Someone brought this up to me recently: Should you eat your meat and your fruit at the same time, in the same meal?
I didn’t find any information about meat and fruit specifically, but I found a few things about “meat and carbs” and other combinations of foods. I didn’t find any information about the order of eating when it comes to babies! I’m guessing it’s because baby led weaning is a newer term, and there aren’t studies out there.
When it comes to your baby, offering lots of fruit throughout the day can give him a taste for sweet things, which isn’t ideal. So I would suggest offering vegetables and proteins to your baby, and then 10 minutes later, putting a piece of fruit on his tray/plate if you are worried about it. But that doesn’t have anything to do with digestion.
There is a lot of evidence to support eating your protein first. But the reason is that it could help with weight loss. It doesn’t seem to connect with digestion.
Eating protein first will stimulate insulin production, and insulin can suppress appetite. If you eat a little of your protein first, then chances are, you’ll eat less throughout your meal.
This website (Fruits and Veggies More Matters) points out that, once the food is consumed in the same meal, it all gets mashed together in your stomach.
“Fruit is nutritious, raw or cooked, and is readily digested, whether alone or in combination with other foods.” (Source)
“Your digestive tract can handle a variety of food groups at the same time. There is no proof that eating protein and carbohydrates separately aids digestion….” (Source)
The conclusion, to me, is that it doesn’t really matter for your baby. If you offer fruits and veggies and proteins all at once, your baby will eat what he wants to eat, in the order he wants to eat it. Now, there will almost always be a study out there that proves your point, which is why I tried to find several different sources. That said, which sources can you trust? Many of the quotes I mentioned don’t have a credible source or research cited. I don’t generally trust random quotes on the internet because you never really know what’s opinion and what is fact.
Remember, you are the mama (or dad… do I have any dads who follow my page?), so go with your gut. If something seems off, or if your baby seems to have trouble with digestion, then start to find the culprit. Until then, I wouldn’t stress about the order of food or the way you combine your offerings.
Finally, I will leave this here. My friend Nick said it, and I think it’s great advice: “Just eat naturally occurring food in reasonable portions, and everything will be ok.”Continue reading »