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Q&A:
What are some tips for dealing with a 2 1/2-year-old food thrower?

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What are some tips for dealing with a 2 1/2-year-old food thrower?

Answer


Your son has a very good reason for throwing his food: It's fun! While he's too young to understand proper nutrition, he's old enough to experiment with the laws of physics and to see what types of reactions he can get out of you.

There's little you can do about his physics experiments other than to limit what he can throw. (That's one reason why many cups designed for toddlers have weighted, round bottoms and narrow openings at the top—these things minimize the damage when they're knocked over or dropped.)

What you can work on, however, is your own response to what he does. The key here is to ignore the food throwing. That's much more powerful than if you yell at him or even punish him for throwing food, since both of those behaviors give him extra attention.

Instead, give him that extra attention when he gets that food from his plate to his mouth. Praise him enthusiastically. Overdo it a bit. Let him know how proud you are of him for eating so well. He'll find this much more satisfying than sending slices of banana sailing across the kitchen. When that happens, the problem will disappear.

Of course you could also get a dog who would love to chase after all that flying food...  
 
 
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