Posted in Food & Cooking, Nutrition, Toddlers

Snack time all the time?

Anonymous

My 16 month old knows the sign for hungry. And he does this sign often, that, or he goes over to his highchair and asks to be put in it. He asks for food often, 90% of the time he’ll actually eat an entire snack and the other 10% he’ll nibble and be done. I want to keep him on a good schedule, but I don’t want to deny him food if he’s actually hungry.... I know he’s growing like a weed so I’m not sure if I should refuse food unless it’s snack/meal time or just go with what he requests?

  • Amanda
    Mar 05

    My kids (22mo and 4) ask for snacks and would eat constantly if I let them. I go by how reasonable it is for them to be hungry. They get nothing in between breakfast and lunch, but because dinner is spaced out longer for us I’ll give them something about halfway between lunch and dinner. Then nothing after dinner.

  • Laura
    Mar 05

    At daycare the 1 year old class eats snack at 9am, lunch at 11:30, snack at 2pm, tea time at 4:30. This is on top of breakfast and dinner at home. The two year old class is similar, with a slightly later tea time. They need meals more often than adults.

  • Anthony
    Mar 06

    We have three boys: 6,3,2 They are always hungry. We supplement food with protein packed berry smoothies or kefir (from ALDI)

  • Anonymous
    Mar 06

    Laura- thank you! That was really helpful! I guess I just worry about him eating to eat or actually hungry/In a growth spurt or something?? Haha Anthony- oh yum! Do you do that in place or snacks?

  • Jennifer
    Mar 06

    I have always fed my son when he asked for it. He’s almost two now. I do try to give him fruit or something if he’s eating a lot they grow a lot they need calories.

  • Elle
    Mar 06

    Institute standard meal and snack times, at appropriate intervals for his age. Every 3 hrs is a good range.

  • Julie
    Mar 07

    My daughter is 18 months and her daycare gives breakfast when she arrives (around 8:30, snack at 10, lunch at 12, snack again after nap (around 2), then a final snack (usually just milk) right around 3:30. My daughter also snacks all the way home on fruit or her milk sippy. She will sometimes ask for a snack as soon as we get home and if she does I give it to her. Then we all sit down for dinner at 5:30 and she gets another cup of warmed milk right before bath/bed. My daughters pediatrician told me that at this age children won’t eat for the fun of it UNLESS you’re feeding them addictive foods like refined sugars and carbs. She told me that as long as the majority of what I feed her between meals is just fruits and veggies and cheese type things and she’s eating them then it’s because she actually needs to eat. However if she’s only asking for things like cookies and crackers she’s probably not really hungry. Since having that conversation with her, I have basically stopped offering any refined carbs like bread/crackers/etc between meals and only give her things like berries, shredded cheese, carrots, etc during snacking times (unless I’m desperate, then she might end up with some cheddar bunnies or something). If I notice her not really showing interest in the snack then I try to distract her with an activity and we move on with the day.

  • Lindsey
    Mar 10

    I don’t have an answer. I just came here to say I WISH my almost 3 y/o would eat like this. She eats like a bird. She barely eats anything at all and is SO finicky with food. It’s really frustrating. At this point she is basically surviving off of pediasure “chocolate milk”

  • Julie
    Mar 10

    Lindsey, keep offering!!! She’ll start eating!! My daughter goes through phases where she will eat next to nothing for days and then she just kind of clicks and gets back into it!!

  • Lindsey
    Mar 10

    My daughter can be like that too. Some days she will actually eat a lot then others she eats next to nothing. I always offer no matter what but I feel like I’m wasting so much food lol

  • Julie
    Mar 10

    Yup!! Same. Lol.