My Little One Grazes All Day
Common Age: 10 months to 2 years
Nothing is more exciting to a baby than the discovery that she has mobility, so most crawlers would rather get up and go than sit down and eat. And since young children have little stomachs, eating small bits throughout the day enables them to take in the number of calories they need to keep them revved up. But, Roberts warns, it can be hard to get healthy food into a child who grazes, because meal food tends to be more nutritious than snacks. So if you have a grazer, put the same amount of thought into her snack foods as you do into each meal, and consider each snack a course of a daylong meal. Vitamin- and mineral-rich fun foods like cereal, banana bits, or cheese sticks are great choices.
Also remember that it's never too early to develop good eating habits. Experts recommend sitting down with the family for at least one meal a day. So do continue to try to get your mover and shaker into the high chair for a few minutes at a time. Around the 2-year mark, entice your little one to spend more time at the table by having snack time just twice a day and offering a wide array of choices at mealtime.