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Is it ok if my toddler prefers snacks over meals?

My toddler prefers to snack all day rather than sit for bigger meals. Is this okay?
Submitted by American Baby Team

Yes. Toddlers have small stomachs and even smaller attention spans, which can make frequent snacks a more appealing option. But at the same time, try to establish a schedule of meal and snack times -- usually three meals and two snacks a day. Ultimately, even if it doesn't seem like it, your child wants structure and wants you to tell her what's correct, which is why your toddler should be sitting down for meals and not walking around munching out of a baggie. Also, when serving snacks, give children healthy choices they would get at a "real" meal, such as fruits and vegetables, and not junk food. --Gina Bevinetto Feld

Copyright 2007. Used with permission from the October 2007 issue of American Baby magazine. Updated 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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