Is grazing all day on snacks healthy for our little munchkins?
One very common complaints I hear from parents is that their little munchkins won’t stay put at the table. They get up and down constantly. They go and play with a toy for a few minutes, come back for a bite. They do a walkabout around the table and then come back for a bite.
And parents are constantly, yelling, begging, or negotiating their return to their chair.
Argh … how exhausting!
It’s hard to get them to stay put … it’s like they have ants in their pants.
And having our kids grazing on snacks all day seems like a perfectly safe alternative to those mealtime battles.
So when you kids return for a bite in between their shenanigans it’s easy to rationalize that at least they are eating! So we let them go do their thing and come back for bites as they desire.
But this strategy, while in the short term might work, can be detrimental to your child’s health in the long run. Studies show that children who graze throughout the day, on average eat fewer calories. And the odd one out does eat more. They will only eat enough to squash their hunger, but not enough to be full. That’s why it seems like every hour, your child is asking “Can I have a snack?”
In this video, I explain why it’s a bad idea to use grazing as your default mealtime strategy and what you can do instead.