Before I even start this post, I have to say that we are blessed with a good eater. Lucy loves her food, and sometimes I wonder where she puts it all! One of my favorite things is when she puts both hands on her (formidable) belly and gladly says “ba-by!” This is her term for belly, like she’s super proud of the adult-sized portion of dinner she just ate! She has been slowly developing a habit, though, of throwing food when she’s done eating. If she’s done or doesn’t want something on her plate, she just casually chucks it over the side! “Oh, this pea? I don’t want it. I’ll just throw it overboard.” Sometimes toddler logic amazes me. Sooo, being a behavior analyst, we are not going to just accept this as developmental and keep going about our business! It makes me cringe just thinking about it (which is why, Lucy, being the daughter of a behavior analyst, is totally going to have to deal with that in therapy one day). But I digress. Anyway, here’s the thing with throwing food…if you react, it becomes a game. If you ignore it, it could just go on and on (because, in this case, I don’t think this particular behavior is for attention…she just literally doesn’t want that pesky pea on her plate anymore). So what to do? Well, we have decided to repurpose her cup holder as the “no thank you” spot. Today I worked with Lucy on putting things she didn’t want into her cup holder, saying “no ti ti” (Lucy’s version of no thank you). It worked like a charm! By the end of today, she was using much better manners! I looked over at snack time and she had sorted all her unwanted cheese into her cup holder, and at dinner she filled it with several pieces of potato, and a few carrots. The funny thing is, both times she went back and ate what she had previously discarded. Think of all the food that would have been wasted on the floor! We’ll keep working at it, but for now I’m counting this as a small win. These things need to be celebrated, right?