|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 7, 2014 at 8:05 PM|
Food has a huge impact on a child’s well-being. It can energize, increase hyperactivity, or induce fatigue. Just as a lack of sleep can jumble a child’s thinking or cause learning problems, so can an inadequate diet. Each child is a unique individual, and it’s unreasonable to think that “one size fits all” diet advice is realistic. Children seem to be born not only with an emotional temperament but with a food temperament. For instance, my son has always had a particular suspicion and aversion to any food that is green; however, he doesn’t care much for sweets. In direct contrast, my youngest daughter has always loved vegetables and from the time she was a toddler, her favorite food was broccoli. Unfortunately, she also inherited my sweet tooth.
Diet is critical for children’s health and everything that we eat affects us. However, it affects each of us a little differently, depending on our individual makeup and metabolism. For instance, some children are highly sensitive to sugar and any form of sweets in their diet. For them, sugar consumption can aggravate many problems such as hyperactivity, anxiety, nervousness, irritability, and poor concentration— all of which can lead to sleep difficulties.
We all know that children are healthier and sleep better if they eat a healthy diet containing a variety of foods from all the food groups. Unfortunately, some children can be incredibly picky. I don’t think it’s a good idea to cater to a child’s every whim or to battle over food. Fill your house with healthy foods and snacks and don’t get in the habit of buying junk food. That way, when your children are hungry, they will have no choice but to eat healthy and nutritious foods.
In addition, children are much more likely to be interested in eating meals that they have helped plan and prepare. Buy a healthy children’s cookbook and have fun planning and preparing nutritious meals and snacks together.
To Ensure a Good Nights Sleep
What you eat and when you eat can affect how you sleep. Some foods and bedtime snacks are likely to help your child sleep and some foods should be avoided:
An evening bedtime snack that contains tryptophan can encourage a good night’s sleep. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the brain converts into the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is then converted into melatonin, which assists in sleep. Many children find a glass of warm milk calming and it is a good source of tryptophan. Other sources of tryptophan include cottage cheese, yogurt, pineapples,
plums, bananas, eggs, turkey, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews and peanuts. It’s best to combine these tryptophan-rich foods with complex carbohydrates like whole grain cereals, bread or potatoes; it helps the brain to absorb the tryptophan. Bedtime snack suggestions: whole grain cereal with milk, oatmeal with milk, peanut butter sandwich with ground sesame seeds, oatmeal cookies with milk.
If your child has a bedtime snack, have it half an hour to an hour before bed.
Eat a variety of food from all of the food groups.
Drink a lot of water during the day; even slight dehydration can cause feelings of anxiety.
Eat organic foodsas much as possible. Many food additives can also be detrimental to sleep.
Eat more complex carbohydrates, rather than processed carbs. (Include raw fruits and vegetables.)
Mcalacikuem su; irt ee nyhoauncre sc hthield sy gntehtes seisn oofu gh serotonin, the chemical that induces feelings of well-being. Low levels of calcium can cause irritability and nervousness. Food sources include milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, sunflower seeds, carob and spinach.
Don’t use sugary treats as a reward or to console a child when he or she is upset.
Excerpted from The Floppy Sleep Game Book, by Patti Teel. To read more about this article and author, please visit: http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html
About the Author:
Patti Teel lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and their children. Patti is the fairy godmother of peaceful bedtimes. Dubbed “The Sleep Lady” by The Wall Street Journal, and “The Dream Maker” by People Magazine, she is the creator of an award-winning system which eradicates nighttime struggles between parents and kids. Her highly acclaimed audio series teaches children a fail-proof way to relax themselves to sleep through relaxation exercises based in yoga, visualizations, music and storytelling.
01 September 2007
Categories: General Well Being