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Thread: Table skills

  1. #1
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    Table skills

    At what age do you expect a child to eat their meals without making a total mess all over their faces, trays, floor?? I have one little girl that dumps her food off her plate almost immediately, food gets stuffed down the sides of her seat, she can't drink out of a sippy without milk spilling from her mouth all down her bib, food comes back out of her mouth unchewed...etc. She is almost 17 months...am I being unreasonable to expect her to have outgrown at least some of this behavour? Obviously she's not going to have perfect table manners. I feel like she acts more like a 10 month old in most other situations as well, so that could be why I'm feeling so frustrated that I have to do so much cleanup 3 times a day.

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    I don't know if I have a set age I expect this from, but by 17 months she should be able to eat relatively tidy.

    Are they accidents, deliberate or she just isn't physically able to eat well yet? How is she fed at home?

    I would give her the meal or snack in two parts to cut back the mess from spilling/dumping. Try bowls/plates with suction/sticky things on them that make it hard to move them. If you don't have these kind of dishes, a foam mat as a placemat would work too.

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  4. #3
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    when I have a new child start with me (regardless of age) I set them straight right away....if they are food throwers or plate dumpers I take their hands in mine and in a very serious tone and with my mean face I say "no throwing/dumping" when they hold the cup over the side and are about to drop it I say "no dropping" if they keep doing it then I sit right beside them and catch them in the act and say very firmly no (whatever they are doing) ....at 17 months this child shouldn't be doing that but apparently the parents are allowing it ...sounds like it their first kid .... you don't say how long she has been with you but I would be on her fast ......I would also say to the parents " at lunch time we have been working on eating nicely, not throwing food or dumping the plate ....how is she at home ? and see what they say ? I hate disgusting eaters......

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    be firm with her and don't allow her to dump her food. I also don't allow them to spit out their food either. They get a firm NO. If she is spitting out her milk then take it away. If you need to sit with her and encourage proper eating behaviour then do it.

    I totally agree with Crayol kiddies. Ask how things are at home. It sounds like it is a free for all there!
    Last edited by mickyc; 01-15-2014 at 02:11 PM.

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    Deliberate. She'll smoosh food up with her hands, and smear it on the tray, or she'll lift up her plate, and dump it on either the tray or the floor. I always give her either a spoon or fork, but I've never seen her use it. I feed her soups and yogurts.

    I thew away all of my dishes with suction cups in favour of the stackable sets that took up less room in my cupboard, but I might have to invest in a new set for her. I have another DCG that is exactly the same age and does all this without effort, so I could just be forgetting what it's like since its's been about a year since I had someone this young.

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    She's been with me for 2.5 months. I'll take your advice, and sit with her for a while to try to stop it while it's happening. I'm usually always on the move during meal times, getting refills for kids, and trying to keep it as tidy as I can, but if I can try to correct it, it would be time well invested.

    I always hate conversations like these with the parents...if I don't see an improvement in a few weeks with me working with her, I'll talk to them.

    Thank you for confirming what I was thinking everyone!

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    the problem I found with the suction cup plates was that they still try to lift them up and when they release off the tray the food now goes across the room cause the kid is pulling so hard. if its deliberate then put a stop to it ....take the food away when she starts that nonsense or give her small amounts at a time ....for the older ones that have decided to test me I have made them get down and pick it up then get back in their chair ..... you have to put on your mean face and be firm

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    I don't feed my daycare kids soup for this reason - it is messy! I also feed the little ones the yogurt because it usually ends up all over. Once I know they have mastered other foods then they get to do the yogurt, or I will feed them most of it and then let them try to get what is left off the bottom to lessen the mess. I am currently working on getting my 13 month old and 18 month old using a fork/spoon to eat. There is no reason for smooshing food. Be firm, say No, squeeze her hand gently to get her attention. Take the food away, cup away, sit with her and enforce eating nicely.
    Last edited by mickyc; 01-15-2014 at 02:19 PM.

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    I shouldn't have said suction...that wasn't the word I meant LOL. I have bowls with ....like rubber? on the bottom. It is anti-slip!! That is the word I was looking for lol. They aren't able to slide it across the table. Dollarama sells foam mats that would do the same thing, just cut it down to a child sized place mat.

    If serving soup, I make it more like stew lol. Easier for the little kids to eat it and the juice doesn't go everywhere.

    I agree, let her know that what she is doing is not acceptable.

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