As your toddler grows up, he seems to be hitting a new milestone each day. But when night falls, it’s a different story.
You’ve tried practically everything – white noise machines, singing every lullaby known to man – but nothing seems to get him to doze off (and stay asleep).
Don’t lose hope. Your kid’s sleeplessness is not an indication of your parenting ability. Why not take a step back and rethink the basics? A good place to start is your child’s diet and nutrition.
Did you know that certain food can promote sleep in toddlers?
Sleep food for toddlers: 7 foods that promote restful nights
1. Citrus fruit
Delicious citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and lime are packed with vitamin C. But they don’t just boost immunity. Studies have also found that they “nourish adrenal glands.” This has a calming effect on the rest of the body.
Offer a few segments of orange to your toddler after dinner and bring those zzz’s on faster!
This healthy, low-calorie fruit is packed with antioxidants and serotonin, which have been known to boost overall sleep quality.
You can mix chopped kiwi fruit into some yoghurt for an after-dinner toddler treat.
Not only are bananas rich in fiber and helpful in digestion, they are packed with sleep-promoting components, like potassium and magnesium.
Both of these nutrients can also work as muscle relaxants.
Bananas also possess the amino acid L-tryptophan. This is later converted to serotonin and melatonin, which is a hormone that controls our sleeping and waking cycles.
Why not whip up some banana bites for your toddler? Just follow this recipe.
4. Fatty Fish
Feeding your toddler anything fatty to help them sleep better sounds like a bad idea, right? But studies have found that the omega-3s and vitamin D found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna greatly improve quality of sleep.
Be sure to steer clear of certain fish, though. Mackerel, blue marlin, Atlantic salmon, and tuna steaks are examples of UNSAFE fish for toddlers.
Try serving your tot delicious salmon fish cakes for dinner. You can find the full recipe here.
Giving your toddler a warm bowl of oatmeal before bed can help keep random awakenings and sudden cravings at bay.
You can find a delicious recipes your toddler will enjoy, here.
Just slather on some peanut butter onto apple slices to promote better sleep in your toddler. Why? This snack has a high-carbohydrate, low protein combo that makes it ideal for inducing sleep.
7. White Rice
White rice might be the enemy when you’re trying to lose weight, but if you’re seeking a better night’s sleep for your toddler, you can count on its high glycemic index to help make that happen.
You don’t have to serve it plain. You can have fun with rice by frying it up and combining it with egg. Be inspired by this eggy fried rice recipe right here.
Sometimes taking small steps, like influencing their snacking preferences, can pave the way to your toddler’s best night’s sleep.
Be sure to consult your child’s paediatrician or nutritionist before introducing any new food to their diet.