after meals 🙂 the worst thing we can do for our babies is to worry we are overfeeding them, especially when going through the first wild 3 years of life when they are growing and developing non-stop, it is SO important to just feed them, really good things as much as possible. And for their dinner or pre-bedtime snack there are certain food types than can really help to get your little one to wind down and feel ready for sleep. Sleep is part of a complex hormone cycle that involves insulin, cortisol, melatonin, leptin and prolactin amongst others. Across the day insulin, blood sugar and cortisol levels gradually fall, and our melatonin levels rise – preparing us for sleep. Certain foods like oats, tomatoes and bananas contain melatonin and some like pineapples boost it. Tryptophan foods like walnuts, almonds, turkey and cheese may also improve melatonin levels. As well as this, chamomile is used to induce sleep and is safe for babies from birth, plus calcium and magnesium help sleep and the best long term strategy from baby through to adulthood is to work on absorbing these better through greens, nuts and seeds. Here are a few things to try for your little one:
– A warm cup of oat milk infused with chamomile tea or flowers
– A banana smoothie also infused with chamomile tea and a pinch of cinnamon (coincidentally my favourite night time snack to fuel during the long lonely breastfeeding newborn months), failing this, simply a banana will do the trick!
– Almond or walnut butter on wholemeal or rye toast
– Classic roast turkey with mashed sweet potatoes and gravy for the more hungry little people 🙂
– A warm bowl of oats with a teaspoon of walnut butter or chia seeds
My final top tip which I still use now, is a tea spoon full of coconut oil 🙂 during babies massage for them to suck on. Totally satisfying, healthy good fat to fill that final gap in babies tummy and leave them feeling snoozy. This is also fantastic for their skin and omega