The Tricky Third Meal- Dinner or Tea?
By 7 months offer your baby three meals a day with milk in between
‘But what do I give for the third meal?’
This is a common question asked at our Baby Weaning Class and during one-to-one consultations. Most babies start with ‘lunch’ or ‘dinner’, then breakfast is usually introduced with no problems, but when it comes to the third meal, many parents struggle.
Do you offer another dinner or are fruit and yoghurt enough?
Offering another dinner is a good option and better still if you can include your baby in your own dinner time. However, many new parents at this stage like to eat dinner together after their baby has gone to bed, fair enough, this is an excellent way to connect and unwind after a long day. And while sharing meals with your baby is desirable, it’s not always practical every day for many reasons.
It’s quite common for babies to be offered a snack-type meal at this time and this makes sense, both parents and babies are getting tired, so keeping it simple reduces stress. However, offering just fruit and yoghurt or commercial baby snacks takes away the opportunity to provide your baby with critical iron-rich foods and also reduces the variety of foods especially vegetables.
So, I’ve put together a straightforward week’s menu to give you ideas on what kinds of foods it’s useful to offer at this tricky tea-time. Naturally, there are lots of other foods and combinations which are just as good. Use this rule of thumb, and your baby will get a balanced plate.
One iron-rich food + one energy food + fruit/veggie
You can serve these foods as either spoon feeds or finger foods but try to offer at least one finger food. If you are offering a spoon feed try to mash rather than puree which is an appropriate texture for this 7-month weaning stage.
Iron Rich Food
|Monday||Hard-boiled egg slices or mashed||Avocado slices or mashed
|Sliced ripe pear|
|Tuesday||Bean Burger or Bean Mash||Greek Yoghurt||Sliced cooked tomato|
|Wednesday||Veggie Pancake||Peanut butter spread thinly on a finger of banana or mashed together|
|Thursday||Baked Beans (choose low salt), mashed or as finger food||Solider of toast with unsalted butter||Steamed Carrot sticks or mash|
|Friday||Hummus (choose a shop bought one with the lowest salt content or make your own) as a dip or from a spoon||Steamed carrot, asparagus and courgette sticks|
|Saturday||French Toast Fingers||Kiwi Slices or mash|
|Sunday||Tuna fish cakes or tuna mashed with Greek Yoghurt||Steamed Broccoli Florets|