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Throwing Food

Help! My daughter is 27 months and she throws her food off her tray at the table. She’s been doing this since she was 12ish months and I thought she’d grow out of it. I started with an “uh oh! Now we have to pick up the food!” and she’d help. Now we’ve moved to showing our displeasure with a “We don’t throw food” but she’ll look right at us and do it again! What should we do?



Paige Lucas-Stannard is a Parenting Educator and Founder of Parenting Gently where she offers parenting classes and coaching to progressive parents. She’s a former NASA research librarian happy to be home raising her 3 IVF babies after nearly a decade of infertility. She likes to cook and sew and has, in general, become her mother. Happily. Follow her on Twitter @parentinggently



  • admin

    (from FB): Is she done eating? Maybe be aware of when she's done and remove the food.

  • LJayne

    This for me would be an automatic end to the meal or snack. Calmly and politely still but a definite "we don't do that, you obviously don't want it, you can get down" or whatever words are appropriate. If she protests that she is still hungry then she would have one more chance to return and behave nicely.Are you making her stay at the table after she's really had enough but the rest of you are still eating? It is hard to balance a 27 month's old tolerance and the desire to help children understand the good manners they will need later on to stay at a table, wait for others to finish, talk to elders etc.

  • phaedra13

    Well, our son is a lot younger than your daughter (16 months) but he's been throwing food for half his life! One thing that has worked for us, is to remove the food, but give him an alternative. He loves to look at books, so we'll say something like, "You threw your food! Let's take a break." and then give him the book for a bit until he asks for the food again. He likes to take breaks while he's eating and this helps us avoid the up and down from the chair thing. It's also a nice way to all be able to eat dinner together.

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