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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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My 14 month old niece is constantly throwing her food, particularly

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My 14 month old niece is constantly throwing her food, particularly when in her high chair at the table. Her mother gets annoyed by this, but aside from a few "No"s (which she ignores) there isn't anything being done to curb the behavior. I adore this baby, and she is a well behaved sweetheart of a baby, but have threatened to not allow her to eat in my home - watching her throw everything from green beans to bread to sweet potatos around my kitchen is too much for me. Any ideas? She hates being fed, but I am not sure what else to do.
Hi and thanks for asking your question here at JA,

I just spent the day with my 13 month old great-grandson who does the same thing and it is a marvel. Developmentally, they are experimenting with the cognitive concept of "cause and effect" and using it quite masterfully. Yes, it is purposeful but not to annoy you. There are many effects that they can see (watching it fall, seeing someone pick it up, etc). It becomes like a game and will only continue if you play along.

The solution is to only put one piece of food on her plate or tray. Usually, the food will go into he mouth and the throwing behavior does not start until they are beginning to get full. Then, do not put anymore food on the plate and take her out of the highchair. If she starts throwing immediately, she is not hungry.

I hope this helps to shed some light on this developmentally normal behavior.

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