My Almost-3 Year Old eats like a caveman. Advice? — The Bump
Toddlers: 24 Months+

My Almost-3 Year Old eats like a caveman. Advice?

My older son eats very politely and is just generally a tidy child in general.  I barely even have to wipe his face after a meal.

My younger son, no matter what he's eating, ends up with food EVERYWHERE.  In his hair, all over his face, in between his fingers, all over his chair and the floor.  He isn't throwing food or anything like that, He's just . . . enthusiastic.  He licks the peanut butter off his sandwiches instead of taking bites.  He pulls all the cheese off his pizza and rips off bites with his fingers, etc.  

I've tried taking food away when he starts being gross.  I've tried time-outs.  I've tried ignoring it.  Nothing works except a wipes bath after every meal and a real bath every night!  Should I be doing something else about this?  Wait til he outgrows this phase?  I'm pretty sure he's going to be the kid in the elementary school cafeteria that the other kids are daring to eat gross food combinations.
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Re: My Almost-3 Year Old eats like a caveman. Advice?

  • DS tries to do some of the things that you mention (like licking the topping off of toast).  I tell him that he has to take bites, and if he doesn't listen I take it away.  It only took me taking away toast two breakfasts in a row for him to listen the first time I asked.  Now sometimes he starts to try to lick and I say "how to you eat it?" and he'll say "bites!" and he'll take a bite. He has a yogurt with toast so he wasn't going with breakfast when I took it away, but losing his toast is a horrible fate to him.
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  • Sometimes my smallest, will throw pieces of food or his empty cup. I take whatever he has thrown away. It's probably just a phase, I would just reinforce manners and telling him to use his utensils more etc. I wouldn't worry about it too much !

    (I never really had that problem because my boys hate to be sticky. My 3 year old freaks out if his hands get dirty Lol.)

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