4 Dietary Causes and Other Help for Sleep Challenges

kids trouble sleepingIf babies awake a few times a night, that’s normal. However, if babies are up every few minutes or every hour, you may have a sleep challenge on your hands. When it comes to children, it is ideal for them to sleep for at least 8 hours in a row. If a child awakes and feels rested within 5-10 minutes, they are getting enough sleep. When a child is tired, nothing is easy. Here are 5 possible repercussions of insufficient sleep including dietary causes:

  • The challenge of feeling tired.
  • A compromised immune system, increasing susceptibility to food sensitivities and sickness.
  • Diminished mental function, increasing their risk of harmful accidents
  • An increased focus on the negatives rather than the positives
  • Appetite changes (a child might eat more to gain energy or eat less because they are too tired)

Here are 4 dietary causes of sleep challenges:

1.  The Timing of Meals – Not eating often enough (everyone needs to eat every 3 hours) or eating too close to bedtime can be big contributors to sleep challenges

2.  Adverse Reactions to Foods – The biggest dietary cause of insomnia is dairy products; (cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese etc.). Chemicals can cause nightmares. Caffeine, found in chocolate for example, can cause the heart to race. Any food sensitivity or allergy can interfere with sleep which is why it’s important to find out your child’s specific culprits.

3.  Quality of Food Eaten – Foods lacking in vitamins and minerals interfere with healthy sleep patterns. White refined flour and refined sugar, which form a major part of many children’s diets, are devoid of nutrients; sugar is actually an anti-nutrient, which means it actually depletes the body of vitamins or minerals. A body devoid of nutrients has a hard time sleeping for long periods.

4.  Quantity of Food Eaten – Too much food or not enough food eaten can contribute to sleep challenges. A portion size is the size of our palm without the fingers – the more we eat, the more we work our digestive system and the harder it is for it to rest at night!

At this juncture, I would like to introduce you to Deanna Lorusso of Family Bliss, an infant and child sleep consultant and certified Gentle Sleep Coach®. Family Bliss works with parents of children from newborn age through to 6 years old who have sleep challenges. A certified Gentle Sleep Coach shows parents how to implement gentle behaviour techniques and teach their child the skill of putting themselves to sleep. Offering your child the opportunity to learn to fall asleep on their own, and stay asleep throughout the night, is a lifelong lesson that will provide countless health benefits. In addition to being a sleep consultant, Deanna is a mom who understands the value of a well-rested family. Learn more about her services by visiting her website by clicking here.

If you love this blog, won’t you vote for us?  You’ll find the link in the sidebar to the right of this post. If you are reading this post via email, please click here to be taken to the website where you’ll find the vote box.  All you have to do is click on the box. There is nothing more required!  This automatically registers a vote for my blog. It’s quite simple.  Thank you for your support.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Would you like to connect? You can reach me via email or phone, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Meredith

11 Ways to Know If Your Child Is Emotionally Healthy

Kid's Life Coach OntarioIt is difficult to gauge one’s level of emotional health when most of us don’t even know what emotional health is. My intention is to show you how to know if your child is emotionally healthy, to explain what causes a child to be unhealthy emotionally and what you can do about it when they are not. We know our child is emotionally healthy by: Continue reading

Part 2 – The Value and Function of Each Vitamin and Mineral

Minerals needed by the bodyIn part 1 of this 2 part series, I promised you that I would summarize the value and function of each mineral, so that is exactly what I am going to do. By reading over these descriptions, you can form ideas as to which ones you or your child might be deficient in and which ones you might have a sufficient amount of.

Calcium is necessary for: Continue reading

The Value and Function of Each Vitamin and Mineral – Part 1

pediatric nutritionist York RegionOver the past few months that I have been observing my clients’ lab work, I have noticed that the majority of us (both adults and children) are vitamin and mineral deficient. Vitamins and minerals are not usually produced by the body but need to be obtained from food or supplements. I felt it would be helpful to provide you with a brief synopsis of the value and function of each vitamin and mineral in the body. This will be a 2 part series.

Vitamin A

  • Prevents skin challenges, such as acne, wrinkling and age spots.
  • Strengthens the immune system, protecting the body from colds, flus and infections to kidney, bladder, and lungs.
  • Maintains and repairs the mucus membranes in the lungs, throat, eyes and other areas.

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The Resourceful Mother’s Secrets to Emotional Health

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For the past three and a half years, I have been writing and publishing my second book, entitled “The Resourceful Mother’s Secrets to Emotional Health”.

We are not angry people who fight all the time and criticize others; that is not who we are. We are not the people who work ourselves to the bone to prove ourselves to others; that is not who we are. We are not constant complainers who can’t get anything to go the way we want it to in our lives; that is not who we are. We really are just peaceful, loving and happy individuals. Continue reading

Minimizing and Eliminating Allergies Part 3 of 3

The Resourceful Mother's Secrets to Healthy Kids

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In this blog series on Food Allergies, you learned to discern the difference between food sensitivities and allergies as well as some of the symptoms or conditions caused by adverse reactions to foods (part 1), and how to detect the culprit foods and which foods present the most common challenges in babies (part 2).  In this last post of the series, you will learn what to do to minimize and eliminate food sensitivities and allergies. All of this information is covered in more detail in my first book “The Resourceful Mother’s Secrets to Healthy Kids.

All adverse reactions to foods cause inflammation in the body. Food sensitivities and allergies cause the gut lining to be inflamed, which subsequently makes it hard for vitamins and minerals to be properly absorbed. Inflammation is behind all illness. I want to briefly discuss the link between inflammation and illness, by using gluten as an example. A recently written book, “Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter, MD does an excellent job of explaining that gluten is behind almost every inflammatory condition, especially those involving the brain. “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis discusses how gluten causes obesity, one of the conditions caused by inflammation. Many well-known authors have shown the link between gluten and arthritis, M.S., Lupus and other diseases! Continue reading

Allergies/Sensitivities Part 2 – How to Recognize Allergy Symptoms in Babies

allergies in babiesIn my last blog post, we talked about the difference between food allergies and food sensitivities and why it is crucial to find out if your child is affected. In this 2nd of 3 posts, we’ll talk about how to recognize allergy symptoms in babies.

Dr. Doris Rapp, a guest on Oprah’s show, has been a pediatric allergist since 1960. She has done incredible research on food sensitivities and allergies affecting children and has written numerous books on the subject. Her observations of reactions to foods i.e. symptoms, starting in the womb, are quite fascinating.
Don’t we often wonder why our babies kick us or have the hiccups when in the womb? And why do our babies become agitated shortly after we feed them? Dr. Rapp says “I have known unborn babies who would hiccup or kick hard enough in the womb to bruise the mother. These mothers should think of what they ate half an hour before the baby started to act this way. If they do, they may be able to figure out what is bothering the baby down in the uterus. One woman found that every time she ate a cannoli her baby began to kick her. The baby was having a prenatal allergic reaction and was attempting to tell the mother not to eat cannolis. The same thing might happen after the baby is born. If a baby is totally breast-feeding and that baby becomes agitated after feeding, that mother should ask herself what she ate the previous meal. The food can come through the breast milk and make the baby sick.” Good Food, Good Mood quotes Dr. Rapp on page 13.

Babies cannot be allergic to breast milk but they can certainly be allergic to the food that that mother has eaten and passed through her breast milk. My daughter, Taylor, had projectile vomiting the first time I consumed dairy and then breast-fed her. What are other symptoms in babies that can be caused by allergies?

  • Colic
  • Excessive drooling
  • Spit-up
  • Diarrhea/Constipation
  • Diaper rashes or any skin rashes
  • Chronic runny rose
  • Multiple ear infections
  • Poor sleeping
  • Frequent coughing/colds
  • Pale face
  • Excessive thirst

What are the most common foods to which babies react adversely?

  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Sugar
  • Soy
  • Chocolate
  • Chemicals i.e. chlorine, food dye, additives, etc.
  • Citrus
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Caffeine
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries

But a baby can react adversely to any food. Rice cereal is becoming a common allergen for many of today’s babies. We are also seeing babies react to sweet potatoes and carrots, presumably due to the high sugar content in these foods. No food is exempt from causing a reaction.

What is the most accurate way to determine the food(s) to which your child is reacting? Keeping a food and symptom journal over an extended period of time is the ONLY fool-proof method for determining your baby’s culprit food(s). This involves recording what your baby has consumed on their own or in your breast milk and any resulting symptoms within 24 hours of consumption. The journal will show the patterns e.g. every time he has pureed strawberries, he gets a rash on his cheeks.

Every time your baby is exposed to a food that they don’t agree with, they cannot properly absorb the vitamins and minerals from that food and symptoms result. Please do all that you can to determine and avoid your baby’s culprit food(s)! I am always here to help you if you need me!

If you love this blog, won’t you vote for us?  You’ll find the link in the sidebar to the right of this post. If you are reading this post via email, please click here to be taken to the website where you’ll find the vote box.  All you have to do is click on the box. There is nothing more required!  This automatically registers a vote for my blog. It’s quite simple.  Thank you for your support.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Please share your stories on this topic. Would you like to connect? You can reach me via email or phone, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the connect tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Meredith

Food Allergies vs Food Sensitivities Part 1 of 3

asthma and food allergiesWhat is the difference between food allergies and food sensitivities and why is it crucial to find out if your child is affected?

When your child is not sleeping soundly, behaving well, concentrating in school, or is experiencing colic, constipation, eczema, recurrent ear infections or asthma, your child’s body is signalling to you that aspects of his or her environment are not agreeing with him or her; they may have a food sensitivity or allergy. The earlier you can uncover the culprit food or foods, the better. Our bodies will keep communicating with us whether we listen or not. An ignored reaction to a food becomes a “symptom” and an ignored symptom becomes more ignored symptoms and more ignored symptoms turn into conditions and then, often, in adulthood, conditions turn into disease. Continue reading

Teaching Our Child to Express their ‘Negative’ Emotions

The Resourceful MotherThe first step in taking responsibility for ourselves and coming to know and love ourselves, is identifying, understanding, feeling and expressing our ‘negative’ emotions; self-esteem is based on the acceptance of all thoughts and feelings as one’s own. If we want our child to take responsibility for themselves and come to know and love themselves, we need to help them identify, understand, feel and express their emotions in the same way that we accomplish this task. In this way, they will learn to see feelings as information. As we learn to balance our own emotions, we are better able to show our child how to balance their emotions. It is through the sharing of emotions that we build our connection with our child and genuinely come to know them.

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Zinc – 10 Functions, 25 Signs of Deficiency & Increasing Your Stores

zinc deficiencyLike essential fatty acids and magnesium, zinc is one of the top deficiencies in today’s children. Zinc is probably involved in more body functions than any other mineral. This post outlines 10 functions of zinc, 25 signs of deficiency and what to do if you think you or your child are deficient.

Zinc is crucial for:

  • Thinking (Have you heard the expression “No zinc, no think”?)
  • The proper functioning of more than 100 enzymes
  • Normal growth and development
  • Body tissue health
  • The prevention of cavities
  • Proper sexual development and function
  • The immune system
  • The detoxification of chemicals and metabolic irritants
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • The body’s healing process i.e. wound healing

Continue reading