When you have a baby who does not sleep well, it is helpful to understand what type of food fuels energy and what food fuels the release of sleep inducing hormones serotonin and melatonin.
The effect food has on the body begins to occur about 30 minutes after food is eaten, therefore it is beneficial to give your baby an appropriate snack or milk drink 30 minutes before you expect them to sleep in the evening. This does not mean holding off their dinner but rather giving them a little something extra 30 minutes before bed.
Read more on baby and infant behaviour in 'Mum, Baby & Toddler - together we learn'
Foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan are suitable for a child’s evening meal and pre bedtime snack because they promote sleep hormones and control hunger.
Below is a list of some dinner and pre bed snack suggestions for your baby older than 10 months: More information on feeding here
· Wholegrain rice cake spread with avocado
· Peanut butter spread on a dry wholegrain rice cake or toast
· Cottage cheese and tuna with avocado
· Eggs and wholegrain toast fingers
· Wholegrain cereal with warm full fat milk
· Low sugar rolled oat biscuit and milk
· Natural full fat yoghurt and sliced banana
· Rice pudding made with brown rice sprinkled with cinnamon
These foods not only encourage calmness and sleep but they are easily digested allowing a body to rest rather than be stimulated to digest a heavy protein meal overnight. Cheese is made from the casein protein which is harder to digest than whey but as it also contains tryptophan which encourages the production of sleep hormones it is usually ok to have a little at this time.
Read more Putting them to Sleep eBook
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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. She publishes regular ezine and blog articles to provide free parenting tips, tools and resources to educate and support those caring for young babies and children. For more online resources visit http://www.settlepetal.com