Nutrition For A Good Night Sleep For Bub And Mum

Nutrition For A Good Night Sleep For Bub And Mum

A Bit About Claire!

Claire Power is a plant-based nutritionist, mum of 3 and the food blogger/stylist and photographer behind @healthyfrenchwife. Claire creates and shares colourful healthy plant-based recipes through her blog and social media to a following of over 100,000 people. She lives in Orange NSW.

 

She creates healthy plant-based family recipes, vegan desserts and raw treats. Claire has also developed and photographed recipes for many businesses including Woolworths, San Remo, Thermomix, The Chia Co, Cocobella and more. Claire has had many of her vegan recipes appear in health and wellness magazines in Australia and overseas. 

@healthyfrenchwife 

 

Nutrition For A Good Night Sleep For Bub And Mum

As a busy mum of three and, as a nutritionist, I know how important sleep is.

 

I have done my fair share of sleepless nights after having 3 children and have had to rely on coffee and good, nutritious food to help keep me going on those sleep-less nights/days.

 

Good nutrition not only helps parents feel their best when sleep isn’t the best, but also reduces sugar cravings, low energy, anxiety and low moods common to parenthood. Nothing can replace a good night sleep but making sure we eat a healthy, balanced diet as a family can really make a difference in the those first few years of having children for energy!

 

Eating a nutritious diet can also help little ones have a better sleep.

Once you have introduced solids their sleep might improve, and I have a few extra tips to help your little ones sleep better.

 

The Glow Dreaming is a holistic approach to sleep and is incredibly beneficial from day one. The Sleep Aid helps your little one learn a healthy sleep routine without creating any reliance. The sensory component of the Red LED, Pink Noise and Aromatherapy contribute to creating the ideal sleep space, helping them and the whole family get the sleep they need and deserve.

The combination of the Glow Dreaming Sleep Aid and a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet will ensure that sleep is the cornerstone of happiness it should be in your home.

 

Reduce Meat/ fatty/gassy foods

 
Some little ones can be quite sensitive to gassy foods such as some beans, cauliflower and meat as it can take a lot of time to digest.
 
Also, it is important to take note that your child making doesn’t have food intolerances, i.e. if your baby has bowel issues and is miserable after eating/ breastfeeding.
 
Reducing fatty and heavy meals by swapping animal proteins for plant-based protein and white carbohydrates for wholegrains helps in having a restful sleep.
 
Eat Plants
 
Eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits is important to get all the vitamins and other nutrients we need to be as healthy as possible.
A diet rich in vitamin C can help improve the immune system of little ones, as well as reduce length of illnesses for getting back to a good night sleep.
 
Increase Magnesium- rich foods
 
Eating a diet rich in magnesium can help with helping children and parents have a good night sleep.
Magnesium is very beneficial to help with insomnia, restful sleep as well as anxiety which can be common in children with magnesium deficiencies.
 
Foods to focus on include:
  • leafy greens
  • pumpkin seeds
  • lentils, bananas
  • wheat
  • almonds
  • black beans
  • avocados
Children should get about 80-130 milligrams (mg) per day, and parents 300-400mg per day. For reference, ½ cup of almonds contain 187mg and 1 banana 32 mg of magnesium.
 
Eat the right foods
 
As mentioned above, eating raw almonds can help improve sleep as they contain magnesium as well as high levels of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.
 
Cherries are also one of the foods with the highest amount of melatonin. In a 2018 review on the health benefits of cherries, the authors found a positive correlation between improved sleep and cherry consumption. Maybe serve some frozen cherry in a smoothie!
 
Eat at the right time
 
Timing meals can also impact on sleep. Especially for little ones. I found for all my 3 kids offering lunch before their afternoon nap helped them in having longer naps. And bringing dinner forward might help if they fall asleep at the table come dinner time and refuse their meals. Putting kids to bed with a full tummy of healthy foods will help them have a longer more restful sleep!
 
And on days where you should don’t get to sleep a lot, I recommend starting the day with a protein packed meal, snacking on fruit throughout the day to keep sugar cravings at bay and give you energy and make sure to drink a lot of water amongst your coffees. Being gentle with yourself and focusing on good nutrition can really help give you a bit of energy.
 
I have also experienced as a mum, times when the twins would refuse to go to bed or take their nap. I bought the Glow Dreaming device and I am not joking when I say it helped straight away. I don’t know if it was the essential oils, pink noise, Red LED light or a combination of the 3 as well as something new added to the routine, but it helped break the nap strike the twins took when they were 2 years old.

Recipes

Chocolate chia pudding for parents

 I recommend this recipe for parents as it can be made the night before, it is simple, contains protein and good fats from the chia seeds as well as cacao for a dose of caffeine and magnesium! Perfect parenting food! You can also share with your little ones (remove the cacao and add berries or mashed banana for them).

Serves 1.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsweetened plant-milk of choice
  • ¼ cup of chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)

 

  1. In a jar or bowl, combine the milk, chia seeds, cacao and maple syrup together whisking with a fork until well combined. Leave to set for 10 minutes then stir again to make sure it is well combined.
  2. Cover and store in the fridge overnight.

Plant based Zucchini Lentil Lasagna

I recommend this dish for a plant-based dinner to ensure a good night sleep for the whole family. Filling enough but low in fat and packed with fibre and plant-based protein it will help everyone have the best sleep possible. You can also add lasagne pasta sheets in this pasta-free lasagne to please picky eaters and remove the zucchini or eggplant!

 

Plant-based zucchini, eggplant and lentil lasagna 

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 jar of tomato passata sauce (500ml)
  • 2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 2 cans of cooked lentils
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Roast at 180 degrees celsius your thinly sliced eggplants and zucchini in the oven for 15 minutes.
  2. Add a layer of passata sauce at the bottom of your lasagna dish, then layer the eggplant, lentils (rinsed and drained), more passata, zucchini, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper, more lentils, eggplant, zucchini until you finish them all and finish with the cashew cheese.
  3.  Cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 180 degrees and serve.

 

Cashew Cheese sauce 
1 cup of cashews (soaked for 3-6hours or in boiled water for 15 min)
1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
1/3 cup of almond milk
1 tbsp of tapioca flour
1 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of salt
Pepper

  1. Soak, drain and rinse the cashews.
  2. Blend all the ingredients together and pour over your lasagna.
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