own mess. It definitely helped! He doesn't do it near as much. Hope I was helpful :))

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