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Toddler wants to eat...all day long!!

My 21 month old is at a phase in her life where she likes to snack...all day long. From the moment she wakes up, she wants a snack before breakfast. Then she eats breakfast. Then, she is grabbing the crackers off the table. After her nap, I offer her lunch, which she barely touches. As soon as she is released from her high chair, she wants a snack. A couple of hours later, she has a small snack, then she wants to snack her way to dinner. After dinner, she wants a snack.

I don't know what to do. She is slightly underweight, so I'm hesitant to deny her food if she's really hungry. But I don't know hoe normal it is for a toddler of her age to want to eat all the time.

Any help or advice? Thank you!


Asked by Anonymous at 7:55 PM on Mar. 30, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Toddlers are supposed to be grazers. That's what the nutrition experts say. The important thing is to have good food for them to eat. You can make things up for them to have in the fridge so you are ready when they are hungry. My toddler grandson spends every other day with me and I save food from our meals for him.

    Kids don't have to eat at the adult table. They can have a kid table or eat at the coffee table if that area would be an ok place to eat. You can go to google and type in superfoods and you will find lists of foods high in nutrition. Most are things you can feed a toddler.


    Answer by Gailll at 8:14 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • just don't let her....bad eating habits start early. you do not want to have an overweight out of shape kid on your hands....if she's eating that much it's not because she's hungry....just tell her no, if she cries then let her cry, her health is more important

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:57 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • I disagree with the PP. Small children do better "grazing". Their small tummies get empty and full quickly. As long as you are offering healthy snacks they will be okay. Kids that age won't eat if they aren't actually hungry.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:04 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • I'm having the opposite problem....My daughter hollars because she's hungry (or I think so anyways) and I go to feed her, she'll eat 2 bites and throw the rest in the *Sigh* Count your blessings....

    Answer by srhmldndo at 8:04 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • Plan two snacks, 3 meals and water or watered down juice in-between. Make sure she is sitting in the high chair or at a table for each meal/snack/drink. Don't let her walk around with food or drink. Tell her the 'new rules" a few times (and probably over several days) and she should get the hang of it. Know that you are NOT starving her if you make her wait until the next scheduled "meal".

    And ps, it is normal. She's probably going to grow a whole bunch right before your eyes. :)

    Answer by kjrn79 at 8:05 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • If it lasts too long, I would put a stop to it. Especially when/if it interferes with meals. When my dd was around that age, she would snack all day instead of eat meals. So I slowly cut away her snack sizes.

    Answer by mrsjosey1018200 at 8:26 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • Anon #1...... SNACKING IS NOT A BAD HABIT!!!! its what you snack on!!
    Humans are naturally grazers! It is VERY RARE for a child to eat when they are not hungry. As long as you make sure she is snacking on healthy food (fruits/veggies/whole grains) let her snack.
    Bad eating habits is not eating when hungry then over eating when food is sat in front of you. Snacking keeps your sugar levels & other stuff steady.
    If anything witholding food from a child this young will LEAD to eating problems when they are older...

    ----For adults ---- TRY GRAZING YOURSELF! I PROMISE you - you will lose weight!

    Keep it healthy! And you will learn is she snacking for the tasty treats or is she snacking because that is what her body is telling her to do.. Unless she starts gaining weight, or seeming sluggish/lazy dont worry about it. healthy snacks! healthy food! :)

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 8:42 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • If she's refusing meals, then she's snacking too much. My 16 month old eats 3 meals and 2 snacks/day so it feels like he's always eating, but I make sure that his snacks are fresh fruit, veggies, or unsweetened yogurt - so even if he isn't hungry at mealtime he's still getting the nutrition he needs. Snacking isn't that big of a problem unless it's interfering with meals or she's snacking on traditional "snack food"

    Answer by missanc at 8:49 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • I'm jealous. Feeding mine is a forever battle. I swear she barely eats anything. Occasionally, she goes through phases when she wants a lot so I assume those are growth spurts.


    Answer by BridgetC140 at 9:38 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • I agree with mommatasha...couldn't have said it better myself. I always felt and looked better when I grazed...which I could return to that way of eating...I'd probably be doing a lot better...

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:40 PM on Mar. 30, 2010