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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
He throws food overboard when he wants a drink, or if he thinks there's fruit for dessert. I keep saying no, we don't throw food...put it on your tray/give it to mommy if you don't want it....etc. sometimes i raise my voice and say No.<br>
My instinct tells me to end the meal. It makes sense--if you are throwing food you are done.<br>
BUT, he is a skinny little dude, and he needs to eat as much as I can get in him. Sometimes if I give him the fruit, or the drink, I can get him to eat some more of the food in between.<br>
He completely ignores me when I say No, in almost any situation. I assume this is a phase. How would you deal with meal time, without ending meals before he's done eating?
 

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We found that ony putting one or two bites of food on the tray keeps the LOs from throwing it. You have to keep giving them more, but more of it ends up in their mouths than on the floor!<br><br>
Does he have a spill proof cup? I'd let him have that at his chair so he can drink when he wants. Or you could teach him a sign to let you know when he wants a drink.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
we do only give him a bite or 2 when he starts throwing. also, he does sign for drink, but he can't have JUST water or milk for a meal! Sometimes, he'll do a little better with a sippy cup on the tray, but sometimes that gets pitched, too. lol
 

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its perfectly normal for a one yr old to eat hardly any solid food. make sure to nurse on demand (or offer bottles of formula on demand) until at bare minimum 24 mos. solids are just for play and exploration at one yr of age, dont expect anythign other than milk to count as calories for weight gain
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>blessedwithboys</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15385391"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">its perfectly normal for a one yr old to eat hardly any solid food. make sure to nurse on demand (or offer bottles of formula on demand) until at bare minimum 24 mos. solids are just for play and exploration at one yr of age, dont expect anythign other than milk to count as calories for weight gain</div>
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I second that. And IMHO, you can't control your child's body shape (skinny, fat, big, small) and can do a lot of harm by trying. With any child, offer healthy food, let them eat as much (or as little) as they want, make sure they get plenty of time for exercise, and they will grow the way they are supposed to (certain medical conditions excepted, of course). Which is to say just because a child is little or skinny doesn't mean they need to eat more.<br><br>
As for the throwing food, I offer 2 or 3 pieces at a time so I don't have to clean up a big mess. If they get thrown I figure it's just exploration, pick them up in a bit and offer again (if it's something you don't mind being eater after it was on the floor) or give another piece in a minute or so. Sometimes he just wants to play--I'll let him have a spoon or cup or whatever, then see if he wants more to eat. Sometimes he'll play awhile, then eat more; just as often he chooses not to eat, or eat one bite. It really varies.<br><br>
What's really helped me to have non-stressful mealtimes is to not focus my attention on what/whether my son is eating. I try to treat him like any other dinner companion--give him a bit of converse with him, offer more food if I see he's finished his, talk about what I like about the meal, etc. And I never withhold water (he doesn't care for any other drinks)--it's there at mealtime and all throughout the day whenever he asks.<br><br>
Meals can be really frustrating if your expectations (eat a good amount of food, don't throw it, don't fill up on water, eat at mealtime) don't match what your child is doing. It helped me to think through and change some of my expectations so that I'm not frustrated and meals are a positive time for all of us.
 

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I used to tell my dd that if she threw food she would need to be done, but I didn't follow through because I worried that she wouldn't get enough. Once I started sitting with her for meals and following through though I realized that she had been telling me that she was done and that she had come to think that this was the way to tell me she was done and she stopped throwing food. If she was hungry quickly afterward I would give her more food but that was rarely necessary. I also had to redefine what I thought a meal should consist of for her. She has never eaten as much as the children I was used to being around at each meal but she has always stayed in her percentile for both height and weight. Some kids have little tummies and are full quickly and ready to go back to playing. I find that small meals and light snacks worked best for my dd. Over the course of the day she will eat as much as other kids, it just doesn't happen at three main meals.
 

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Oh, man. I struggled with this issue with my DD and realize now that it was more about my control and perfectionist issues than about her behavior. The key for us was for me to calm down about it because she was doing it partly for my reaction. I started just saying calmly "Oh, no! food on the floor must mean you're all done. Next time sign all done to me like this." and demo the sign for her. Then it was meal over, but I would wait 1/2 hour and ask her if she was hungry again to make sure she wasn't actually missing out on calories. As soon as I stopped giving her negative reinforcement for the behavior, it did the typical...she got worse for a little while to see if she could get my upset reaction again, and then it gradually got better. Now she will hold her fist over the edge of the tray with food in it and look at me with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, but she knows the meal is done if she lets go, so it's usually just a fake-out. And these days she says "uppy" meaning "get up" as she waves her hands "all done." It worked, yay! But it took some time. Good luck!
 

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I'd be cautious with trying to get him to eat more. Babies trust their bodies and will eat exactly what they need when offered varied, healthy foods at regular intervals.<br><br>
I'd trust your intuition. If you think your baby is done, he's done.<br><br>
DD used to be a food thrower/player and with her it meant that she was done. Pretty much nothing we did stopped the behavior so we just took away her tray whenever she started throwing. I think it was a developmental stage because she did this very infrequently after 18mos or so.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nina_yyc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15389078"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think it was a developmental stage because she did this very infrequently after 18mos or so.</div>
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Bingo!<br><br>
It's very developmentally typical - cause and effect, fun, control over your environment. This too shall pass.
 

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We survived the food-throwing here and are mostly on the other side. At 12 mo, dd was throwing a ton of food, partly because she liked the entertainment of watching our dog scramble to eat it as quickly as she could throw it. And the cup--just tossed over the side as if it was litter. Now, at almost 18mo, she can go through an entire meal with out throwing food, putting her cup back down on the tray and using a utensil.<br><br>
I didn't do much by way of working on it aside from only dispensing small amounts of limited or valuable foods (ie--string cheese I only gave a bit at a time, beans--more dispensed) and really seeming thankful and happy when she would sometimes hand me her cup or plate instead of tossing.<br><br>
There were a couple of times, I have to admit, when I really lost it with the food throwing. It really made me angry and I realized quickly that my anger not only didn't help, but even my asking her not to do it made absolutely no sense.<br><br>
I think it's developmental and may or may not indicate that your ds is finished eating. A few more months and it will be a lot better.
 

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Just wanted to second what others have said: give just a little at a time, and it's developmental. Trying to change this behavior will likely leave you feeling defeated and frustrated. It will pass on its own, you just need to find a way to deal with/minimize the consequences until it does pass.
 

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Similar phase here - DD starts throwing food on the floor when she is full.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My instinct tells me to end the meal. It makes sense--if you are throwing food you are done.</td>
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Yes - I agree with this instinct. IMO there needs to be a firm stance on this: throwing food means no more food.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">BUT, he is a skinny little dude, and he needs to eat as much as I can get in him. Sometimes if I give him the fruit, or the drink, I can get him to eat some more of the food in between.</td>
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I have had occasional twinges of what-if-she's-not-getting enough (she's always been on the thinner side of average) but honestly I think this is my own neurotic-mama problem, not her weight problem. I try to remind myself that<br>
1) If she is really hungry she will eat it, not throw it<br>
2) If she didn't get enough at this meal she will have ample opportunities for solid snacks later, or for bf anytime<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">He completely ignores me when I say No, in almost any situation. I assume this is a phase.</td>
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I would actually be worried about this. When he observes you repeatedly saying No and being ignored, he's learning that No is not a particularly important word. I would save the No for when you mean it - and when you do mean it, enforce it (e.g. take away whatever it is, food or otherwise).<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">How would you deal with meal time, without ending meals before he's done eating?</td>
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I still think that if baby is throwing food then baby is done eating (for now).<br>
If baby is underfed by 3 bites at lunch then she can make them up at snack. Those three bites are absolutely not worth teaching baby that she can ignore me without consequences. IMO.<br><br>
By giving your DS drinks and fruit when he throws food, you are teaching him that throwing food is the way to get drinks and fruit. If you stop the meal when he throws food, you teach him that throwing food ends the meal. You can always offer the food/drinks/fruit 20 minutes later if you think he needs them, and then they will not be connected in his mind to the food-throwing.
 

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Well, I have a petite 13 month old and I try to not make mealtimes stressful for either of us but just letting things be. If she eats it great, if she does not, oh well, there is always next time. I would end the meal rather than getting upset.<br><br>
Fussiness goes with the age I think. For a few days my girl would eat nothing but baby yogurt, broccoli and purred apples. So I <i>rolled with it</i>, rather than trying to force her into eating other things and <b>surprise</b> in a few days she got sick of eating the same thing all the time, lol.<br><br>
I simply let her know when she throws it that we do not throw food on the ground and now that food is yucky (she knows that word) and we cannot eat it. I ask her (by holding the food up) if she wants more of something else and if she turns her head away or shakes her head 'no' meal time is over.<br><br>
If you are really concerned about his low weight. I would try offering more healthy fats at or in-between meals, rather than just trying get him to eat more at once. My daughter eats 6 times a day, with 3 small meals and 3 snacks. I am a vegetarian so some things I offer that have healthy fats are flavored tofu cubes, sunflower butter on pita or tortilla bread, cheese bites, avocado and banana mash, and olives to name a few.<br><br>
Also, I am not sure if I understand you right, but do you mean you limit his liquids at meal-time? I am not accusing you, just unsure what you meant. I would offer plenty of water or milk to him at dinner time. I think it would be pretty uncomfortable to have your mouth stuffed with food and no way to wash it down!<br><br>
Also, I am in the process of teaching the '<a href="http://www.babies-and-sign-language.com/sign-finish.html" target="_blank">all done</a>' sign to my daughter and think it will drastically improve our meal-time communication. So you might think about that as well if you are interested.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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My DS is moving into this phase as well. Thanks for all of the great advice!
 

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Another BTDT... My little guy is TINY and I used to get SO upset when he'd throw food and didn't eat much. At 2 1/2, he still gets the urge to throw food, but then again, he throws everything he can get his hands on b/c he likes to see things flying through the air....<br><br>
Three key things I wish I'd done a little better:<br>
1. End the meal immediately after the first throw. (And try to head off a throw if you can read the signs it's coming.)<br>
2. Don't get upset. No reaction other than calmly removing the plate and wiping the LO down.<br>
3. Offer huge snacks between meals, and add as much fat and calories to whatever you're feeding so you can relax a bit more about quantities eaten. (My son loves fruit and veggies, and his diet was practically fat-free. I started making him smoothies with whole milk yogurt, added coconut oil or avocado, buttered everything I could, etc. And yeah, I realize that he's just going to be a tiny person regardless, but at least I feel like I'm helping his growth by maximizing the calories.)
 

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IMO, it's a stage--very fun thing to do, and if you have older children it's almost impossible for the baby to NOT get reinforcement for throwing :)<br><br>
With our almost 16 month who LOVES to toss food, I have realized that:<br><br>
1) He is smart, and can tell what he likes. Three months ago I was able to ask him what he wanted to eat, "do you want a banana? do you want an avacado?, etc." and I would wait until he found what he wanted to eat rather than just give him what I thought he should have that day. He just plain eats more that way.<br><br>
2) He only needs one kind of food at a time, and more and he just gets overwhelmed and starts pitching things.<br><br>
3) He is very good with cause and effect and loves to put things places, so he knows that if he throws a bunch of banana on the floor chances are he gets to race me to eat the rest while I try madly to clean it up! Too fun, so now I try to always clean it up before I let him down.<br><br>
I really think it will end on it's own, my older two don't do it LOL. I have also not really had a problem with him at restaurants, etc. and we eat out frequently.<br><br>
I do feel you on the tiny baby thing, my middle was classified "failure to thrive" and we were pushed to fatten him up as well, and let me tell you that nothing we did worked at all. He is still a teeny little man, and has been tested for everything under the sun and is very healthy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> I really do believe that kids can/will eat what they need if given the chance and don't see the point of making meal-time stressful.<br><br>
I think everyone has given good advise, especially regarding the "all done" sign. That is what we use when he starts madly pitching food and taking away as much positive reinforcement as possible has helped as well as acting quickly when the food starts flying! This too shall pass, right?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lyra1977</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15387932"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, man. I struggled with this issue with my DD and realize now that it was more about my control and perfectionist issues than about her behavior.</div>
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Oh you are a beautiful person!<br><br>
Melon... he's 1. This is what they do! This is not bad behavior, just normal behavior.<br><br>
Prevention or accommodation is prolly a good way to go. eg, plastic mat on the floor to make tidying a breeze, giving small amounts on the plate at a time, have him feed you too.<br><br>
Better to ignore it than try to "discipline" the child.<br><br>
Better to shrug, laugh, kiss, ignore or blow a raspberry on his neck than feel that this needs to stop.<br><br>
And as for making the "rule" that throwing means "end of meal", I think it might be a good idea to check with him that that is what he also thinks. Otherwise looks more like you are getting on your high horse <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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My 1 year old eats like a Teamster, and throws food to indicate that she's done with the meal.<br><br>
I'd at least try instantly removing to rest of the food from the tray and ending the meal. If he doesn't flip out, then he's done. If he DOES flip out, then you'll probably have to give him a bite at a time. Tedious, but as others have said it's just a stage.
 
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