How To Stop Toddler From Throwing Food
Baby Toddler Discipline

How To Stop Toddler From Throwing Food

Are you looking for practical and effective tips on how to stop toddler from throwing food?

It’s typical for kids between 8 months and 18 months to drop or throw food on the floor.

Mostly, it’s because they enjoy this new skill or boredom and want to get down from the food.

Still, it can be so frustrating and nerve-racking, especially when you notice your baby doesn’t eat enough food. 

This post will shed insights on the top reasons why toddlers throw food. Even better, highlight practical tips for curbing this behavior. 

Why Do Toddlers Throw Food?

The good news is, throwing food can be attributed to your little one developing motor skills.

Motor skills such as throwing are a critical milestone in your toddler’s growth and development. 

On the other hand, toddlers throw food to attract their attention. As such, their top priority of seeking attention could also be a sign of communicating.

They might be satisfied or bored with the meal. Some kids are picky eaters.

As a result, some toddlers may be rebellious to certain foods, and their way to express their loathing of such foods is by throwing them to the floor.

In addition, once toddlers notice that you give them undivided attention every time they throw food, they will most likely get inspired to keep up the behavior to trigger a reaction occasionally. 

Also, when you force your little angel to eat when they are not hungry, there is a high chance they will try to resist the meal.

Finally, and especially for older toddlers, throwing food can be an exercise in learning cause and effect.

As such, they will be curious about what happens when they toss the food on the floor.

For instance, will the family pet come running to gobble the food up? Will the bowl full of oatmeal make a noise when it lands on the floor?

Such practices can also be an endless source of amusement for babies. 

How To Stop Toddler From Throwing Food

As already outlined, throwing food is a typical phase for babies in their early years.

Nonetheless, it can be unpleasant for most parents. Therefore, it would be best if you didn’t lose your cool.

Instead, keep calm and try the following practices to limit and eventually end the behavior of your little one throwing food. 

Learn more about toddler development: How To Teach Counting Money

1. Serve Small Amount of Food 

Toddlers are playful when you fill them with big chunks of food.

When you fill their tray with food, you might as well be giving them reasons to play with the meal.

Instead, it would be best if you offered your little angel a couple of pieces of food at a time. 

2. Keep The Meal Time Short

There is a chance your baby is throwing food because they are bored and want to get on with another activity.

Sitting your toddler for more than 30 minutes for a meal will wear them out, consequently creating commotions that spoil the meal.

So it’s vital to shorten the mealtime, preferably 5-10 minutes for children aged two years and not more than 20 minutes for 3-4-year-olds. 

3. Create a Consistent Routine

Toddlers love routines and play a critical role in helping them understand daily events, procedures, and what’s required of them.

In short, patterns make their environment more predictable.

For example, establishing a family routine such as playing music and sitting with them every time they feed will help reduce the food-throwing habit.

In addition, it’s vital to have a consistent meal and snack schedule. This will ensure your toddler is hungry at the right time for meals and snacks. 

4. Repeat a Clear Phrase

While it’s best to stay calm and neutral when toddlers play with the food, it’s essential to remind them where the food should constantly go.

Still, don’t turn the situation into a power struggle. Instead, keep your emotions in check and repeat a precise phrase like:” food is for eating, not for playing with.” 


There are several tips on how to stop toddler from throwing food. Throwing food can be wasteful, messy, daunting, and at times, insulting to parents and caregivers.

Nonetheless, it’s a phase all parents have to deal with as their little angel comes of age.

So first, try and understand why your toddler is throwing food and try the above tips to curb the behavior. 

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Frequently Asked Question

How do I Know if My Toddler is Eating Enough?

Paying attention to your toddlers’ food choices and eating habits is the best way to ensure they have enough.

Babies may appear to eat small portions compared to what adults eat, but there is a high chance they are having enough if they are gaining weight, appear healthy, active, and energetic.

Do Toddlers Need to Snack Between Meals?

Yes. Babies have tiny tummies and can’t take in a lot of food in one sitting. Also, toddlers have a fast metabolism.

As a result, they need refueling more often. Therefore, it would be best if you gave them snacks between meals.

Preferably, three meals a day with 2-3 snacks in between the meals. Still, please don’t allow them to snack all day as they will not be hungry during meal times. 

Mo Mulla

Mo Mulla is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music, He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He also loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time!

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