At the table...or free range?

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

At the table...or free range?

Postby katewolters » 12 Apr 2016, 06:57

Hey Moms and dads,

My 21 month old LB outright refused to eat in the highchair about 2 months ago. Since then, we've tried to encourage him to eat at the small table we bought for him, to very limited success. We're going to be moving soon, to a house where we can finally have a family dinner table. I have high hopes that we'll be able to convince him to sit at the table with us for meals.

What is your experience? And how do your little ones eat? Are there any tricks to keeping them at the table? Or do you just let them roam free and graze as they go?

Just to note that I'm totally open to either option - just wondering what works for others and hoping to learn from you.

thanks :)

Kate
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby yorkshirepudding » 12 Apr 2016, 08:19

I seem to remember my lo having free range lunch most days probably around that age. He's 3 now and at some point accepted sitting at the table again, it's a phase!
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby Cofa's Tree » 12 Apr 2016, 08:29

Yep, we've had food eaten all over - on the floor, at a small table or on laps as we haven't had a usable dining space, but all that's about to change so he's aware there's going to be a 'dinner at the table' rule but I'm not that bothered about other meals. I'm going to sit at the table so he might gravitate to wherever I am or he might prefer the sofas - I don't mind and I'm sure his sister will copy whatever he's doing once her time comes!
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby emzit » 12 Apr 2016, 10:13

I've always generally sat with the kids while they eat and they happily sit at the kroom bench for breakfast, bench or small table for lunch and family dining table for dinner. Our 2 year old refused to sit in his high chair months ago so he's been in a Tripp Trapp since then, although he likes to sit on my lap regularly. He is a bit of a roamer but doesn't take food places, just goes off and then comes back. He also, sigh, likes to eat when standing on the table... we try to discourage but when it's sometimes the only way he eats... *shrugs*
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby Kitcameron » 12 Apr 2016, 15:43

My kids eat breakfast free roaming unless it's messy, like milky cereal but lunch and tea I try to encourage eating at the table. Would he prefer sitting on a booster seat at the table. My DD2 is 22 months and has preferred a booster seat to high chair for the past few months. I think she feels more included, even though her highchair was next to the table.
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby mamapup » 12 Apr 2016, 18:19

When little they were allowed to roam. I used to put a muffin tray of food on the floor for the puppy at supper as he couldn't sit at the table for long. Now both sit at the table.
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby catkin » 12 Apr 2016, 21:19

Different perspective - we never allowed free range eating as we considered it a choking hazard. We'd let them leave the table if they wanted to but food stays at the table.
Our two also started to refuse highchairs at 18m-2, but they were okay about sitting at the table on a step chair (ours is a cheap one but like a Tripp trapp). Have you tried other ways of sitting at the table? In our case it seemed to be the captivity aspect of hc they didn't like, not actually the being at table aspect.
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby emzit » 13 Apr 2016, 01:55

catkin wrote:Different perspective - we never allowed free range eating as we considered it a choking hazard. We'd let them leave the table if they wanted to but food stays at the table.
Our two also started to refuse highchairs at 18m-2, but they were okay about sitting at the table on a step chair (ours is a cheap one but like a Tripp trapp). Have you tried other ways of sitting at the table? In our case it seemed to be the captivity aspect of hc they didn't like, not actually the being at table aspect.


Yes - this. I allow snacks free range but I do ask them to sit down to eat them. We haven't had issues keeping either at te table in a different way after high chair refusal, it was more the wanting to be in a chair and eating from the same as everyone else.
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby Lily » 13 Apr 2016, 08:43

I've never allowed free ranging either. Snacks are to be eaten sitting down, meals and anything with mess potential at the table. For me it's about socialisation - eating is a communal social activity, not just fuel. With tinies, I'd rather they joined in but didn't eat than ate but didn't join in. Izbiz never refused his high chair, but we took the restraints off it at about 18mo, once he could climb up by himself (it's the step kind).
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby Kanga » 13 Apr 2016, 08:49

Another one here that doesn't allow free roaming. That said now ds2 is older (almost 18 months) he's allowed his snacks in the living room with the others but if he won't sit down with them I often put him back in the high chair.

We've always eaten all meals at the table together & it is a treat on a Sunday evening to have tea (cheese & crackers, crumpets etc) on our knees in the living room. Ds2 still sits in the highchair even then though.
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby StJuniper » 14 Apr 2016, 02:10

We also don't allow roaming, although it helps that we eat all our meals at the bar counter, so getting down takes effort. The line has always been, "It's fine if you get down, but you can't take food with you." No if only I had a line for deterring standing on chairs, that'd be perfect...
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby Brigitte » 14 Apr 2016, 06:08

We always eat at the table. I don't think I could handle crumbs all over the house. The mantra is "food stays at the table". With my newly-3-year-old, we still buckle her into her Tripp Trapp for mealtimes. It prevents absent-minded wandering to and fro, but if she actually decides she's done with a meal then of course she can ask to leave the table anytime.

When we're out of the house, we still have a rule to sit down while eating snacks, like in the stroller or on a park bench or something. I am a bit more lenient with wandering snacks when we're not home, but I enforce the sitting rule often enough that they still see it as legit.
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Re: At the table...or free range?

Postby mamapup » 14 Apr 2016, 08:31

Our free range was only ever in the k room. No food out of there unless you're me.
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