“Toddler Tip Tuesday” is my new weekly series I have started for 2012. I am in no way a toddler expert but since I am going through the joys of toddler hood right now, I will bring you tips that will hopefully make your life a bit easier! This week’s topic is filled with tips to get your toddler to stop throwing food! You can read my past tips HERE.
Throwing food is completely normal and a very natural developmental stage for toddlers. But that doesn’t make it any easier to handle! You little one’s experiments with gravity can be messy, funny, and let’s face it-at times very irritating. Luckily this stage was short lived for my 3 year old but my 14 month old is loving every second of seeing his food go “plop” on the floors, walls, the dog, or anything within a 5 foot radius (yes, he’s got a GOOD arm)! Here are some techniques that worked with my oldest son and others that I found while searching the net:
- Invest in suction bowl. While they aren’t 100% effective, they do make it a bit harder to at least throw the plates or bowls!
- Give smaller portions. Children usually throw their food when they are bored with eating. At least by giving smaller portions, there’s less to throw when they are done.
- Sit beside them while they eat. I know that sometimes it seems the perfect time to wash the dishes while they eat in the kitchen but by sitting right beside your toddler, they may be less likely to start throwing. This is currently our most successful method.
- Give them one warning and then remove the food. Be consistent and they will learn it’s not a game.
- Using baby sign languagehas helped us tremendously with my 3 year old. Instead of throwing his food to signal he was finished, he would simply sign “all done” and I would remove the plates and food before they became projectiles.
- Don’t keep saying “no”. Saying “Food goes in our mouth” or “Food is not for playing” to teach proper table manners.
What are some techniques that have worked for you? I’m all ears!