Toddler Dinners: The Distraction Phase

We have hit a new phase at meal times. Distraction. Oh lawdy. I count my blessings that he is still eating everything…just at a snails pace and a lot of frustration thrown in for good measure. In the past 2 weeks we have endured the following:

Flopping his string cheese.

Biting sandwiches into the shape of dinosaurs (kinda cool that he is learning that concept though) and march them across the tray.

Trying to get us to sing, repeat or scare him.

Squishing his peas.

Swirling the ketchup.

Acting like the spoon is falling.

It is getting maddening. Like I said, I am counting my blessings that it doesn’t really turn into tantrums and he usually eats it anyways but man I am tired of sitting at the table for 45 minutes while he dicks around with his food. KID JUST EAT THE FREAKING CHEESE AND THEN YOU CAN WATCH BOB THE BUILDER. How does he not get this? All the while I can’t have a glass of wine…how inconsiderate.

Are you dealing with dinnertime annoyances? Any ideas on curbing it?

Toddler Dinners is my weekly series of posts to explore the world of feeding munchkins. Each Monday I will post our previous week’s meals and a rating on how they went as well as discuss numerous issues we all face. Find out more here. Also be sure to follow me along throughout the week with your creations on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #toddlerdinners.


  1. Im going to go back and read toddler dinners from the start. B will be 14 months next week and he’s starting to refuse everything, even though he used to eat everything under the sun. It’s getting frustrating, and I know it’s only going to get worse!!

  2. first of all, TJs fish sticks….the bomb!!! love TJs; thanks for the hook up. And Noah refuses to sit at the table. he keeps telling us he is stuck when he’s in his chair and won’t eat unless we let him out. please say it’s a phase ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Bless your heart. Landon has wanted to sit at his little table and we have let him for lunches and such but when he starts running around…he is done. I have none of it. He has a choice to go to the highchair at that point and if he refuses, I take the food away and he can deal. That usually has him sprinting to the high chair. I can handle the running around thing.

      • you blessed my heart ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks! I hope it works….we are giving him some breathing room this week since he has to have surgery on Friday ๐Ÿ™‚ so we are trying to make sure he’s well fed for the gas ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Rosco is 5 and he still can’t get through dinnertime without creating some sort of disturbance. He gets up at least three times during the course of a meal to walk around.

    I think his problem is that he’s way under-stimulated at the table (yeah, I just said that). It would probably be better for my blood pressure if I gave him something to do for however long it takes him to eat. I was the same way as a kid so I know where it stems from. Not something that’s going to be easily fixable unless I want to belt him to his chair.

    For a couple of years he could easily sit at the table for an hour poking at his food. It’s not a fun stage.

  4. You continue to broaden my horizons and change my life. G continually tells us he’s “all done” and then when we get up to get something to wipe his face he eats more… so I linger. Over a glass of vino. Find it to be a great distraction technique.

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