• Feeding


Food throwing

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.

There may be several reasons why your little one is throwing food:

  1. They have discovered that what falls makes noise or causes some reaction from mom and dad.
  1. Your baby doesn't have much of an appetite.
  1. They are already full and do not want more.
  1. The menu does not arouse their interest (they do not like  the food so much or it does not attract their attention).
  1. A pet is present while eating.
  1. There is too much food on the plate and your child is overwhelmed.

 What NOT to do?

  • Scold your baby, argue, or offer a large reaction: probably the only thing you will achieve by doing this is that he does it more. They do not do it with the intention of "annoying you"; you must begin to understand which of the reasons mentioned above can be why they are doing this and interpret it accordingly. Doing this will also cause your little one to have negative associations with meal times and they might not want to return to the table.
  •  Change the menu: If your little one starts throwing food, avoid preparing other things for them or change what they have been served for something that we know they do like and will eat. This can encourage selectivity and picky eating. They  will associate throwing away food with getting something else. You must offer a varied dish at mealtime that holds your child’s attention. 

What you SHOULD do: 

*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."

If you find yourself in the midst of the "food-throwing phase" with your little one during their journey into the world of solid foods, please know that you are far from alone. It's a phase that many parents experience, and it's completely normal. Our tiny explorers are on a remarkable culinary adventure, discovering the textures, tastes, and yes, even the cause and effect of these new foods.

However, when food-throwing becomes a repetitive behavior, it's essential to take a closer look and understand why it's happening. This can be a pivotal moment for both you and your child in terms of mealtime dynamics and communication.

As you navigate this phase, consider the support that the Little Lunches app can provide. It's not just an app; it's your ally in the journey of introducing solids to your baby. With personalized weekly meal plans, tailored to your child's age and dietary needs, Little Lunches simplifies the process of starting solids. It ensures that your baby receives a balanced and nutritious diet, setting the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating habits.

Moreover, the app offers weekly grocery lists, making shopping for essential ingredients a breeze. And with access to a vast library of recipes and expert advice, you'll have the guidance and support you need to make mealtime a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your little one.

So, as you navigate the challenges and joys of introducing solids to your baby, remember that you have resources like Little Lunches to make the journey smoother. Together, you can turn mealtime into a delightful adventure of exploration and nourishment, setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating habits and happy memories.

Written By: Dr. Diana Jimenez, pediatrician specialized in child nutrition, lactation, and child development.

2 years ago