As a parent, I’ve been through it all when it comes to my child throwing food. From spaghetti and mashed potatoes to chicken nuggets and even a slice of pizza, I’ve had kids who are masters at throwing food. It’s important to address the issue of food throwing as it can be dangerous and wasteful. Not only could your kid injure themselves or someone else with a flying piece of food, but it’s also wasteful and expensive when you have to constantly replace their meal. It can also lead to messy clean-ups that nobody wants to deal with. With that in mind, here’s how I’ve successfully gotten my kids to stop throwing food.
Set clear expectations
Make sure your child knows that throwing food is not allowed. Explain why it is important to not throw food and explain the consequences that may happen if they do. Be consistent with the rules and make sure your child knows what will happen if they break them.
Remain firm and consistent with your expectations when it comes to mealtime behavior. If your child throws their food, make sure they understand that this is not acceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. Let them know that they need to eat their food in a calm and respectful manner. If they continue to throw their food, it’s best to remove them from the table until they are ready to demonstrate appropriate behavior. A little patience and consistency can go a long way in teaching your child the boundaries at mealtime.
Whenever possible, try to redirect your child’s attention away from the food. Offer them a toy or book to keep them occupied and try to distract them from the temptation of throwing food. You can also encourage them to use words or other non-destructive behaviors to express themselves instead. Additionally, be sure to give plenty of positive reinforcement when they do not throw food and stick to their designated behavior.
Try to reduce the chance of your child throwing food by removing any items that could be used as projectiles. Cut up food into small pieces to make it harder for them to pick up and throw, and try to limit the amount of food on their plate to reduce temptation. Offer healthy snacks and treats that won’t easily be thrown, such as baby carrots or yogurt cups.
Use silicone placemats
Placemats with suction cups can be great tools to help keep your child’s plate in place and make it more difficult for them to pick it up and throw it. Silicone dinnerware is also great for kids because the plates and bowls are lightweight, non-breakable, and easy to pick up. They can also be fun and colorful, helping to make mealtime more enjoyable.
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