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Toddler Throwing Food

My 21 month old is child #4 so this is obviously not the first time I have dealt with food throwing. I'm at my wits end and have tried everything I can think of....pulling him out of his high chair and ending the meal right then and there, holding his hands tightly while sternly telling him we do not throw our food, timeout, and most recently I even resorted to spanking. NOTHING works! He most recently threw his entire plate, just like a frisbee! HELP!

Every child is different and therefore provides unique challenges. Toddlers often thrive eating very little and become bored at mealtimes. Several of our children were food throwers and/or mealtime screamers. We too have grown frustrated with these difficult situations.

When our toddlers scream or throw food, we prefer to use time out. When dealing with an issue like this, we like to place our toddler in a rolling high chair (we usually use a clip on chair). When they misbehave, we take away their food, roll them into another room and shut the door. After they stop screaming, we welcome them back to the meal. This is a case where time out is as important for the parents as for the toddler. With persistence and consist consequences his food throwing will end.

It is important to discuss this problem with your older children. If they laugh and encourage him they are contributing to the problem. The whole family needs to work to solve this problem.

Follow up (2 months later)

I don't know if this is what finally helped resolve the food throwing issue but we decided to take him out of the high chair. So now he sits at the table with us. We haven't had an all out family food fight... Yet. Now my issue is getting to him to sit still at the table long enough to finish a meal. Life with toddlers.


Written November 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Windermere Pediatrician






gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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