Throwing food

Kristen - posted on 01/13/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )




My 16-month old throws food at the end of the meal and also throws his sippy cup almost every time he gets done drinking from it. The end-of-the-meal throwing I think I get--he's done eating and/or likes to see if he can engage us in a battle over whether he will get away with it. Our general approach with that has been to say "no food on the floor" in a firm even voice and then quickly end the meal. That's supposed to work but it's been maybe 4 months and he's not stopping! I'll try to be patient.

The part that stumps me more is the cup. It's almost like he takes a big drink and throws the cup away as if it's suffocating him. A minute later he wants another drink. We say "no milk on the floor" and keep the cup away from him until he reaches for it again, but the pattern just keeps on. Any suggestions?


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Christa - posted on 01/14/2009




I've taught my daughter a few sign language signals to ease her frustration of not being able to say some words yet. She is a very determined little girl and likes to be able to tell or show us what she wants or needs. She used to throw food on the floor as well...but after firmly telling her "Breanna No. We don't throw food on the floor." She started understanding it wasn't allowed...she would hold the food in her hand...above the if she was going to drop it. And then she would say, "No no no" I'd tell her she was a good girl and that is a "no no" then I'd ask her if she was "All Done" and I'd do the sign language for it. She quickly learned the signal for "All Done" and uses that to tell me she is done eating. I LOVE teaching her sign language. Makes her less frustrated as a little social girl.

Natasha - posted on 01/14/2009




My 18 month old son has been doing the same thing for months now.  I dont know where it came from or why he does it as he almost always wants his cup back straight away.  My answer to him now is simply "no, cups go on the table not the floor".   This goes in one ear and out the other.

I've given up!

Miranda - posted on 01/14/2009




My 21 month old did this for MONTHS!!!  I finally got her to put the food that she didn't want into the cup holder spot on her tray... it usually works now

Before that she would throw EVERYTING she didn't want.  When she was all done I would make a big deal about the fun thing we were going to do next and she'd be all excited, and I would act all sad and say that she ahd to wait in her chair while mommy cleaned up her mess... then I'd really take my time, even if she was crying and begging to get down... I'd just tell her I was sorry she was sad, but she made the choice to throw the food...

I know that she didn't understand it all, but it did the trick!!!

Melissa - posted on 01/13/2009




We have the same problem and have tried nearly everything mentioned above.  My son is 26 months otd and still throws things at nearly every meal.  It is so frustrating and we continue giving him timeouts from the meal (turning his chair away from the table and returning him when calm), firmly telling him "no throwing", making him pick up and clean up the mess.  When we see it coming, we try and take it away before he can throw it but sometimes this makes him angrier and he looks for anything, even crumbs on the table, to start throwing instead.  I have no other advice, but if you figure out a magical cure ... please let me know.  I am so tired of cleaning the kitchen floor 5-6 times a day.

Brandi - posted on 01/13/2009




my daughter was still throwing her food on the floor about 1 month ago. she is 22 months old. i had to remember back to what i did with the older 4. none of them did this. it just dawned on me that i never put as much food on their plates as i do hers. i would give them more, but only a little, each time they finished what was on their plates. giving them 2nd's or 3rd's or even 4th's sure beat the aggravation of picking it up off the floor or even the aggravation of her throwing it down in the 1st place. she still throws her food when i put too much on her plate at one time.

Noriko - posted on 01/13/2009




My son is 14 months old and does the same thing. It's a classic. They're definitely looking for reaction.

I have recently discovered something of a sanity saver-- my son will quietly eats his meal if his favorite children's song CD is on. Even if it's really quietly in the background. This has made meal time so much less stressful for me. It must keep him calm and he doesn't attempt any food throwing. Which makes me believe that he KNOWS what he's supposed to do during meal time.

At the same time, I want to teach him not to throw food on the floor. The only thing I can think of is to give a little time out from eating/drinking, and have him pick up whatever he dropped. But the whole thing is definitely a test of patience and creativity!

[deleted account]

When my daughter did that (she is a week and two days shy of 5 years old) I completely ignored her. I wouldn't give her the cup back (as long as you know the child is getting enough liquids). If she started throwing food I would remove her from the table and try again in a few minutes if I didn't think she was finished. Thankfully she caught on pretty quick and stopped after a few weeks or so.

Trudy - posted on 01/13/2009




Try making him get down and pick it up and hand it to you every time he throws it on the floor.

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