I have heard that you shouldn’t eat a big meal and then go to bed. Would it be better if I fed my children their biggest meal of the day at lunch?

  • Posted by Dr. Jay Gordon

In many parts of the world, the largest meal is eaten at midday and followed by a siesta or nap. Most Americans don’t have the luxury of sleeping for an hour or two in the middle of the day so having the largest meal of the day at noon may not make sense. Therefore, lunch should be a light and nutritious meal that includes fruit and fresh vegetables, perhaps along with a pasta or rice dish of some kind. What happens after a high fat meal, or any large meal, is that a lot of blood flow is directed to the intestinal tract and away from the brain. This causes us to be sleepy all afternoon.

Try creating low fat dips to go with the fresh vegetables. They make a great tasting alternative to those greasy potato chips in little bags. Liquid is also important. I don’t advocate drinking milk, but a child should drink water or diluted fruit juice. With combinations of healthy foods, you can plan a high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, and low fat meal which will fuel your children throughout the rest of the day.