Here are the steps we take to help prevent and stop her from throwing food:
I think it is important for her to hear the word no. She may not understand it yet, but she'll catch on eventually.
- Leave her food on the plate or...
3. Remove the problem
We go through the above process of saying no and explaining about 3 times at this age (since we know she doesn't quite understand what we mean yet). If she doesn't stop, we take her plate away.
4. Wait for the child to ask for it again
If she asks for her plate again (at this age she points to it), I instead give her one bite of food and ask her to eat it if she is hungry. If she eats it and doesn't throw it, I give her a second bite, then a third. We tell her that she is doing a good job eating her food and PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE as usual! Giving good feedback is so important as well. If she eats them all successfully without throwing anything, she gets her plate back.
This won't work fast to solve the problem. Babies are still learning. You have to do this over and over and over again. It feels like I've done it 1000 times. Just when I think I've gotten nowhere, she turns a corner and starts doing really well with it! I won't lie, it is frustrating at times and I have not always been perfectly patient. It sounds easier on paper than it is in reality. Just hang in there and it WILL pay off.
I've seen with Caroline that she simply gets bored and likes to be challenged at times. So, now that she is approaching the 1 year mark, we started giving her a fork at mealtime. At the beginning of the meal I place food on the fork and set it down. She then picks up the fork and feeds herself. We repeat this until she tells me she wants to try herself. I let her. She makes a mess, but she is making a mess while trying to learn a valuable new skill. This is much different than throwing food. Giving her a fork has helped cut back on the food throwing considerably.