Give me an oh man if it feels like you clean up an entire meal from the kitchen floor after your child eats.
What is it about kids and throwing food?
For one, it’s probably fun. On a more behavioral level, throwing food accomplishes a few things. First, it attracts attention. What kid doesn’t love some attention from mom or dad?
Second, it’s a really smart way to escape eating. Kids will quickly learn that throwing food not only takes it out of their proximity, but also allows them to escape eating. Once it’s on the floor, parents rarely reserve it. Often meals are cut early because parents are just so fed up. It’s a great distraction and escape from picky eating.
Of course, parents doing love it when kids throw food, regardless of whether or not the child is a picky eater or enthusiastic eater. It’s a major pain in the butt.
How to Fix Food Throwing in Kids
The best thing you can do is stop food throwing before it even happens. If you’re past that point, try these techniques to help eliminate food throwing in kids with autism:
the behavior so you remove any incentive for them to continue. It’s hard to do, I know, but any sort of reaction to food throwing will actually reinforce it. The more you ignore it, the less kids want to do it
smaller portions. So they have less to throw and you have less to clean! Smaller portions are also less threatening and more likely to be accepted, so they can help to avoid food throwing all together.
a No Thank You Plate where your kiddo can place the foods she isn’t interested in eating. A No Thank You Plate accomplishes a few things:
Keeps foods nearby for exposure
Gives your child control over what is on her plate
Increases interaction with food (if your child is placing food on the plate)
Find a no thank you plate and get started!
And! Personalized Support
If you want an individualized approach to help your child end inappropriate mealtime behaviors and try new foods without a meltdown, consider my autism nutrition coaching program. You can sign up for a free coaching call HERE.