Today’s blog post is inspired by Hank’s best pal and crime fighting partner, Wyatt: The man who chucks anything he doesn’t “love” on the floor. This is also dedicated to his mom: The woman who is a lot better at mopping her floors than I am.
I hate mopping. I wasn’t thinking when I had two kids in two years. There is a lot of mopping involved when you have two kids learning about food. It doubles when those kids are the product of a super laid back dad and a free spirited feeding therapist mom. This combination equals a lot of food on the floor.
If your kids are like mine, they throw a lot of food. When they are 18 months and under, this is considered a developmental stage. They are still learning about how to make food disappear. Towards the end of the meal, they are full (or bored), and they don’t care how the food disappears….they just want it gone. The floor works just as well as their mouth, if not better.
And then they turn two. After two the only reason food is getting thrown on the floor is because they are avoiding. You know, like how I put my laundry on the floor instead of putting it away. Your toddler is putting it on the floor instead of eating it. Yes, it is behavioral. I promise, if you have a two year old who is throwing their food, I won’t say something hippy dippy like “Let them experiment. Let them learn.” I’ll be honest. They throw it on the floor because they don’t want to eat it. (***This does not apply if your child has a diagnosed feeding disorder, then I will say crazy feeding therapy things like “Let them experiment.”)
So what do we do? Two things. Let them spit and have a “no no plate.” What? Yes. Let them spit it out. My kids know they can try anything and if they hate it, they can spit it out. They know to spit it out on a napkin. But still, they are allowed to spit it out. And then I say “Oh I am so proud of you for trying that!” Why do I do this? Because now he isn’t scared of trying anything. He knows there is no consequence in putting a weird or new food in his mouth. Because if he hates it, he can spit it out without being in trouble.
And then there is a “no no plate.” I love the “no no plate.” Sometimes I wish I had a “no no plate.” So simple, but it will change your life. Put a little plate next to your kid’s meal. Say “If you try something you don’t like, you can put the rest of it on the ‘no no plate’.” But be warned…the first few times your kiddo is probably just going to put everything on the “no no plate.” The novelty of this will wear off soon (like after a few meals) and they will stop doing this.
So stop mopping so much. I am anxiously waiting for Gus to be old enough to understand a “no no plate.” As soon as this happens I am going to change my every other week mopping schedule to every other month. Don’t worry, I am only kidding. Kind of.