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How do you handle meals?<br><br>
My 2-year-old twins are starting to protest being strapped into a high chair at meal times. If I don't strap them down they crawl over the table or want to be held. If I hold one on my lap the other screams to be held. Even holding one is difficult--they grab my food (snubbing their own food), or again, try to get on the table. Two is impossible.<br><br>
But a screaming strapped-down child makes meal time pretty unpleasant.<br><br>
Bobbie
 

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We went through this with my 6 yr old and ournow 2 yr old has started it as well.<br><br>
If he screamed and didn't want to sit in his seat, then he got down. We always explained it was his choice....come sit nicely, or you may get down. THIS is dinner time so if you are choosing to get down, then no dinner. I always did it in a very "gosh I'm so sorry you're choosing to get down...we're going to miss you at the table...are you SURE youd on't want to sit in the seat and eat with us?"<br><br>
Neither of my sons ever skipped dinner more than once. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Once they know you'll follow through on this, they'll come and sit quietly and have family dinner. They HATE being left out and will comply next time. It's just yet another test to see what we'll do. It's their job and they usually do it well. lol<br><br>
Good luck. Remember, this too shall pass.
 

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For dinner we do that too (what mom2twoboys said)... I mean, we'll still give him FOOD, but food is the least important part of dinner for us. Once he realizes that everyone else is talking at the table, he gets back up.<br><br>
For other meals, we don't use the high chair. I'm the Bad Mama that puts food in bowl, bowl on floor (clean floor...living room rug... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> )<br><br>
ETA: don't worry, I'm getting a little kids' table soon, LOL!
 

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My daughter went through this too. She just HATED being "forced" to sit in a high chair. HATED it. We got her a little toddler table and it helped a ton. I allowed her to get up and down as she wanted, but she wasn't allowed to run around the house eating food. For one, we have dogs and I don't want her feeding the dogs (she would drop food into their crates). And two, running at eating isn't safe for anyone, let alone a toddler.<br><br>
It took a lot of redirecting to get her back to the table with her food, but she got the hang of it. She was free to put the food down and go do something else, and then come back and eat. But eating just wasn't something I was prepared to make a big deal out of. I offered small amounts of food so there was little waste, but if she didn't want to eat, she could leave the table.<br><br>
Now we have a booster for her, and she likes it MUCH better. I think she disliked the highchair because she didn't feel like she was at the table with us, and now she does. And for those few weeks that she ate the table, it sort of reiterated that she wasn't being "forced" to eat. And she's still not, but now that she feels like she's sitting at the table WITH us, she is much more keen to sit in her own big girl seat.
 

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My dd made it very clear she was through with the high chair around 18 months. So we got a booster for the regular chair <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
-Angela
 

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We do a combo of what mom2two and Northof60 do.<br><br>
First of all, DD has eschewed the high chair (except very very occassionally - about once every couple of weeks) since about 13 mos. She much prefers to stand on the chair at the table (and she doesn't like boosters, thank you very much <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">).<br><br>
She's free to get up and down as she pleases, but not with food in her hand. And we warn her when we're getting ready to finish, so that she knows the table will be cleared.<br><br>
We started teaching a few rules when she started to come to the table...we didn't expect her to have manners...we're teaching them...big ones we've conquered are "Feet stay on the chair or floor" (which eliminated climbing on the table), and "We leave our food at the table" (if she's eating it at the table, it stays on the table...we sometimes do snacks sitting on the kitchen floor <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">). We're working on "Let's eat from our OWN plate!"<br><br>
The first couple of months were rough until she mastered "Feet stay on the chair or floor"
 

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It's kind of pricey, but I found this chair <a href="http://www.stokkeusa.com/tripptrapp.htm" target="_blank">http://www.stokkeusa.com/tripptrapp.htm</a> really helpful when my firstborn started refusing the highchair. (He also refused to sit in a booster.) It's adjustable and allows your kid to put his/her feet on a footrest, but it's not a highchair, so they scoot right up to the table with everyone else. It can be used for adults too. My big kid still uses his, and I'm thinking of getting one for my little one too.<br><br>
Some kids do fine sitting on their knees on a regular chair, but some are too squirmy and can't handle it.<br><br>
I also think the previous poster who suggested letting the kid be "done" with dinner if he/she won't sit reasonably still (i.e. no screaming or trying to climb onto the table or other unpleasant, unsafe, or otherwise unacceptable behavior) may be onto something. Contrary to what a lot of parents seem to think, I don't think missing out on an occasional meal through your own choices is going to do anyone any lasting harm. Sporadic fasting is what the human race evolved with, after all! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> And it seems like a good motivator to change your behavior. But if you're not up for that, maybe the rather expensive adjustable chair will work for you. It certainly worked for me.<br><br>
Nealy<br>
mama to T, 5, and L, 2
 

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remember in the tv show and movies how the kids eat separately in the kitchen and not in the dinning room (except in <i>The Sound of Music</i> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)<br><br>
This is why... it takes awhile to have children sit and eat... at the same time, while everyone else is eating!<br><br>
I guess it helps for them to not be starving before dinner time--make sure they aren't over hungry. And then just do what you can to eat yourself (even if you have to share), and then make sure they eat a bit too. There are some awesome recommendations above.<br><br>
It does get better <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Swandira</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10726336"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's kind of pricey, but I found this chair <a href="http://www.stokkeusa.com/tripptrapp.htm" target="_blank">http://www.stokkeusa.com/tripptrapp.htm</a> really helpful when my firstborn started refusing the highchair. (He also refused to sit in a booster.) It's adjustable and allows your kid to put his/her feet on a footrest, but it's not a highchair, so they scoot right up to the table with everyone else. It can be used for adults too. My big kid still uses his, and I'm thinking of getting one for my little one too.</div>
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We use this one, too, for our two year-old and our daughter's three-year-old. (Everybody uses them here in Norway.) It lets the kids participate in the meals with the rest of the family, and is easy to climb unto and go down from. Because I do let them go down from and leave the table during meals.<br><br>
I don't expect my two-year-old to sit still at the table through the whole meal. It is difficult for such a small child to sit still for a long time, so it is natural that he wants to take breaks and walk about for a bit. I don't think it is necessary to punish kids for this by taking the rest of the food from them, they might still be hungry and usually always come back to eat more. They learn to sit at the table during a whole meal when they are a little older.<br><br>
It is also important that the grown-ups and bigger children sit at the table without moving to much to and fro - the movement tends to inspire the kids to start moving too. So we try to get everything ready on the table before everybody sits down, so we don't have to get up and fetch things so much (this is difficult, we always forget thngs).<br><br>
Of course if they climb up on the table or just throw their food around, we ask if they are done eating. If they say no, we ask them to sit on the chair. If they say yes, we let them leave the table (but they can still come back and eat more if / when they change their minds).<br><br>
We never force them to come and eat, and never have. They eat well and participate in all meals because they are hungry and want to. Meals should be nice, and not ruined by threats, promises of rewards, punishment, or pressure to eat more than you want. Everybody needs food and like to eat. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> If you know that you can relax at the table, and not be harrassed by people scrutinising how or what you eat, you are more likely to want to sit there. (I'm not saying that you do this.)<br><br>
I do realise that it is difficult with two kids that both want to sit on your lap - I have often had both my son and granddaughter on my lap during meals, and it makes it very difficult for me to eat. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> If they want to go down, then it is easier to just let them - if you stay behind and enjoy the meal, then they will come ad join you if they're hungry.<br><br>
We always eat with the kids, it is not motivating for people to eat while somebody is just sitting there watching them eat. Meals are very important family occasions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Sorry about this long post, it seems I had a lot of opinions about this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> But this is what we do, anyway, and it works for us.
 

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We bought our boys their own little table around that age (maybe a little earlier), I think it was a little tyke. This way, it was their own size to use, and they really loved it. We also recognized that at this age their attention span didn't last that long, so we were happy when they stayed about 10-15 minutes to eat with us (we sat on the couches around the table, but put our plates at the ends of their table). What also helped us was to sort of have 2 dinners, I would give them a "bigger" meal before our family dinner time, then they mostly ate fruit and things they really loved, so they sat longer.<br><br>
We still do this type of feeding now at 2 1/2 but we got rid of the table when we moved across the country 2 weeks ago and we now just use booster seats with belts.
 
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