How To Stop Toddler From Throwing Food

It’s a common sight in homes with toddlers: plates of food being thrown across the room, and parents wondering how to put an end to it. It can be a difficult situation, but there’s no need to despair; with the right approach, you can help your toddler learn how to stop throwing food.

The key is understanding why they do it in the first place; then you can take steps to ensure that their behavior doesn’t continue. Toddlers throw food for a variety of reasons, including boredom or frustration. Sometimes, it’s as simple as needing more attention from their parents or caregivers. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that this behavior won’t last forever.

How To Stop Toddler From Throwing Food

There are several effective strategies for curbing toddler throwing food: providing distractions during mealtime, setting limits on misbehavior, and praising good eating habits. With patience and understanding, you can help your little one learn better eating habits and have a peaceful mealtime.

Understanding Toddler Development

It is important to understand the various stages of toddler development as it relates to their behavior when it comes to throwing food. Toddlers can be unpredictable, but their psychological, physical, emotional and cognitive development can offer insight into why they are throwing food.

Toddler development is a complex process that involves many different elements. It starts with physical development which includes movement and coordination, strength and balance. As toddlers progress in this area, they also begin the process of psychological development which includes socialization, communication skills, problem solving and understanding emotions. This is followed by cognitive development which focuses on learning language and developing memory skills. Finally, emotional development focuses on recognizing feelings and managing them appropriately.

All of these factors play a role in how toddlers behave when it comes to food. By understanding the underlying developmental processes involved in toddlerhood, parents can better assess why their child is throwing food and take steps to help them manage their emotions in a healthy way.

Reasons Why Toddlers Throw Food

Toddlers can be unpredictable, and throwing food is one of the ways they express themselves. While it may seem like an act of disobedience, there are usually underlying causes that drive this behavior. Understanding why toddlers throw food can help parents take steps to prevent it from happening in the future.

One common reason why toddlers throw food is to express frustration or anger. As their language skills are still developing, they may not have the words to express their emotions. Throwing food can be a way for them to let off steam and get attention from their caregiver. Toddler tantrums over food can also be caused by sensory development; some toddlers may not like certain textures and tastes or find eating with utensils difficult or uncomfortable. Parents should be mindful of these issues and ensure meals are appropriate for their child’s age and sensory needs.

It is also important for parents to recognize the importance of nutrition when it comes to toddler development and provide healthy meals with proper structure at mealtime. Establishing a routine around meals helps create consistency which in turn increases a sense of security and trust between parent and child. In addition, parents should give their toddler time to eat without interruption or pressure, as this will help them feel more relaxed during mealtimes.

By understanding the various reasons why toddlers throw food, parents can take steps to create a safe, nurturing environment where their child feels secure while learning how to manage their emotions in a healthy way.

Setting Boundaries And Rules

Once parents have identified why their toddler is throwing food, it is important to set boundaries and rules to help prevent this behavior in the future. Establishing clear expectations at mealtime can help create a positive environment where toddlers can learn healthy eating habits and good manners.

When setting boundaries and rules, it is important to be consistent and patient. Discipline techniques such as timeouts or verbal warnings can be used when boundaries are crossed, but positive reinforcement should also be utilized for desired behaviors. Rewarding good behavior with praise or treats can encourage your toddler to make better choices at the table. Additionally, parents should model proper mealtime etiquette for their children by showing respect for food, being mindful of basic table manners, and avoiding distractions such as phones or TV during meals.

It is also essential for parents to stay calm if their toddler does throw food. Responding calmly will help them understand that this behavior will not be tolerated while still maintaining a nurturing environment. Removing the child from the situation and redirecting them to another activity can also be beneficial in preventing future outbursts. By providing structure while teaching healthy eating habits, parents can foster an atmosphere of safety and security around mealtimes that will enable their toddler to grow into a well-adjusted adult.

Developing Positive Habits

Developing positive habits is a great way to stop a toddler from throwing food. While some situations may require discipline or redirection, it is essential to focus on teaching healthy habits that will encourage positive behavior. To do this, parents must be patient and consistent in their approach.

Here are four ways to foster good habits:

  1. Establish a schedule for meals and snacks — Creating a schedule for meals and snacks helps toddlers understand when it’s time to eat and reinforces the idea of eating at regular intervals throughout the day.
  2. Offer healthy food choices — Offering healthy food options like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help teach your toddler about nutritious foods while also encouraging them to make better dietary choices.
  3. Have fun with food — Making mealtimes enjoyable by playing games or engaging in activities can help your toddler become more interested in eating.
  4. Reward positive behavior — Rewarding your toddler for good behavior at the table can help reinforce their understanding of proper mealtime etiquette while also providing an incentive to continue making good choices.

By taking these steps, parents can create an environment where it is easy for their child to develop healthy habits around food. This can ultimately lead to improved nutrition as well as increased self-esteem and confidence in young children.

Establishing A Routine

Having a regularly established routine for meals and snacks is an important step in helping your toddler learn to eat without throwing food. A well-defined mealtime routine can provide structure and predictability, which can help your toddler feel more comfortable and secure. It can also encourage them to focus on the task at hand – eating their meal or snack – rather than engaging in disruptive behaviors like throwing food.

In order to create a successful routine for your toddler, it’s important to be consistent with when meals and snacks are offered throughout the day. Additionally, having a distinct start and end time for meals can help your toddler understand that it’s time to stop eating when the timer goes off. To keep things interesting, you may want to incorporate some variety into their daily routine by alternating between activities like eating, playing, reading, or singing before each meal or snack.

By establishing a regular routine for mealtimes, parents can give their child an opportunity to practice healthy habits around food while also providing structure and consistency. This will not only make mealtime easier but also promote good nutrition and better behavior in toddlers over time.

How To React When Throwing Occurs

It can be a challenge for parents when their toddler engages in disruptive behaviors like throwing food. In such situations, it’s important to react quickly and firmly by establishing clear consequences and expectations for your child’s behavior. While discipline is often necessary, it’s also important to stay calm and avoid raising your voice or punishing them harshly. Instead, focus on communicating the desired behavior you want to see in a positive and supportive way.

When your toddler throws food, try taking away their plate or redirecting the situation by offering an alternate activity that they find enjoyable. Having a set of consistent consequences for this type of behavior will help your toddler understand that throwing food is not acceptable. Additionally, make sure to provide plenty of praise when they follow the rules so that they know you are happy with their behavior.

By responding quickly and calmly when your toddler throws food, you can help them learn how to manage their emotions as well as understand expectations around eating habits. This will allow you to foster healthy eating habits while also teaching your child how to act appropriately in different situations.

Seeking Professional Help

If the issue persists, you may need to seek professional help for your toddler. An experienced pediatrician or child therapist can provide a comprehensive assessment of the situation and help you develop an effective plan for managing your toddler’s behavior. It is important to remember that this type of behavior is often a sign of underlying issues that require specialized attention.

By seeking professional help, you can work with your child to identify potential underlying causes and develop strategies that will help them learn how to better control their emotions. Through positive reinforcement and consistent consequences, you can work together to teach the necessary skills that will allow your toddler to effectively manage their emotions when it comes to food.

With patience, kindness, and understanding, you can foster healthy eating habits in your child while also providing them with the guidance they need in order to learn appropriate behaviors. Together, you and your child’s doctor or therapist can create an environment where learning and growth take center stage.


It is important to remember that toddlers are still developing, and their behavior can sometimes be challenging. With patience, understanding, and consistency, a parent can help their toddler learn how to stop throwing food. By setting boundaries and rules, developing positive habits, establishing a routine, and reacting appropriately when throwing occurs, parents can work towards helping their toddler understand appropriate behavior. Don’t forget to seek professional help if needed.

This process takes time and dedication from the parent. However, with patience and understanding it is possible for parents to help their toddler become more aware of the appropriate behaviors associated with mealtime. It is essential that we remain consistent with our expectations in order to show our children that we mean what we say. Through this process of teaching our toddlers how to act at mealtimes they will eventually learn the correct behaviors.

This journey towards having successful mealtimes is one of learning and growth for both the parent and the child. By taking steps such as setting limits and creating positive habits, parents can work towards helping their toddler understand why throwing food isn’t acceptable behavior. All it takes is a little bit of patience, understanding, and consistency to get your toddler on the right track!