Nutrition Foundation

These 3 night time milk recipes will help your child with better and restful sleep

Drinking milk is one of the healthiest habits that Indian moms cultivate in their children. Our age old food knowledge and wisdom ensures good eating habits are passed down from one generation to the other. One such traditional bit of wisdom is to have warm milk at night. As per Ayurveda, the best time to drink milk is at night. The proteins found in milk help the body to relax and promote restful sleep. This is why sometimes drinking milk during the day may make the person feel sluggish. Melatonin, a hormone that promotes good sleep is found in abundance in milk. Drinking milk at night calms the mind and this restful sleep leads to a healthy body.

For those children who like the taste of plain milk, a glass of warm milk with a spoonful of ghee will ensure good sleep, clear skin, lubricated joints, and a healthy body. But for those who like a little bit of flavour in their milk, here are 3 recipes for night time milk consumption.

It is best to prepare these recipes at home instead of mixing malt based milk powders. These malt based powders are high in sugar and other fats which are not healthy for the body. Making a recipe using whole foods and natural ingredients can add to the nutritive value of milk and help the body assimilate it faster.

Golden milk or Haldi doodh:

This milk is a favourite among mothers all over the world. Turmeric is a well known astringent with anti inflammatory properties. Consuming turmeric is said to reduce infections and boost the body’s immunity. Combine this with a few other spices and you get an immunity boosting and nutritious drink that also helps you sleep better.

Ingredients for Golden milk:

- Shakes instead of fatty foods for breakfast can help save you from extra calories, for instance, an average of 400 calories per day.

- 1 cup milk

- ½ teaspoon turmeric

- ¼ teaspoon ginger grated

- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg grated

- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powdered.

- 2-3 almonds roughly chopped

- Sugar to taste

- Optional ingredient: cinnamon powder

Procedure:

- Pour the milk into a vessel and keep it to boil.

- Add the turmeric into the milk. The heat will gently cook the turmeric and lend flavour to the milk.

- Add the sugar based on taste. However, it is not recommended to add more than 2 tablespoons of sugar since this can give extra energy to the child and come in the way of a restful sleep.

- Add the powdered cardamom. The best way to get maximum flavour out of the cardamom is to pound it with a stone or in a mortar and pestle. This will release the essential oils from the cardamom and add a unique taste to the dish.

- Add the grated ginger into the milk just as the milk is boiling. This will ensure the ginger juice gets incorporated into the milk.

- Add roughly chopped almonds to the glass and then pour the hot milk into it. Stir thoroughly to ensure the almonds are mixed into the milk.

- Add the grated nutmeg on top and stir it through the milk.

- If your child likes cinnamon, a little bit of cinnamon powder can be added as well.

Benefits:

The nutmeg contains magnesium which soothes nerves and aids in restful sleep. Almonds are an excellent source of calcium and fibre which aid digestion. This drink will help your child get high nutrition and a good night’s sleep.

Masala Milk or Badam Milk

Masala milk is another kitchen favourite. This milk uses saffron for colour and almonds to give a nutritive kick. Cardamom aids digestion and also fights against cavities. It has a cooling effect on the body which is essential as the body winds down at night. If you have an active child, try giving him cardamom milk at nights for deeper sleep.

- 1 cup of milk

- 3-4 almonds

- 1 green cardamom

- Few strands of saffron

- Sugar to taste

- Optional: 3-4 pistachios

Procedure :

- Take the almonds, green cardamom and sugar and grind it into a fine powder. Some recipes use pistachios as well. If your child likes the taste of almond and pistachios together, then you can add a few pistachios into the mixture as well.

- Boil the milk in a pan and as it is boiling, add a few strands of saffron. The saffron will lend a nice yellow colour to the milk.

- Add one or two spoons of masala doodh powder into the boiling milk mixture. Mix well.

- When the milk boils, take it off the stove and serve.

- If your child likes roughly chopped almonds as a garnish, you can add it to the masala milk recipe and serve it to your child.

Benefits

Almonds provide fibre, calcium, phosphorus to the body. It also aids in development of memory. When combined with milk, it helps the child’s body to relax. Cardamom aids with digestion and reduces inflammation. Saffron improves the skin quality and also helps treat cold. If your child has a cold, it is best to give him milk with saffron in it.

Rose petal milk:

Combining pink rose petals with milk and sugar is another way of promoting a good night sleep. Rose petals soothe the stomach and also help improve the skin. There are two variants of this recipe: either you can boil whole rose petals which have been sun dried or you can mix gulkand into warm milk.

Procedure:

- Boil milk with rose petals and sugar. Add cardamom or nutmeg if your child likes the taste of it. Serve warm.

- In the alternate, heat milk until it is warm. Add a spoonful of gulkand or rose petal jam into the milk, stir well and serve.

Benefits :

Gulkand is known for reducing acidity and cooling the stomach. It is an excellent remedy to control the body temperature during hot summers. It also strengthens teeth and helps the body feel rejuvenated. Make sure your child gets this drink once in a while especially when his/her stomach is upset.