My 2 Years Old Throws Food on the Floor!
Hello fellow mamas! I just wanted to share this as it took me a while to improve my daughter's eating habits and I have seen friends struggle with this as well. Sometimes we can make things more complicated by having unrealistic expectations.
So here are my tips on how to handle this situation without losing your mind.
1- Stay calm:
18 month old, 2 year olds are in the phase of exploring the world. They will pour water or whatever drink you give them, they will throw the food and will make a mess (see photo above!). This in itself is not a "problem behavior" and at this age, your aim is to minimize the damage and most importantly, to feed them. If they are throwing all the food and not eating anything (or eating very little in a day), or in older children, there is a different approach. But for a 2 year old, trying to stop this can be a bit like banging your head into the wall.
2- Engage them:
Sitting on the dinner table while adults are busy discussing things IS boring for your child. Make sure you talk so they don't feel left out.
3- Reward and praise them for eating well:
This goes a long way to connect with them and encourage them to eat.
4- Give them the options:
It is unrealistic to keep giving them "orders" and expect your toddler to do everything you tell them to (you wish!). It helps to teach your child basic words or phrases to help them communicate their choices.
-They can choose to keep sitting on the dinner table or go play.
-They can say when they are done eating.
-It also helps to start introducing a baby spoon or fork. Of course, they will not be using it properly in the beginning but this will improve with time.
5- Dinner table is for dinner:
When your child is done eating, he or she should be put on the floor, or food is taken away and a toy is given. No playing with food after feeling full.
6- Only offer them small portions at a time:
This one is obvious but sometimes we are over optimistic. The extra food that they don't eat is likely to end up on the floor than in their mouth.
I hope this helps. Let me know what works for you and your child!