Although a healthy and balanced diet should be the basic one in childhood to avoid present and future health problems and to keep obesity at bay, This diet can also be an ally to control stress, mood swings and even achieve a rest pattern appropriate to the child's age. Do you want to know what foods can help your child sleep better?
Nowadays, and due in many cases to the busy lives that adults lead and the great distances we travel between home and work, children are immersed in a whirlwind of extracurricular activities, whether physical or intellectual, at the end of their school day, extending their activity almost until dinner time.
Dinner, unfortunately, is postponed to include a bath and, due to lack of time, something is even prepared quickly without realizing that it can be an excellent time to promote relaxation in children through the intake of some foods. Which? We tell you!
- Complex carbohydrates
Rice, pasta -if they are whole grains even better- or potatoes are characterized by gradually releasing energy, so they do not increase blood sugar when digestion begins or generate peaks in insulin secretion, being ideal at dinner. In addition, they enhance the absorption of tryptophan, an amino acid closely related to relaxation.
- Warm dishes
Warm soups, creams or purees are perfect for the body to enter that state of relaxation before going to bed. We must avoid offering cold foods, such as salads, at dinner time.
Milk is a source of tryptophan, the amino acid most necessary for rest. Tryptophan, for its part, needs magnesium and vitamin B6 to promote the release of serotonin, which is in turn a precursor to melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone directly involved in relaxation mechanisms, so together, foods rich in these tryptophan, magnesium and vitamin B6 constitute the ideal cocktail for a perfect rest. A glass of warm milk before going to sleep provides additional muscle relaxation ideal for infant rest.
They are a source of tryptophan, as well as being a very complete food. They can be offered to the baby from 6 months -except for express pediatric indication-, and, preferably, they should not be eaten fried at dinner time, since the excess oil makes them heavier and difficult to digest.
- Blue Fish
These fish provide omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, selenium, and tryptophan. Selenium is related to a decrease in stress and anxiety, while magnesium, in addition to participating in the release of melatonin along with tryptophan, helps prevent muscle tension and reduce arousal. Fish also provides B vitamins, including vitamin B6.
- Lean meats
Like fish, they provide vitamin B6. In addition, they also provide iron and zinc, two minerals whose scarcity negatively affects the quality of a child's rest.
In addition to tryptophan, this fruit also contains vitamin B6 and small amounts of both magnesium and selenium, the most recommended minerals for falling asleep.
It is characterized by containing potentially anti-inflammatory substances that help the brain to relax, so that, added to milk before going to bed, it can intensify its relaxing effect.
Good hydration is essential for a good rest, so we should not substitute water for any other drink at dinner time.
Have you taken good note of which are foods that will help your child sleep better? Now we only have to list which ones should be prohibited at dinner time and thus achieve your goal: have sweet dreams!
- We mean the products containing caffeine (coffee, infusions or certain soft drinks).
- cheese, since it carries a substance, tyramine (an amino acid), which is an activator of brain activity.
- Sausages. They are difficult to digest, so it is best to omit any processed meat from your dinner. Change the chorizo or salami from dinner and pass it to the snack.
- Chocolates. They say that chocolate lifts your spirits, and for exactly that reason, we should almost ban it at dinner time. We will only get the little one to activate more than necessary!
- Spicy foods. These are very strong foods for the little one's stomach.
- Diuretics, that is, those foods with a large intake of water (watermelon or pineapple), which will only make the child wake up to the bathroom more than once throughout the night.
And with all this, we can only wish you happy dreams!
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