Teaching a young toddler to eat solids can be challenging, particularly when they reach the stage where they want to control the feeding, and insist on feeding themselves.
It is also messy.
Lots of food ends up on my son, on me, on my wife, and on the floor. Much of that is accidental.
At 15 months, my son does fairly well now putting food into his mouth (unless it is particularly slippery).
However, if he decides he no longer wants something that he has in his hand, his typical response is to drop it on the floor (it is almost never dropped on the table). If he is walking with a snack, and decides he doesn't want it anymore (whether he's just tired of it, or sees something else he wants more, like his bottle), he will pause, and then carefully and deliberately drop it behind him.
If he has multiple pieces of food available to him, and decides he doesn't want them, he insists on pushing every single piece out of his immediate reach, usually by sweeping his arm across them or brushing vigorously with his hand.
He doesn't throw food, and there doesn't seem to be any element of defiance to his actions. It is simply "I'm done with this, so I'll drop it/move it away from me".
Is he old enough to be taught that food should not be dropped on the floor? We've tried telling him to put it on the table, and the few times he does put food down on the table, or on the plate, we've encouraged him with words, smiles, and clapping, but he doesn't seem to be showing any decrease in the "drop on the floor" behavior.
If he is old enough to be taught, what are some good techniques for teaching him?