July 02, 2015

Q: My toddler prefers to snack all day rather than sit for bigger meals. Is this okay?

A: 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

Answered by American Baby Team