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Thread: 14 month old eating manners

  1. #1
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    Default 14 month old eating manners

    I hate the word manners, especially for this age but it was the best way to title this. Anyways, my son is getting into the "i want to do it" stage which is fine and I am totally up for him to get things dirty. I just dont like like the flinging and feeding the dogs.
    For example, we just got done eating a banana and yogurt. I held the banana and he took bites off. If I gave him a chunck, it went straight to the dogs. Then I figured out he only wanted the yogurt if he had the spoon. He would let me help him scoop it. then I'd let go and he'd put the spoon in his mouth. First few bites were great. He then started to pull the spoon out of his mouth with yogurt still on it and would fling the spoon around and the dogs would run up and lick up the splatters.
    As I type this, I am wondering if the dogs should just be put in another room while he eats. Also, my husband and I are currently couch eaters (that sounds bad). We sit on the couch to eat. I have a high chair but it folds up all small and pulling it out seems like alot of work if he wont sit in it for long. Do highchairs help eating? I always wanted to be a family that has all meals at the table but it has become the junk spot and the one part of the house I dont like to clean (but I will do it if it will improve my sons eating).Oh! and with the flinging, my instinct was to put the yogurt away but my son hadnt had much breakfast. hmmmm.... am I expecting too much? how do you all handle such actions and how many "tries" do you do?
    Married 9/17/2005
    Mother to Seamus born 3/9/2010 7lbs 9oz Still nursing with no end in sight!
    I love , , cloth diapers! with #2! Due 4/5/2012. for a Vbac!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 14 month old eating manners

    I think you are expecting to much and you need to find another spot for junk. I think that creating a routine that involves coming to the table to eat rather than watching TV on the the couch is really important. I do NOT think that it will make a 14monthold stop flinging their food but it will show them that there is a ritual that involves mealtime and this is where we go and eat it. It also puts you in a position where the mess is on the tray(Which is why it's there and comes off) and if need be you can put plastic around the chair to catch food that is thrown or dropped. I happen to think that the idea of "Eating manners" is Really "Table manners" I can't imagine trying to teach them when you aren't sitting at the table. I know me and my DH don't/didn't expect much in the way of manner when we ate with TV trays in the living room. Coming to the table for dinner....it really changes that.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 14 month old eating manners

    Although, feeding the dogs started in the highchair. First time he started doing it, he was eating bananas in the highchair and after 3 bites, the rest got dropped to the dogs. Although, that could be solved just by removing the dogs and then letting them cleanup after ds is completely done eating and has been removed from the chair.
    Now, in another post, people said they would not allow flinging of food at the table. (i may have to search that thread down) If he continues to fling food at the table, how would you handle this with a 14 month old? or is this "rule" enforced as a child gets old?
    Married 9/17/2005
    Mother to Seamus born 3/9/2010 7lbs 9oz Still nursing with no end in sight!
    I love , , cloth diapers! with #2! Due 4/5/2012. for a Vbac!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 14 month old eating manners

    At 14 months it is very very very normal to take 3 bites and toss the rest to the dogs! We are now teaching our almost 19 month old that its not okay to throw food. One way we do this is to keep an eye on him eating. When he starts to play with his food, we ask him if he is all done. He will usually say "yah" or shake his head no. If he is, then we remove the plate before it can make it to the floor. We eat in the kitchen at the table. It teaches good habits. Eating in front of the tv can lead to overeating. Also, its easier to clean the kitchen. Don't forget that they are still learning and exploring with their food and that part of learning is making a mess. Also, perhaps 3 bites of bannana is enough for him. They still have little tummys.
    Mommy to 2 little boys!
    DS1 11/1/07 BFed 7 months
    DS2 11/6/09 BF 2 YEARS! and counting!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 14 month old eating manners

    I think eating at the table helps. If nothing else you are paying more attention and can catch it before the mess gets out of hand. Some amount of mess is to be expected at this age, they don't really get that they aren't supposed to and I think it's good for them to be comfortable and relaxed with mealtimes. But if they are throwing/playing more than eating I do like the pp suggested and ask if he is done. Whatever his answer if the playing continues I take the food away and say all done.

    I don't have dogs so I can't really speak to that, but D's babysitter had dogs and I'm pretty sure most of his lunch went to them everyday so I suppose it's pretty normal to give the dogs food if they are around.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 14 month old eating manners

    As I type this, I am wondering if the dogs should just be put in another room while he eats.
    Yes. For the dogs as much as for the baby. If they get the idea that hanging around the baby means food for them, they're going to end up being trained beggars.

    Also, my husband and I are currently couch eaters (that sounds bad).
    Have you considered trying to make a change there? If you model good table manners, your LO is likely to adopt them...

    I have a high chair but it folds up all small and pulling it out seems like alot of work if he wont sit in it for long. Do highchairs help eating?
    Highchairs don't necessarily help a kid eat, particularly if he won't sit in it for more than a little while. But they can help you contain the mess!

    and with the flinging, my instinct was to put the yogurt away but my son hadnt had much breakfast. hmmmm.... am I expecting too much? how do you all handle such actions and how many "tries" do you do?
    I think that at 14 months, a lot of kids are still just taking tastes of foods. They're not eating much at all. So if your LO starts flinging and dropping, I'd just end the meal.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 14 month old eating manners

    Thank you for all the responces! I do plan to work on a more organized meal. During the day we do not have the tv on. When my husband is home, we do turn on the tv. I definately want to get out of this habbit and I know if we don't do it now, it will be more difficult to change our meal habbits when he gets older. I am also thinking about buying a kids table for him. I am always paying attention to how much he eats. He still does the "stuff your face" things sometimes so I have a habbit of holding whatever food and handing him bites when he seems interested or giving him three of whatever we are eating and once his bowl is empty, I give him more. If he had a kids table, i would probably sit with him at it while he ate during the day.
    Also, I am glad to hear others put away food once it appears to only be playtime. I already learned that if we do something once and it is tons of fun, we will do it always. I made the mistake of letting him stir water with a spoon at an Ihop cause it was late and he was tired. Now everytime we are out and we hand him a spoon, he points at the water cups and gets upset when I say no. I did let him have a bowl of yogurt the other day in his highchair so he could do it all by himself which I need to do more of.
    Anyways, enough rambling. Thank you again!! I love this stage and I really don't want to start expecting to much out of this little guy. i am amazed at all he is capable of doing but I know he is just still figuring out the world. I love the balance I get here compared to the advice I get in the real world. My older sister is an "obey me cause I am the adult" kind of person so I don't always like asking her certain questions when it comes to my ds.
    Married 9/17/2005
    Mother to Seamus born 3/9/2010 7lbs 9oz Still nursing with no end in sight!
    I love , , cloth diapers! with #2! Due 4/5/2012. for a Vbac!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 14 month old eating manners

    agree with all pps. It's a special time for our family to eat together at the table. I'm not all that traditional or whatever -- but i think it's a really bad habit to get into eating in teh living room while probably watching tv (that's an assumption, fo course). We've done it on occasion when we're at someone else's house having cocktails or something, and it's not everyone else's dinner time... i just find it much more engaging and quality time when we're all focused on each other. Because that doesn't happen that many times during the day in our family!

    My son is 17 months and still loves to feed the dog. So Haddie gets her dinner while Max gets his and the rest of the time, she stays in the other room. It's not fair to expect either of them to have enough self control to not do this, kwim? Max LOVES sharing with Haddie, and Haddie is very gentle, and will actually only take a nibble when he offers. But still - it's not fair for haddie to have a full second meal of human food and get all chubbers. We just try to avoid the situation as much as possible.

    Max does walk around with snacks occasionally, and Haddie will take a bite of apple or whatever. But really, there are snacks that Max has that he can ONLY eat at the counter (raisins, grapes) because they can be deadly to dogs.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 14 month old eating manners

    with PPs. In our house, tossing food or feeding the dogs, is interpreted as "I'm all done." Joe is not much of a talker, but we have worked with him on some baby signs "eat," "drink," "water," "want," "more," and "all done." It definitely helps to eat together. We don't usually eat at a real "table" (long story, but basically, we don't have a formal table for everyday eating), but my husband and I sit at our countertop in the kitchen with Joe in his high chair. I don't think the high chair is necessary, but it does seem to help create a clear ritual around meal-times. It has helped us create a little more structure. At 14 months, Joe was pretty much trying to climb out of it all.the.time and being a big ol' pain about meals, but at 25 months, he's pretty well behaved. I'm sure we'll have some regressions. But anyway, it's a process, and you don't see magical table manners emerge overnight, yk? But the more you can make it a regular routine, the easier the process gets. So whatever you do, do it the same way every day.

    Every once in a blue moon, we take Joe's chair out to the living room and we all have a meal while watching something (hello, almost always a baseball game). But that's like, once every two months.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 14 month old eating manners

    Another vote for meals being family time at the table. You and your DH will do more than you think to teach "table manners" by eating with your LO and modeling what it means to sit down and eat together with the TV off.

    A highchair isn't necessary - I didn't have one with either LO. As a baby they were in a clip-on chair, then moved to a booster seat with buckles around 13 mo or so.

    At that age part of exploring & learning to eat does include flinging.

    We found it helps to provide OTHER opportunities for flinging / playing. So you can say "no thank you - we don't play with food, but later on we'll go do .... " (things like standing at the sink and playing with water, playing with water outside, playing with water in the bathtub, playing with play dough (store bought or homemade), playing with things like dried beans and transferring them between bowls).

    Our LO started flinging more when they were done - either with that food or done eating completely. So we taught the sign language for "more" and "all done". And calmly said every time the flinging was about to start "if you're all done (and do the sign) you can hand that to mommy".

    At 20 mo DS2 has pretty decent table manners. He DOES know better so when he starts doing things like throwing his fork or spilling water on purpose cause he likes to play with the water he gets one warning then we take the item away. And we DO remind him of all the appropriate ways he CAN play with water, just not his drinking water.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
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