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The 3 × 3 formula of infant nutrition

The 3 × 3 formula of infant nutrition

An effective measure to plan the children’s menu and prevent overweight and obesity is to “eat in blocks 3 × 3”, combining three food groups: protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat, in each of the three main meals, according to nutritionists

Sometimes a little imagination is crucial for the little ones to eat food that they usually reject. Photo assigned by IMO

The fact that a child is “chubby” does not mean that he is well nourished, nor properly fed, but rather it would be a warning to take precautionary measures.

They add that childhood is key to preventing overweight and obesity in adolescence and adulthood because it is when the first patterns related to food, the taste for certain flavors, such as sweet, and preference or Rejection of certain foods.

In general, the IMEO advises combining three food groups at each meal: protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat. This system is advisable to apply from three years of age until they reach adults, as it is a very simple way to raise the different main meals of the day and also the “snacks” (snacks).

“Protein is understood as all types of lean meat, eggs, fish or dairy products, while carbohydrates are obtained from whole grains (pasta, rice) and fruits and vegetables, except potatoes, because they increase glucose more rapidly in the blood and usually consumed fried, with salt, ketchup or mayonnaise, a combination that makes you fat, ”they explain. This institute recommends including 55% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 15% healthy fats, both in the main meals of the day, as in the booster meals, that is in the mid-morning and snack.

Healthy fats are those that do not increase the excess weight or cardiovascular risk and are present in vegetable oils, avocado, seeds, nuts, eggs or bluefish.

A simple formula to avoiding extra kilos

According to this formula of the IMEO for children’s nutrition, for breakfast, you can include slices of ham or serrano ham, a toast or slice of whole wheat bread with a jet of olive oil, and a banana.t.

“For dinner, it would be an option to take sardines passed through the pan, a cup of gazpacho and fruit rich in vitamin C, instead of a dessert dairy to facilitate the absorption of iron from sardines and limit that of calcium,” According to this same source.

The nutrition expert, dietitian, and IMEO spokesperson Rubén Bravo explains the four main reasons why the ‘block eating’ method helps prevent obesity and overweight in children.

Each of the macronutrients is digested in different areas of the digestive system, providing higher levels of satiety than if we took them separately.

It slows the passage of nutrients into the bloodstream, helping to regulate anxiety and appetite, and reduces insulin secretion and therefore the onset of type 2 diabetes.

From the organoleptic and gastronomic point of view, it is easier to configure more tasty, complete and delicious dishes. It is easier to cover daily nutritional needs, both in macro and micronutrients.

Bravo confirms to Efe that ‘Eating in blocks’ can also be useful for parents to organize their children’s meals after summer vacations, and serve as an orientation to feed children during the school year.

“This indication greatly facilitates the work of nutritional education that falls mainly on the shoulders of parents or guardians and that, sometimes, are somewhat lost when designing the menus of the children, or at a family level,” he says.

Full and healthy menu for the new course

This expert proposes the following example of three main and two booster meals, based on the ‘eat-in blocks’ formula, and recommended for the new school year:


– A slice of integral with crushed tomato, olive oil, and serrano ham.
– A natural juice of 2 oranges.


– A bowl with skimmed strawberry yogurt, 5 pieces chopped and topped with 3 chopped nuts.


– Eggplant stuffed with minced meat, onion, and tomato, baked in a gratin with a slice of light cheese.
– A piece of dessert fruit.


– Chocolate custard with no added sugar.
– A small handful of peanuts.
– A piece of dessert fruit.


– Vegetable cream.
– Whole wheat toast with avocado and smoked salmon.

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