Baby Dropping or Throwing Food on the Floor
Food will inevitably end up on the floor at some mealtimes with your baby. Touching and playing with food is your baby's way of exploring food, and they often want to 'discover' it before they feel happy about putting it in their mouths. Throwing or dropping food is part of this exploration; 'what happens when I throw some porridge on the floor?', 'oh, mummy picks it up'. Not only is this an exciting discovery to your little one, but watching you pick food up (or seeing a disapproving look) every time they throw food on the floor turns it into a game. Your child isn't being naughty by throwing food, it's simply part of them learning about their world and about cause and effect, and of course, testing boundaries with their parents!
Why Is My Baby Throwing Food?
Your baby throwing food could also indicate that they are full and don't want to eat anymore. If your baby starts dropping food on the floor and has stopped eating it, they probably aren't hungry anymore, and have turned food throwing into a game to entertain themselves with. If they have stopped eating, end the meal and take them out of their highchair.
How To Deal With It.
If you're getting tired of picking up bits of carrots and scrubbing porridge off the floor and walls after every mealtime, try these suggestions for encouraging your child to stop throwing food:
Don't pick it up - Seeing you pick up the food is half the fun of dropping it. If you don't pick it up, you're not entering into the game with your baby. Leave all the discarded food on the floor and sweep it up at the end of the meal (putting a mat down makes it easier to clean up).
Don't complain - Complaining or looking annoyed when your baby drops yet another piece of her lovingly prepared meal on the floor also makes food dropping a game to her. Babies love getting a reaction from their parents!
Feeding on the floor - You could place your baby on a clean mat on the floor, where she can eat her meal (provided she can sit up unaided). Dropping food loses its appeal if it's not dropped from a height. Any dropped food can be easily swept up off the mat.
Try putting less food on the plate. If your baby eats it all, put some more on. He is less likely to throw food if there is not much on the plate and he is hungry.
Use foods that are less easy to throw, such as cottage cheese, porridge, and soup. Your little one might still have a go at throwing, and they are generally less appealing to throw than objects they can pick up easier.