The CDC write

By the time he or she is 7 or 8 months old, your child can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts and cheeses, and more.

If the baby is not being given protein at every meal, is there any reason to prefer giving protein to a baby at breakfast vs lunch vs dinner? The only resource I could find which addressed this question was a blog which states:

Protein should be given at the lunch meal only until your baby is over 10 months old, when you can introduce it at dinner. The reason for this is that protein at dinner in a baby younger than 10 months can cause night waking as their body tries to digest the protein while they’re lying down and their digestive system has slowed.

I'm wondering whether that statement is true, and whether there are any other factors that make giving protein at a particular time of the day more desirable than other times?

  • 3
    Some clarifying questions: How old is your child now? Do you have any reason to suspect they have difficulties digesting proteins? As anecdote, my < 1 year old son shares in all our meals. So he eats protein when we eat protein, and I have not noticed any ill effects. Nov 17, 2021 at 14:58
  • 3
    Similarly to Tyler, we noticed no effects at all with having protein at any meal with our 3 kids. The only noticeable one was that giving artificial milk as the last feed at night helped them sleep a little longer than if they had breast milk. And meant I could feel a bit more useful as a father :-)
    – Rory Alsop
    Nov 17, 2021 at 19:39
  • 1
    @TylerChurch I'm mostly thinking of babies 6-18 months of age with no prior history of problems digesting protein, but meant my question as a general one. If research had indicated the answer is different for babies of different ages, or for babies with some history of problems digesting protein, that would also be interesting. Nov 17, 2021 at 22:48
  • 5
    Human milk contains protein and is given to children as young as 0 months. It is given at a variety of times which includes, but is not limited to, lunch and dinner time. If protein at certain times were suboptimal, my guess is that we would have found out by now. The blogger made some mistake, I think. Perhaps you can ask the blogger for the reference or a clarification for their quoted statement. Good luck! Loved the question, BTW. Also, this is not an answer. Thus I posted this as a comment. :) Nov 18, 2021 at 2:37
  • 2
    I'm a physician (anyone can say that on the internet, but I mention it only to say I'm pretty good at searching the medical literature.) Doing advanced searches doesn't get me any results for normal babies. Protein is monitored in babies with medical problems, e.g. kidney disease. Otherwise, what @TimurShtatland said... :) Nov 18, 2021 at 15:06


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