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There are children who are hungry at all hours and ask their parents for something to eat outside of the five recommended meals established by professionals in infant feeding. Other times, anxiety leads them to hide to eat without anyone seeing them. What the child eat between meals has negative consequences fortheir health and development. We explain them to you!
According to the most current recommendations, in addition to the 3 traditional meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner - children should eat at least another two, one in the middle of the morning and the other in the middle of the afternoon, depending on the times of the so-called main meals. .
Although these two meals are not main, they are still important, and must be, above all, healthy, and complement the main meals in some way.
Any unplanned meal, any extra food that is offered and that affects in any way the main meal that follows constitutes what we call "eat after hours, eat between meals or snack between meals".
An omelette skewer at the bar, just before eating, no matter how healthy, is enhancing one of these two possible outcomes:
- The child will eat the skewer and then he will eat his main meal, as we will insist that he do so, because it is the "deal" that we have previously made.
- The child will eat the skewer because he is hungry at that moment, and with that little bit of food will satisfy your hunger immediately, then refusing to eat the main meal.
Unfortunately, the first result is quite common, and, although it may seem exaggerated, we are forcing the child to eat more than his body asks for, preventing him from learning to differentiate the signals of satiety, tripping his own regulation and pushing him down the path of overweight and obesity.
The second option, also quite common, could be acceptable in this example, since the tortilla skewer, at least, has a foundation, but what if instead we talk about a bag of potatoes, a chocolate palm tree or a pack of jelly beans?
First of all, we are neither offering the energy that the child needs - we may be giving much more or falling terribly short - nor the appropriate nutritional contribution, that is, the macro and micronutrients that a child provides. Balanced food.
In addition, in the case of a child who eats little the problem is even more serious, since, on a regular basis, his diet may already be lacking in vitamins and minerals, essential nutrients that he will not get from a bag of potatoes. without counting on the excess of salts and simple sugars that these foods contribute.
If a child is hungry before the main meal time, it is an obvious sign that the meal is not planned at the most appropriate time. Here are some tips that can help you reset your meal plan.
- More than offering a snack, no matter how healthy, or letting him eat late, it is preferable adjust schedules to the needs of the little ones.
- It is also good or better yet, to try to distribute, among the main meals, those secondary meals -lunch and snack-, and make them healthy, so that there is no option to be hungry after hours.
- Fruit / vegetables, nuts, dairy products or complex carbohydrates, such as bread, are the simpler and easier options to combine to cover all tastes.
You can read more articles similar to The dangerous habit of the child eating between meals. Infant diet, in the category of Diets and children's menus on site.