However, I was just thinking that eventually we'll have to teach him to stop.
Is it better to start that sooner, so he hasn't got the food-on-the-floor habit too ingrained? Or should we wait, to avoid reducing the fun of mealtime with "nos"? What is an appropriate age to learn that lesson? (he's certainly capable of understanding if we tell him no, though doesn't always listen, obviously).
My kids only threw stuff down when they were done eating anyway.
When they throw it down I just say "Food doesn't go on the floor, it stays on the tray or in your mouth" and put the item on the table instead, and then I get the baby out of the high chair and we clean up.
Our family standard is to laugh and say: "Gravity! Works everytime."
Perhaps this is why my kids are scientifically inclined.
But then, my first didn't really do solids until 13 months.
I don't allow throwing food on the floor or dishes during mealtimes. It is a family standard that I teach my children from the time they start eating with us. If something is thrown down once or twice I'll give it back (b/c sometimes it was an accident since their motor skills aren't the best as older infants/young toddlers) but after that it's put away and the meal is over.
Now, at almost 2, she hasn't thrown food on the floor since she was 12/13 months old. I figured it was just a stage and that once she figured out how gravity worked, she wouldn't need to test it again. I figured she'd grow out of it eventually (she probably won't be throwing food on the floor when she's out on dates, you know?). I just let it pass.
They do stop when they stop being babies. And I promise you your sweet not even one year old will someday be a sweet 9 year old who laughs when her cousin throws food, picks it up and says "Gravity! Works everytime."
Not every baby behavior needs to be curbed.
ETA: isn't it wonderful how things fall and land somewhere unpredictable?! They never land in the same spot twice. It's almost like watching a waterfall. Yeah, the water ends up at the bottom, but its wonderful to watch it go down.
If you have concerns - I would just give smaller amounts of food and multiple portions as I found the higher instances of "gravity testing" occurred after DS was done eating and ready to play
And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.
You can help avoid the issue altogether, though, but offering only one or two bites at a time. It seems like if the portion offered is too large, they're more likely to throw, but if you only pass over a little bit at a time, they find it easier to stay focused on eating.
FWIW, though, I did tolerate food-throwing a lot more with my first. I had more time to clean up, then. The second time around, I had a toddler and twin infants and a serious chronic illness, and if I'd tolerated throwing, I would have spent my whole life cleaning the floor. But the twins learned consistently not to throw almost a whole YEAR before DD1 had learned not to, so I'm a big believer in my way, now.
Nothing wrong with tolerating the throwing though. They will grow past that phase all on their own with some encouragement. It really is just exploration. But I don't think there's anything wrong with cutting it short, either, and offering something less messy for gravity experiments.
DD1 was a messy, messy eater as a baby. DD2 loves food and would never waste it! She's just turned 1 yo and she will pound the tray when she's done, or try to "clean up" by mashing it all into the tray. When DD2 throws her bowl, spoon, cup, whatever on the floor, it was usually an accident, but sometimes it's her "all done" cue.
Pththtthth on once they start throwing food on the floor they'll never stop unless you teach them.
They do stop when they stop being babies. . .
Not every baby behavior needs to be curbed.
Just work around it. Put a sheet under the highchair if you want to protect the floor. Don't give her dishes that are breakable (up until recently, my 16 mo only got a sippy--everything else went on the tray).
We found that one of our kids got overwhelmed if we put too much in front of her at once and she'd just sweep it to the floor. So we work in small amounts.
we too pick things up a few times (if early on in the process enough) and then hold/hide them. we constantly remind him to put his cup/bowl/spoon/food on the table, not the floor and to say "no thank you" instead of just flinging aside something offensive. this is something that they all do and it will certainly pass. i think the best tactic is to simply remind them where things go but not to stress about where they actually end up.
and i have no idea what we would do without our dog. she makes clean-up SO much easier!
Well, throwing food in our house isn't quite as exciting, as the dog's reflexes are much quicker than ours. Well, he will not eat something if we tell him not to, but if DS throws food on the floor on purpose, I have been known to let natural consequences happen.
Teaching doesn't mean saying no or giving negative consequences. Right from the start, I'll say to a baby, very gently, that food doesn't go on the floor, my current one clearly hasn't a clue what I'm saying, but at least it won't get to a point where I suddenly seem to not allow something that was previously allowed.
I don't remeber with ds1- I don't think he threw food very long (see the quote above- but at that pont we had 3 dogs, and there was no stopping them from eating anything on the floor!). I'm sure there was a point when I stopped picking stuff back up- probably just whenever I was tired of doing it.
Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
Now he'll throw a piece of food the second you hand him one, at least 90% of the time. I've been telling him no, that food is for eating, not throwing. Then I don't give it back. If he fusses for the food again, I usually give him a couple chances, then stop trying and try again later. The result is that he's hardly eating anything at all anymore. Which I guess is OK, because he's still nursing lots, and will learn not to throw food soon, I hope....?
Here was my solution:
I keep a little bowl or plate next to her main plate. When she gets that "look" such as "I'm tired of this or ew I don't like this" I point at the bowl and remind her "put your extras in here, not on the floor."
So now she understands to put the "bad" food aside instead of flinging it.
At restaurants we use the bread plate.