When the baby gives up exclusive breastfeeding, it is time to start offering other foods. Complementary feeding usually begins at meal and snack time, and, for no scientific reason to back it up, dinner is postponed until when babies are older. Then, How and when to introduce dinner to babies?
Although scientifically there is no specific date for the introduction of dinner into the baby's diet, and it can be offered from 6 months, the truth is that, due to the usual meal times in Spain and other Latin countries, it is It is very difficult for a small baby to not be tired at dinner time, making it difficult for him to be interested in food.
In other European countries, however, it is much more common to offer food at dinner than at mealtime, since it is what is considered the main meal, the most overwhelming, and where the whole family gathers together. table, of course, which takes place around 5 in the afternoon.
Focusing on our usual hours, Infant dinner can be introduced, without forcing, when the infant is able to be active enough to show interest for what others are doing. It is no use doing it when the baby is tired and sleepy, we will only manage to have a hard time and make him associate the food with an unpleasant moment.
In addition, and since the baby will do little or no exercise after dinner, it should be light and easily digestible. For example, it is not convenient to offer two dishes, unless the first is very light, such as a puree or a soup. On the other hand, meats are heavier to digest than fish, and fried eggs more than omelettes.
Regarding the quantity, It will be the baby who decides how much he wants to eat, and although most likely no two days will be the same, we must respect his rhythm. It is very likely that, if two dishes are offered, the baby will only show interest in the first, so it may be more appropriate to put all the foods that you want to offer on a single plate, all together so that you can choose and taste.
At the beginning, and because the baby will not eat too much at dinner, it is advisable to continue offering a bottle of milk before going to bed. If breastfeeding is continued, it must of course also be offered on demand. When babies are older and no longer take a bottle, offering a glass of milk before bedtime or with dinner itself can help to ensure that they are getting enough calcium for their bones and to get started on the bedtime routine, as milk, and more if it is warm, promotes relaxation.
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