When is it appropriate to introduce snacks and how frequently should we offer them? We’re at nine months with five nursing sessions a day plus three solid meals, adding a snack. This seems a lot.
So, you know, at nine months, the average parent is giving three to four feeds in 24 hours.
At five nursing sessions, there really isn’t time to give a snack in between.
Personally, I don’t think kids really need snacks for kids. This is something that’s happened in North America over the last several decades but didn’t use to exist. People used to have three meals a day or less, depending on where you live. This idea that we need to be feeding our kids or ourselves, eating every three hours, came out of nowhere. I don’t know where it comes from. You know, most obesity specialists, endocrinologists, and dieticians don’t necessarily recommend we eat so frequently.
I don’t think it’s necessary to even give snacks to our kids, even when they’re older or they’re having good meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner. You don’t necessarily need the calories in those other times in the day.
And in many cases, especially in toddlers, a lot of people will fill up on snack food, which is by and large, more carbohydrate-rich, filled with lactose or dairy-rich. These are not bad foods in general. They serve a purpose, for calcium, but kids don’t snack on a chicken breast, right? Kids need iron too. If they have crackers and cheese for a snack at four o’clock, they’re much less likely to have the dinner meal that has the healthy fats and proteins in it, you know, an hour later, like at five pm.
I often tell parents to be mindful of snacking in between meals if their child is not eating that meal properly after that snack time.
If you’re breastfeeding five times a day and having three meals a day, there’s no reason why you should have snacks. There’s just not any time for it. They are sleeping otherwise. But you can certainly start weaning down off of those breastfeeds during the day to give some milk, or to give healthy snacks for kids, instead of those milk feeds.