“I need help my nearly 19month old is driving me insane. I’m very patient with her but every meal she throws her food all over the ground and it drives me literally up the wall. I’ve tried ignoring it (as she loves a reaction), I’ve tried a tap on the hand, I’ve tried turning her to the wall or putting her in a room away from us, telling her no. I don’t know what else to do. I know it may be a phase but how do I teach her it’s not on! I don’t want this happening when she is 4! Any tips would help! ”

Posted by anon, 25/05/2013

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  • First, any food she dumps, I wouldn’t give her back. No matter how much you want to try to recycle it – DON’T give it to her. This isn’t for sanitary reasons (though they’re important) so much as it is because you need to teach her that food she throws doesn’t return.

    Second, be consistent in the discipline. The one I’ve found really works is time-outs. If you want throwing food to get an immediate time out, then do it. Time-out should be in her pack-in-play in another room. Tell her why she’s going there and that she’ll stay for one minute. (The general rule is 1 minute in time out per years of age.) She’ll scream for the minute, then go get her, reminding her that You love her but that she can’t do whatever. Usually this curbs the behavior – USUALLY. Sometimes there’s several time-outs in a row, But mostly, she’ll have stopped doing the things that put here there, within a week of starting the process.

    Third: be FIRM. Don’t give in. And maybe, while she’s doing this, don’t eat in public places. (Sucks, I know. I hated it too – but I hated being THAT MOM more.)

    Good luck.



  • yup, every time she does it, take the food away and try again in 15 minutes (surely she must get hungry!)



  • Oh and try not to give her really messy stuff



  • poor mummy. I have no advice but hope you find something soon



  • Sit her in her chair or at the table and the moment she throws something – down she goes and no food till the next meal she will learn if she wants to eat she can’t throw food



  • is she throwing up or just throwing it on the ground??



  • hi all,

    i posted this question. Thanks for all your ideas. Sometimes she just does it then will eat the food after. i will definitely be taking on board all your helpful and constructive ideas. thanks for all the positive ideas.



  • Do you have a pet that he/she is throwing it to by any chance?



  • Keep using one form of punishment, turning her to the wall is a good one, and keep reinforcing the message that she’s being naughty, hence the punishment, and she willso get the message being good is fun, being bad is boring.



  • It’s just a stage, she will grow out of it. Stick with the no reaction approach I think.



  • If it was me, I would say, now you have been behaving like a baby, so Mummy/Daddy are going to feed you because babies don’t get their own plate.

    Feed her and treat her like a baby, babies don’t get dessert, they are to little etc. It seems mean but hey it stops the behaviour.



  • it is just a stage you poor thing i hope it gets better but stick to one punishment even going to bed early for being naughty….



  • She wont be doing this at 4. Just have one form of discipline, like you said turning her to the wall, and stick at it. It will pass.



  • It is a stage and she will grow out of it. Don’t stress



  • Its a stage and she will grow out of it. It must be tough :( could she prepare her own plate or give her a fork to use? It may distract her. Best of luck.


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