Ask The Expert – Toddler Eating Too Many Snacks

Ask The Expert is a new column on Littlestomaks.com. The idea is to have a reader-submitted question answered by a nutrition expert or a pediatrician. Feel free to submit your question in the comments section below.

This week, Registered Dietitian Milton Stokes offers his thoughts on a common concern of many parents who worry that their child is eating too many snacks.

miltonstokes1 Milton Stokes, MPH, RD
  • BS in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Registered Dietitian,Yale
  • Masters of Public Health, Hunter College
  • 10 years in Clinical Nutrition
  • Website:One Source Nutrition
  • Twitter:@Miltonstokes
  • LinkedIn Profile
  • Contact: via website

Question: My child is addicted to snacks. How can I get him to eat proper food?

Answer:

My response is to answer with a question: What’s he eating?  It’s possible that his diet is proper/healthy.  I’d need to know more about the composition.  Moreover, snacking is perfectly acceptable when the snacks comprise the right foods.  For example, carrot sticks dipped in ranch dressing is excellent—veggie plus healthy fat.  Yogurt with berries makes for another excellent example—calcium, protein, fiber, and antioxidants.  I could go on and on with examples.  The goal is to include one or more of the following: whole grains, vegetables, fruit, healthy fat, and/or protein.  The possibilities are endless!

Now, if you’re talking about soda and potato chips everyday, that’s another story entirely.  I’d like to know how long this has lasted and more about what transpires during meal times.  It’s normal for kids to experience food jags where they only eat one or two things, and it might be food of lower nutritional quality.  It always subsides with time, gentle encouragement, and ample role modeling of healthy eating.

Here are a few good ideas for fresh,  healthy snacks for toddlers. And here are  few tips for letting your kids enjoy snacks the smart way.

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Disclaimer – Information provided in Ask The Expert column on Littlestomaks.com is intended to give you general guidance on a question related to toddler nutrition. It is not meant to be treated as medical advice. You are welcome to contact this expert for a detailed consultation on your specific situation to determine what actions, if any, you should take regarding nutrition and health of your toddlers. We do not recommend you to take any action based solely on the information presented in this column. Experts have agreed to provide their professional opinion on toddler nutrition related questions on a voluntary basis and no compensation is offered to them by Littlestomaks.com.

2 comments

  1. Irma Monreal

    My grandaughter is shared by both her grandma’s. I have her on the weekends. Every week her bowel movement releases a handful of whole raisins! This worries me. My little “cupcake” is 16 months old and has about eight teeth. I am worried the whole raisins will clump up in her tummy…

    worried,
    grandma

    -1
  2. Irma Monreal

    My grandaughter is shared by both her grandma’s. I have her on the weekends. Every week her bowel movement releases a handful of whole raisins! This worries me. My little “cupcake” is 16 months old and has about eight teeth. I am worried the whole raisins will clump up in her tummy…

    worried,
    grandma

Comments are closed.