Plate dumping will happen, it's a fact of toddler life. Or they pick up a handful of food, wait for you to look away, and drop it on the floor (or in the case of dd4, wait for you to look *at* her, then drop it). I take away the plate as soon as she looks mischevious - she can bang the spoon, paint in the mess that's already on the tray, whatever, but I don't need or want to mop the dining room after each meal, yk?
Liz Lovin' DH DS (12) and forever missing DD (12/02/07)
From the withered tree, a flower blooms~ He's here!!! So crazy in love with my boy!!! 12/14/11
I first tried it at a restaurant about two months ago. We used a small bread plate to put his food on cause I didn't want to put his food directly on the table. He totally surprised me! Of course I kept my hand on the edge of it for practically the whole dinner, just in case. What I'll usually do is not put his plate in front of him empty, mkae sure there is food. He really like being like the 'grown ups". he rather not have the tray on the high chair and just have the chair pushed up to the table and have his own plate and fork like mama and daddy.
The plate has hit the floor a couple times, but so far nothing has broken on my kitchen linolium.
I used to put the food directly on the tray, until he stopped using the high chair. Then I started using a plate. I had tried using one before that but it usually ended up on the floor. For some reason, being at the table seemed to make him think throwing his plate on the floor was no longer acceptable behaviour.
And I break glasses and dishes more often than she does. (After DH got upset at her breaking something, I started keeping track).
breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!
It's nice not to be cluttering up our kitchen with more plasticky "kid stuff." The custard cups are useful for all kinds of things, and the enamelware is good for camping, picnics, patio meals, etc.
My now 8 yr old was a messy eater who i always gave paltes, bowlc etc to. I have cleaned up alot of messes. By around 15 months she was finally wanting to eat with manners & no longer tossed things.
My 4 yr old, he still & never would like to use paltes ,bowls etc. He dumps out everything & no matter i do he will not use plates. I cut him some slack because he is a special needs child but i still try daily to work with him.
Now my youngest, 2 yrs old last week..... She likes to be neat , clean, well kept in her manners etc. She has since she was able to used plates, utensils etc. She NEVER throws things, dumps things etc. She is such a neat freak she won't eat messy foods unless you feed them to her. She can not stand her mouth, hands dishes etc to be messy. She will scream for you to clean her hands if she gets food on them. She has ALWAYS been that way. Her birthdays she wouldn't even eat her cake unless you fed her. It was interesteing when my BIL put the cake plate on her head. WOWO i thought it was excorcist time!!
Heather.... hmmm i had a siggy line... looks like i lost it somehwere!!!
It makes it soo much easier when we eat out now that he handles a plate well. I also give him a fork or spoon to work on eating with, which he loves.
i have a friend who's three year old still does not eat off of a plate, she eats off of her parents plates and they give her bits of food when she's running around in between meals. i asked the mother about this and she said it was so she wouldn't have food issues later in life, WTF? i'm thinking she's already got them? she's not learning table manners, and she does seem to be hungry late at night, am i old fashioned? the child can't sit at a table through a meal...
My dd is 25 m. for reference. We took the tray off the high chair ( we have the svan) as soon as we could and had her eat with us at the table. Before that we were able to fit the tray over the table so it felt the same. As soon as she had been eating for a little while (maybe 8 or 9 months) she had dishes and utensils. She never had sippy cups either, just drank from a shot glass at first and now just a smaller glass we happened to have. At first we used more unbreakable stuff like stainless steel, wood or enamel, but I got tired of hand washing so she usually uses ceramic unless I know I will be distracted away from the table and she seems riled up or something. Often she will eat her soft boiled egg out of a family heirloom porcelain egg cup or drink tea out of antique china. I like for her to feel trusted to be careful with beautiful and precious things. She went through a brief throwing phase at one point (17 months maybe??) but I think she has only ever broken one dish. Every mom and toddler are different and this may not work for everyone but I do think it's nice to give toddlers opportunities to learn they are capable as early as possible unless it is a big stressor for the parent.
I'm pretty lenient about this compared to most in this thread. My oldest was pretty well-behaved as a little one at the table and I think we moved to a plate around 18 months. My youngest was given a trial at around 18 months and failed miserably so we tried again at 2. For me, using a tray or a plate has little to do with table manners and everything to do with readiness.
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