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food stealing Lock Rss

I make dinner and serve my 2 & 1/2yo's on her own plate yet she insists on coming to my plate and eating off that instead. tempted to just put it all on my plate and let her come and get some but then when she gets to kinder age she might not eat there cause of it or she might go and eat off some other kids plate. Any tips?
My DD likes to do it to me too, I believe it's relatively common. But I would definitely try to discourage it. If need be, simply sit further away at the table!

Really it's a power issue, i.e. the child is trying to exert a sense of power over you because they know that it's your food, not theirs, but they're using a form of control over you if they can take it off you. So it's best not to allow it in the interests of discipline and boundary setting. At least that's what Supernanny says, and I would agree.

There are safety issues as well. For example, we had chicken for dinner tonight and obviously, I am very careful to make sure that there are no bones in whatever goes on DD's plate. But then she grabbed a wing from my plate, which could have been very dangerous if I hadn't been watching and she'd tried to eat it. You also need to think about temperature as well - you probably serve your own food hotter than your child's, but what if she grabs something really hot?

I don't think you need to worry about her doing it at kinder though. I've heard soooo many people say that their kids do this at home, but never seen a child do it during the countless meals I've observed at DD's daycare, so I think it is something that is just reserved for the parents (which adds weight to the theory that it is a power thing). Anyway, if she were to try it there, I'm sure the child who has his/her food taken will let her know that it's not acceptable!
I don't let dd do it- I say "oops, this is mummy's plate- where's your dinner?" with a smile and keep pretty much doing that and she gets over it and ends up eating her own dinner!

I just want to teach her to eat her own dinner and nice table manners (as much as I can with a 19month old tongue)







Thats so re assuring to know that other kids do it too!
I agree that I think its about power and its poor table manners (she climbs onto the table to get to my lap!). I think she's also using it as a distraction too, the same way that she decides she really really needs to go the tiolet/ dance/ put on her favourite shoes/ play/ watch tv at bed time. I try to persist with the sitting on her own seat thing, but she sometimes eats more of my plate.... which is kinds good. Go with what your comfy with?

I make dinner and serve my 2 & 1/2yo's on her own plate yet she insists on coming to my plate and eating off that instead. tempted to just put it all on my plate and let her come and get some but then when she gets to kinder age she might not eat there cause of it or she might go and eat off some other kids plate. Any tips?


If it something that bothers you personally then maybe you need to think of a way to stop it but if you are okay with it then why not let her? There are many cultures around the world where the children are feed off the mums plate. The first time I saw this was when a couple from Pakistan came to stay at our house, the wife cooked traditional food for us and feed her two children off her plate while eating herself. It looked like a win/win situation to me smile
I was once told by a mum of many years that if you think that your child has a habit that they will still have at 16yrs then maybe look at how to change that. I imagine that eating off mums plate wouldn't last past pre-school wink
As far as kindy goes your DD will learn very quickly that she has her own plate, I can't see it being a problem.

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Thanks for all the replies my daughter has always been a good eater but has been weird lately and it doesn't really bother me too much I was more worried about the kinder side of things think I'll take the positive side of it at least I know she is eating. smile
Hmmmm supernanny....Doesa 2.5 yr old really need to assert their control over you by eating off your plate. I mean seriously. You wipe their bum/change their nappy, cook for them, place food in front of them, are at their beck and call night and day, pick up after them, cuddle them when they ask for it, do housework with one trying to sit on your foot holding onto your leg, you brush their teeth, wash them, make them warm when they are cold, carry them when they are tired, tuck them in at night.

.....I think they know already they have total control over you. laugh


Eating off your plate is just sharing a meal with mum. Its intimate. Its nice for them. Thats why they aren't doing it with a sibling, or a stranger. My 2.5 yr old does it with her nana who she adores. Nobody else. wink People should see kids for who they are. Not for who is controlling what situation. Sure its annoying sometimes. But sometimes its lovely. They probably won't be doing it in 6 months. And honestly, if my 2.5 yr old wants to have a go at exerting their control over me by sharing my food - I mean stealing off my plate, then lucky me. smile

OP. whatever floats your boat. If you like it, do it. If you don't, redirect them. They won't turn to a life of stealing food off of peoples plates. wink If you do do it, you won't be at the mercy of your child for the rest of your life.

Hmmmm supernanny....Doesa 2.5 yr old really need to assert their control over you by eating off your plate. I mean seriously. You wipe their bum/change their nappy, cook for them, place food in front of them, are at their beck and call night and day, pick up after them, cuddle them when they ask for it, do housework with one trying to sit on your foot holding onto your leg, you brush their teeth, wash them, make them warm when they are cold, carry them when they are tired, tuck them in at night.

.....I think they know already they have total control over you. laugh


Eating off your plate is just sharing a meal with mum. Its intimate. Its nice for them. Thats why they aren't doing it with a sibling, or a stranger. My 2.5 yr old does it with her nana who she adores. Nobody else. wink People should see kids for who they are. Not for who is controlling what situation. Sure its annoying sometimes. But sometimes its lovely. They probably won't be doing it in 6 months. And honestly, if my 2.5 yr old wants to have a go at exerting their control over me by sharing my food - I mean stealing off my plate, then lucky me. smile

OP. whatever floats your boat. If you like it, do it. If you don't, redirect them. They won't turn to a life of stealing food off of peoples plates. wink If you do do it, you won't be at the mercy of your child for the rest of your life.


smile smile totally agree
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