How to stop your child throwing food

Yoghurt covered face and water spillage

How do I stop my child throwing his/her food or plate when finished or they don’t want it?

Wow, it’s infuriating isn’t it?!

I’m sure this doesn’t make you feel any better but, throwing food is normal. Most children go through a food throwing phase much the same as they go through a phase of throwing toys.

For young babies, it happens as a result of learning to coordinate getting hand and food to mouth and is rarely intentional.

With older babies (9-12months), it’s about understanding cause and effect and whilst intentional, it isn’t naughty behaviour.

When it comes to toddlers and young children, it is usually intentional and designed to get a reaction from you. Positive or negative, it doesn’t matter.

How you react, even at the very early stage, is important.

And, the best thing to do is not to react at all! Do not reward the attention and reaction seeking behaviour since they will quickly learn that it results in a reaction from you and they will repeat it.

Remain calm, pick the food up but don’t give it back to them, and say that “food stays on our plates or on the table” and explain that it’s OK if they’ve had enough.

Be consistent in the words you use and use a phrase such as this one that explains what you want to see happen rather than what you don’t want to happen (so avoiding “we don’t throw food”).

Talk to older siblings about not reacting either – no laughing!

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *