Healthy Food For A Good Night’s Sleep!

Sleeping is essential for our health, for both baby and parents. Lets face it – when she or he sleeps well and for a long time, we also have a good night’s rest. From my experience with my little girl, the best food that promotes a good night sleep is something that has a low GI, (Glycemic Index) as the last meal of the day.

The best food to give to your baby at around 6 months, would be something that fills her up so she dose not wake up hungry in the middle of the night.

For dinner, I give my Olivia meals such as sweet potato mixed with rice cereal and some home made fruit jelly for dessert. The jelly is made with fresh fruit juice such as apple juice. Some cottage cheese with a bit of avocado mashed together is also great and filling. A few whole meal noodles she can hold in her hand, as she does like to feed herself, seems to be a favourite. Yoghurt, some grated fresh apple, mashed banana, carrot and potato mash are also suggested to keep your baby healthy and well feed. I usually choose 2 different dishes for any meal time. Porridge is a food she likes anytime of the day, it is warm and filling especially as the last thing at night.

In our house we are very big on vegetables. We try to live by the 2 x fruit and 5 x vegetables per day rule.

At first, when I gave Olivia a lot of vegetables in the evenings, I found she was dirtying her nappy through the night. I had to keep checking her nappies, as a dirty nappy irritated her skin when it was left on for a long time. This did not promote sleep for either of us!

I also found that if I gave her citrus fruits she developed nappy rash. From this I learned to feed her the bulk of the fruit and vegetables early in the day.

Her diet is now has the following structure:

o Fruit for breakfast and morning tea

o Vegetables for lunch and as a snack during the day.

o Carbohydrates, protein and dairy foods at night.

This seems to produce dirty nappies in the day which is fine – much quicker and easier to deal with than in the middle of the night! Oli has lots of wet nappies during the day and less leaky nappies at night. She has stopped waking up crying in the wee morning hours because she was all wet. A better night sleep thus results for all of us!

This type of eating may seem a bit strange, with the heaviest meals at breakfast and lunch, but it is the type of diet pattern followed in Europe, where I am originally from. The
pattern of a biggish breakfast, a main meal at lunch with lots of vegetables, and a light, but filling evening meal, with lots of carbohydrates, protein and dairy foods may suit your baby’s growing and developing needs very well.