12 calming foods to help you wind down after a day with the kids

Kinderling News & Features

Who else falls into the trap of downing an alcoholic beverage at the end of a stressful day?! Lana Hallowes was all about that, until she had to give up her wine each night. Instead, she’s found some yummo healthy alternatives.

I used to be the habit of pouring myself a glass of white wine around 5pm every day. I needed to take the edge off from wrangling my kids all day. It was medicinal I told myself, well, that was until an actual doctor instructed me to cut out alcohol altogether.

Noooo, I need my mummy wine time! I remember thinking as he delivered the devastating news.

Well it turns out I didn’t. After changing my diet I began to feel more mellow and able to cope with the stress of motherhood. 

If you also find yourself stress eating (hello Tim Tams) or pouring yourself a glass of vino to unwind, try tweaking your diet. These stress-busting foods may make all the difference.

Dark chocolate

Yay, you can still eat chocolate when stressed! In fact a square of dark chocolate may actually lower the levels of stress hormones in your body. Chocolate also contains mood-improving serotonin. All good things in moderation though as chocolate does contain sugar. Try pairing it with herbal tea instead of coffee.

Avocados and bananas

Avocados and bananas are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins which work to keep anxiety at bay. They also contain potassium which helps to lower blood pressure. Try smashed avo on toast for brekky with a banana smoothie.

Asparagus

If you are wondering what veggies to add to tonight's dinner, consider mood-enhancing asparagus that will make you all happier. Try grilling some spears on the barbecue with your steak, or simply steaming it and serving it as a side.

Blueberries

Your toddler's favourite snack is bursting in antioxidants and vitamin C, making them mighty stress-busters. Try munching on them as a snack just like your little one does.

Almonds

Almonds contain nutrients that help build up the immune system during times of stress. Munching on almonds instead of salty or sweet snack foods is also a healthy habit to get into. Try spreading some almond butter on celery sticks for an alternate snack.

Listen to Kinderling Conversation:

Salmon

Salmon and other fish such as sardines and tuna help to manage our adrenaline levels, and in turn work to keep us calm. Try baking some salmon fillets instead of the crumbed fish fingers one night this week.

Oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits

Oranges, lemons grapefruit and other citrus fruits all contain immune-boosting vitamins. Lemon is also used widely in aromatherapy to quell stress. Try starting the day with a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Oats

Having porridge for breakfast is an easy way to get the calm-inducing hormone serotonin flowing. Traditional oats over the instant ones are better as they are higher in fibre. Try making this your daily breakfast over cereal.

Green leafy veggies

Leafy greens are packed with magnesium, which helps to regulate cortisol levels and promote feelings of wellbeing. Try swapping light green salad leaves for dark ones like spinach or kale. 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon not only adds flavour to our food but it also reduces blood pressure. Some believe that just the scent of cinnamon can reduce irritability. Try sprinkling it on porridge or stirring it into Greek yogurt for a healthy dessert.

Herbal teas

Herbal teas such as chamomile and lavender are calming in themselves but the very act of sitting down with a hot cuppa is the most soothing thing about them. Try enjoying a herbal tea when the kids are having their screen time and you can actually relax and finish it.

Natural yoghurt

Keep your gut bacteria thriving by feeding it natural yogurt. Doing so will help to increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are the hormones elevated by antidepressant medications. Try swapping ice cream for a few dollops of Greek yogurt with blueberries for dessert.

 This article was originally published on Babyology.