Spitting out food: how to curb the grossout behavior?

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Nutrition: Health

Okay, I already told you about my son's second most annoying habit, now let me tell you about the Number One Behavior That Most Tempts Me To FexEx Him To Siberia, because boy, I'm hoping you can help me with this.

Lately, during almost every single meal, Riley will randomly part his lips mid-chew and push all the food that's accumulated in there out of his mouth. Sometimes this indicates that he's all done, thanks. Sometimes it means he took too big of a bite. Sometimes he'd just rather switch to a drink of juice and the food-ejection process seems more efficient than swallowing. And sometimes, I think he's just trying to DRIVE. US. INSANE.

I try not to let this habit make me crazy, but I can't lie: it makes me crazy. It's gross, first of all (hey, a wetly chewed wad of PB&J! How appetizing! How beige in texture, and how aromatic!). It makes a mess I have to clean, unless our dog is conveniently poised and the food happens to land on the floor instead of the highchair tray/his brand new shirt/my cupped hand. And it's just . . . I don't know, it's just really sort of obnoxious. It's one thing to clean a butt that doesn't know any better than to poop on itself, it's another to wipe up a globby snotlike mouthful of string cheese from a kid who knows darn good and well he's not supposed to spit out food.

Anyway, have you experienced anything similar with a toddler? Any tips to share, before I give in to my increasing desire to purchase a shock collar for training purposes? (Oh sure, it might be ill-advised and possibly illegal, but just think of the satisfying bzzzzzzt! sound.)

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.