How to Handle Kids Eating Dirt, Sand and Crayons
Moms love when their kids eat. Eat food, that is. It's not so gratifying to watch your kid shove things like sand, dirt and crayons into his mouth. But unfortch, young kids and babies love to gnaw on inedible things. Yes, it's gross. But it's also totally developmentally appropriate because one of the ways young kids and babies discover the world is by putting things in their mouths.
OK, so we've established that it's normal. But that doesn't mean you have to stand by and do nothing about it. To get your kid to stop eating non-food stuff, just gently but firmly remind him every time he shoves a fistful of sand into his mouth not to eat it. Say, "No mouth. Sand isn't food!" If he doesn't listen, remove him from the area.
If your kid is past the age where it's developmentally appropriate to be snacking on non-food items (like by age 2), he may be iron deficient and craving the iron in dirt or he may have pica. Pica is a disorder that makes people crave things like paper and dirt. Pica is most common kids with developmental disabilities like autism and affects about 25-30% of children. Talk to your pediatrician if you're concerned!