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Grazing vs. Sit-Down Meals-which is best?

With the exception of breakfast, my 22 monh old would gladly graze (snack) the day away. While it's not a problem for me, as I do the same thing, I'm wondering if it's good for her overall. I'm a single mom, and I don't have any "rules" as far as eating meals together and things like that. I do sit with her when she DOES sit for a meal, but I eat whenever I get a chance (which is usually when she is in bed for the night).

Is grazing ok at this age, or would a "breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner" type of routine be better overall?


Asked by Anonymous at 10:13 PM on May. 2, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Grazing is best healthwise and we should all be like that. However, society has decided that we should eat three meals and one or two snacks a day. So, do what you feel is best. Keep with it because it is good healthwise or try the sit down meals so she will fit in with societ and school.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:19 PM on May. 2, 2010

  • IMO teaching table manners young is best. If you're planning on sending her to school, or eating in a social setting, having at least on sit down meal a day would benefit her.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 10:16 PM on May. 2, 2010

  • Its a discipline that should be taught. To sit down and eat their main meals. They learn table manners and it is a consistency you will want as they get older to eat together as a family. Plus, children learn by example and they will watch you eat and learn more about acceptable behavior, etc... Snacks I have no problem with the grazing aspect. Plus if they sit down and eat, they eat what they have, you know how much they are eating and it doesn't get all over the house. With the obesity issues for children now days, disciplined healthy eating is best to learn right away.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:17 PM on May. 2, 2010

  • OP

    I do have a problem with her getting food all over my livingroom, and I'm working on getting her to sit at her little table when she is eating. I don't give her candy, juice or soda, and I make sure MOST of what she eats is as healthful as possible. I like the idea of knowing how much she is eating-thanks for the suggestion.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:21 PM on May. 2, 2010

  • She needs the meal routine set in place now, or she won't understand it when she's school aged and can't graze all day. You need to start with regular meals & snacks - breakfast at 7, 8, or whenever she wakes up, (small snack in between if there's 4 hours or more between) lunch at 12, snack at 3, dinner at 6, snack at 8 if she goes to bed later than 8. Something like that. She'll struggle when she's older if you continue to let her graze all day every day much longer.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:28 PM on May. 2, 2010

  • Let the kid graze.

    Answer by lstrickland at 12:50 AM on May. 3, 2010

  • It is time to get into the family (yes, the two of you are a family) dinner habit. This is a great opportunity to connect with your child, model and teach good habits (like healthy eating and table manners)

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:12 AM on May. 3, 2010

  • establish mealtime at the table together now, so that when she's school age its not a hassle to try and change the habit of grazing.

    a school aged kid (yes you do have a few years) doesn't get to eat all day at school - they have set snack (usually only in kindergarten do they snack, unless on their own at recess) and then lunch time.


    Answer by hypermamaz at 7:07 AM on May. 3, 2010

  • A family unit routine would be best, you will be setting the pace before the rush rush of older children and their activites. Young children thrive with any type of routine, structure is important, and dinner time as a family is a great way to communicate with each other, it is the only time you get to share stories and bond.

    Answer by older at 7:46 AM on May. 3, 2010

  • we eat the three meals at the table, and snack several times throughout the day.our snacks are not usually at the table unless they could be too messy. we have snacks in the kitchen, living room, basement and outside. i think family time at the table is really wonderful for the family. i think eating throughout the day is very natural, and probably the way things were meant to be from the beginning.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 10:41 AM on May. 3, 2010