On weekends, when routines give way to leisure and family events and with friends, schedules are relaxed and we may find that the lunch schedule prevents us from including snack and dinner in the remaining time of day. In situations like these we are faced with a dilemma when it comes to feeding our little ones.Should I offer him a snack and dinner as we do daily or can a snack-dinner for the children be enough?
In the case of babies under one year of age in which the basic diet must be milk, we should not worry at all if we miss a meal. At this time, complementary feeding does not contribute much at a nutritional level, but basically brings new experiences to the baby.
Later, in early childhood, it should always be borne in mind that a tired child will neither eat enough nor enjoy foodTherefore, if having a snack and dinner means that dinner will be offered late and the child will be very sleepy, it is better to opt for a snack-dinner at an intermediate time.
Older children and adolescents already respond to this dilemma like adults, and If for the adult the snack-dinner is a completely valid option, it is also for the children, with the advantage that digestion is usually facilitated by not being as late as dinner.
When offering a snack-dinner, it should be taken into account that its nutritional contribution should be more similar to that of dinner than that of the snack, without necessarily becoming as energetic as this.
- As carbohydrates you can offer potatoes or bread, preferably whole wheat, or a little rice / pasta.
- It must include some type of protein food. Since legumes are often more difficult to digest when bedtime is near, they are best avoided, including some type of meat or fish instead.
- Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals can be provided via fruits or vegetables. Vegetables are easily included, for example, with a small salad, which has the extra benefit that, when consumed raw, no nutrient is lost. Although traditionally the fruit is offered in the dessert, there is no reason why it cannot be included in the salad, the apple or the fresh grapes or raisins are quite accepted by the little ones. As an alternative, vegetables can be used to make dips for meatballs, chicken or fish, and if they are passed through the mixer, the child will not even know they are eating them.
- Depending on the age, nuts and seeds They can be very useful in providing essential fatty acids.
- Fish, especially blue, and the olive oil that decorates the salad, also offer a good contribution.
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