Your baby has come a long way from her early days when holding her neck was a major developmental milestone. Now, at 11 months and as an almost-toddler she is eating solid foods on her own and learning how to engage in new activities and play. This means that as she is growing up, she is also consuming more energy and at times you will feel that your baby is hungry time and again. Which is why you will need to be prepared with healthy snacks for 11 month baby.
Now, if your baby is a healthy snacker and eats two to three snacks in between two major meals per day that is normal. However, if your baby demands more than four snacks a day, you may wonder: how many snacks are too many snacks for an 11 month old baby?
Let’s take a look at the kind of nutrition your child needs at this age and what can you do to develop healthy eating habits.
How Many Snacks Does A Toddler Need?
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The World Health Organisation recommends that complementary food should be given three to four times a day between the ages of 9 months and 11 months. This, of course, depends on the child’s appetite and accordingly, parents can offer nutritious snacks between meals.
The keyword here is “nutritious” as opposed to junk food or sugary snacks that your toddler might crave for.
On average, an 11-month-old baby is ready to eat every two to three hours, and parents can ration out the meals with snacks depending on the child’s activity. The idea is to keep the child full of energy and not full of food at all times.
Here’s a quick chart for your reference.
Meal & Snack schedule (for a toddler that takes two naps per day)
Following this routine ensures that children engage in more activities throughout the day, and will then come back to the lunch or dinner table after building an appetite.
After all, snacks are supplementary sources of nutrition over a proper meal.
Hunger Vs. Boredom: What’s The Reason My Baby Snacks So Much?
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At times, your toddler is craving a snack out of boredom and not hunger. You’ll find them craving a snack soon after a full meal. This is mostly due to boredom as many of them find it tough to transition from one activity to the next.
The easy way to curb your baby’s immediate and untimely hunger pangs is to let her munch on something quick and healthy. You can offer your baby a banana, an apple or similar fruit-based snack. Another option is whole-wheat crackers, sweet potato, or sugar-free yogurt. You can also breastfeed the child or use formula milk, instead.
Alternately, this would also be a good time to engage your child in different activities to keep them engaged through the day.
Read them a book or play with them during this time.
It’s also a good idea to have colouring books, building blocks or play sets around to keep them busy.
If the outdoors look good, take them out for a walk or to the park. This will help them build an appetite for that big meal while diverting attention from an untimely snack.
It will also be wise to carry a few fruity snacks for 11 month baby when going outdoors. You can plan your trips to the local grocery store or the supermarket during their snack times and keep the little one engaged.
What Snacks Should You Avoid?
While a sweet tooth may seem nice today, it can lead to other issues in the future. If your child craves something sweet, look at offering fruits that have natural sweeteners.
It will also be best to avoid cheese and/or peanut butter when serving a snack to keep the child full for longer periods. And of course, any type of junk food or processed food should also be off your child’s diet chart, including chips and meat.
This will overlap with a proper meal during lunch or dinner, and the child will not develop the right appetite for the same.
Learn How To Set An Eating Pattern
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By the age of three years, children develop their eating habits and that’s why it is important that you start adopting a routine for your child right from the age of 11 months.
This is not only important with respect to food habits and tastes but also necessary to create a discipline in the longer run.
Meals and snacks at unscheduled times will only affect the child’s health as they get older. As we all know, it is a hard cycle to break. It’s as important as sleep and also helps the body identify the right time to feel hungry.
Don’t forget, snacks are always necessary and should not be always be avoided altogether. Your child will remain happy that way and won’t develop gastric issues after not eating for long hours. The idea is to keep the toddler happy and set the right eating habits as they grow older.