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Old 02-05-2015, 08:14 AM
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Default 12 Month Old Having Melt Downs At Meal Times

I have a 12 month old that has melt downs every meal time any time I walk away from him. Once I have all the kids their meals, I usually walk to the dining room, where my computer is, to input the meal being served. He can still see me from where he is seated, so it is not a separation issue. As soon as I am back in front of him, he stops crying and starts eating again. This morning after serving breakfast, I moved him so he had a direct sight line of me and then sat down to input the meal. He immediately started crying hysterically clenching his fists and then started throwing his food on the floor. Once again, as soon as I came back to standing by him, he immediately stopped crying and started eating again.
Any other time of day he is totally fine when I walk away from him whether it is to walk into another room to grab something, go to the bathroom, etc. I am at a loss as to what is causing this to happen only at meal times. He just isn't happy unless I am standing by him the entire time he is eating. This is not realistic as I have other children that I need to attend to as well. I have children eating in both the kitchen and dining room. This has been going on for a couple months. Any ideas?
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:49 AM
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Maybe he's used to having someone tight by him because he's been spoon fed up until recently and associates meal time with having an adult nearby. Can you input later?
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:57 AM
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I have a 12 month old that has melt downs every meal time any time I walk away from him. Once I have all the kids their meals, I usually walk to the dining room, where my computer is, to input the meal being served. He can still see me from where he is seated, so it is not a separation issue. As soon as I am back in front of him, he stops crying and starts eating again. This morning after serving breakfast, I moved him so he had a direct sight line of me and then sat down to input the meal. He immediately started crying hysterically clenching his fists and then started throwing his food on the floor. Once again, as soon as I came back to standing by him, he immediately stopped crying and started eating again.
Any other time of day he is totally fine when I walk away from him whether it is to walk into another room to grab something, go to the bathroom, etc. I am at a loss as to what is causing this to happen only at meal times. He just isn't happy unless I am standing by him the entire time he is eating. This is not realistic as I have other children that I need to attend to as well. I have children eating in both the kitchen and dining room. This has been going on for a couple months. Any ideas?
I have no advice as that is an issue I've never experienced before but I do want to mention that if you have a lot of kids under age 5, I don't think it's safe to have them eating while you are in another room.

What if one of them choked on something? I don't know....that would just make me uncomfortable as a provider for liability reasons and make me uncomfortable as a parent since I think kids under a certain age need to eat with adult supervision.

Just my two cents......
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:04 AM
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I would probably just wait until nap time to input the meals - I know it makes it more difficult as you don't want to forget But I'd rather wait a few minutes then listen to screaming.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:35 AM
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Is there any way you could have everyone eat together?

We eat together as a "family" here. I don't always eat what they are eating (my littles aren't big salad fans yet), but I eat with them. Sometimes, I just eat a little of what they are having and then eat my own meal afterwards. It depends on the group.


As for running and serving, if you have a group that big, you must have quite a few older ones. It's time they helped. They can set the table, help the littles get their bibs on, and serve themselves some of the meal.

Nobody eats until everyone is served here. Even my 16 mo gets that. They wait with their "hands on your laps" until we all have food, then we say "Bon Apetit', and we all eat.

If you like that idea, you could do a rhyrme..."bon apetit', now we can eat"; some of my last group (older kids) did that. Or, you could say your own thing, or switch languages each week for a cultural lesson, or say a prayer or a short poem. Make it your own, but use it as an opportunity to teach them patience and consideration. My Montessori teacher friend (also my food program rep), does a candle candle burning bright poem (and lights a real candle). Her's are all 3+. At the Waldorf school I visited, they did the same thing.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
Is there any way you could have everyone eat together?

We eat together as a "family" here. I don't always eat what they are eating (my littles aren't big salad fans yet), but I eat with them. Sometimes, I just eat a little of what they are having and then eat my own meal afterwards. It depends on the group.


As for running and serving, if you have a group that big, you must have quite a few older ones. It's time they helped. They can set the table, help the littles get their bibs on, and serve themselves some of the meal.

Nobody eats until everyone is served here. Even my 16 mo gets that. They wait with their "hands on your laps" until we all have food, then we say "Bon Apetit', and we all eat.

If you like that idea, you could do a rhyrme..."bon apetit', now we can eat"; some of my last group (older kids) did that. Or, you could say your own thing, or switch languages each week for a cultural lesson, or say a prayer or a short poem. Make it your own, but use it as an opportunity to teach them patience and consideration. My Montessori teacher friend (also my food program rep), does a candle candle burning bright poem (and lights a real candle). Her's are all 3+. At the Waldorf school I visited, they did the same thing.
This is how we eat here too. Everyone sits at the table with a small activity while I plate everything, and we are all served at once(Thank gosh for my mad plate carrying skills from years of being a waitress!)

No one eats until I sit down with my plate, and then we eat. I usually eat whatever I made for them, or if there isn't enough or if its something I don't like, I'll have something else. I hold off on my dessert until nap time though because I'm a pig and I don't share my sweets, and my littles don't get sweets here except on special occasions.

It works really well for all of us. I get to eat while food is still warm, everyone is supervised, and I firmly believe that children that sit down at a table to eat their meals with their families just turn out to be better kids. I'm not family, but it's gotta be better than nothing since I KNOW none of my kids sit down with their families for dinner. Plus by lunch time, I'm STARVING and don't want to wait another hour to eat! Again, I'm a pig! *oink oink*
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:53 AM
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This is how we eat here too. Everyone sits at the table with a small activity while I plate everything, and we are all served at once(Thank gosh for my mad plate carrying skills from years of being a waitress!)

No one eats until I sit down with my plate, and then we eat. I usually eat whatever I made for them, or if there isn't enough or if its something I don't like, I'll have something else. I hold off on my dessert until nap time though because I'm a pig and I don't share my sweets, and my littles don't get sweets here except on special occasions.

It works really well for all of us. I get to eat while food is still warm, everyone is supervised, and I firmly believe that children that sit down at a table to eat their meals with their families just turn out to be better kids. I'm not family, but it's gotta be better than nothing since I KNOW none of my kids sit down with their families for dinner. Plus by lunch time, I'm STARVING and don't want to wait another hour to eat! Again, I'm a pig! *oink oink*
We think alike, that's all my reasoning, too, except I think my dcf's actually do all sit down for meals at least most of the time. I know, it's rare. My OWN family isn't that great about it anymore.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:08 AM
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We think alike, that's all my reasoning, too, except I think my dcf's actually do all sit down for meals at least most of the time. I know, it's rare. My OWN family isn't that great about it anymore.
DH and I don't either. We usually eat in front of the TV! :-O Do as I say, not as I do!
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:12 AM
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My OWN family isn't that great about it anymore.
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Originally Posted by AuntTami View Post
DH and I don't either. We usually eat in front of the TV! :-O Do as I say, not as I do!
I was raised this way as well and did it when my own children were still living at home but now that it's just my DH and I, we eat in front of the TV a lot too.

At daycare however, we both sit with the DCK's family style.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I was raised this way as well and did it when my own children were still living at home but now that it's just my DH and I, we eat in front of the TV a lot too.

At daycare however, we both sit with the DCK's family style.
It's been a little tougher here lately because of my cranky baby friend, but I really look forward to our meals here!

We do our little meal ritual, eat, read a story. Then, they brush their teeth (they're all toddlers, so we do it at the table and I sing the Raffi "brush your teeth" song), then I give them warm washcloths and they wash their faces and hands (another song), then I ask them if they would like to be excused (yes or excused works) and they go find their beds.

It's just so...nice...
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