If your little one has started throwing food when starting solids feeding, you're not alone. First you should know that little ones commonly go through this stage temporarily, it is normal. Second, we must understand that our little ones are discovering these foods for the first time in their lives. It is a matter of exploration and discovering the cause and effect of each food.
But when it is definitely repetitive behavior, evaluate why.
*Put less food on your baby's plate. Sometimes plates full of food overwhelm a little one which encourages throwing. Just put one piece of each item and serve more as they are finished.
*Instead of a plate, put food directly on your baby’s highchair tray.
*Give your baby between 20-30 minutes to finish their meal. If they don’t eat during this window, we remove their plate and they can eat until their next meal time.
*Leave pets in a different place during mealtime.
*Offer a fork or cutlery (appropriate for their age). If they are too big and they can't use them, they may get frustrated and throw the food.
*Change the presentation of food (you can use molds with figures or cut in different ways, segments or pieces). Sometimes large pieces of food attract more attention than small pieces, for example a whole skinless chicken leg instead of shredded, a whole rib, a large broccoli floret, etc.
*Feign indifference to that behavior. Also don't pick things up immediately because your baby might think it's a game. Clean up when mealtime is over.
*Be the best example. Show patiently and lovingly where food goes. You can calmly tell them “food stays on the table” or “food goes here” and have a separate plate where they can place it.
*Have PATIENCE and empathy.
*If food is thrown, replace it two or three times. If they keep throwing, tell them "looks like we're done eating, we'll try next time."
Written By: Dr. Diana Jimenez, pediatrician specialized in child nutrition, lactation, and child development.
1 year ago