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Pediatrics/meal time- snacking for toddlers


Our grandson is 15 months old.  He can say a few words but he is not really talking yet.  His mother is very concerned about his eating schedule and is very insist that once he eats breakfast he not have food until noon.  they were visiting today and he ate breakfast at 8:30 and around 11 he was hungry and wanted food.  she gave him water and he was still crying for food. she treated him like he was having a temper tantrum and gave him a time out.  they are very good with his nutrition and they really limit any deserts to maybe once a week but I would think a toddler like that can tell you when he is hungry and making him wait an hour after he has cried to eat is a little much.  am I sticking my nose where it doesn't belong?  I want to keep peace in the family but I'm concerned for my little guy.  Thank you for answering my question.

Hi,David and Happy Turkey Day!

Kids this age need snacks.  They get crabby and feel bad if they don't.  I see no reason to limit snacks or deserts, for that matter.  Snacks should be a healthy part of a kids overall diet and desert can be as well.  I think that the parents are not doing the right thing and I'm sure their pediatrician, if asked, would agree.

My suggestion is to mention this email encounter and then stay out of things.  

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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