How to Stop Your Toddler from Throwing Food on the Floor

toddler-eating
Image via Flickr/ donnierayjones

You finally got through making dinner for the family while your older children screamed at each other and your toddler dug every pot out of the cupboards by your feet. You sit your kid down at the table and hope to enjoy your own meal, but your youngest toddler has other things in mind.

Instead of eating the food you just spent way too long cooking, your toddler is taking it by the fistfuls and throwing it all on the floor. It's one of parenting's most frustrating phases of raising children — every one of mine has been through it, and it's anything but fun.

{ MORE: How to Stop Toddler Aggression }

If your toddler is throwing food on the floor, and you're hoping to find something — anything — to get them to stop, here are four tips to end this oh-so-annoying parenting phase.

 

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Image via Flickr/ mliu92

Limit What Is on Their Plate

If your little one is known for throwing their food, don't pack as much on the plate. You'll save yourself a lot of clean-up time and frustrations, too. Sometimes, limiting the options will decrease your toddler's interest in tossing their plate because they won't be overwhelmed by the food options in front of them.

{ MORE: Meal Prep Sunday: 5 Essentials to Get You Through the Week }

 

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Image via Flickr/ donnierayjones

Sit Down with Them

Sometimes, all they want is attention, and they know that by throwing food all over the floor, you're going to stop what you're doing and look at them. Try eating dinner at the table with them, model good manners, and see if that helps.

Engage your toddler in conversation. Asking about how their day was and talk about the food they're going to eat. This can help your child develop an understanding that this time is to eat, and they'll still be getting your attention as well.

 

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Image via Flickr/ donnierayjones

Buy Special Plates

There are some creative plate options available that are perfect for a toddler who loves to throw their food. From plates that stick to the table, making it hard for them to lift and throw them — to plates that encourage them to play while they eat, trying one or a few of these options may make meal time less frustrating for everyone.

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{ MORE: Why It's Great to Have a Strong Willed Kid }

 

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Image via Flickr/ quinn.anya

Take a Deep Breath

This phase is only just that — a phase. Your toddler will soon enough be skilled at table manners enough to not only keep their food on their plate but to actually eat with the utensils. It's a phase that many parents can wait to be finished with, and you may worry it will never happen — but it will.

Until then, take a deep breath and try not to let it get to you.

What things have you done to try and keep your toddler from throwing food? Share in the comments!

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How to Stop Your Toddler from Throwing Food on the Floor

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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