School is back in session, and the kiddos are already coming home tired. They sit around for a bit, relax while watching TV or playing video games, and then it's like they get a second wind. Off through the house they go, running, playing hide-and-seek, and jumping on your new memory foam mattress. After supper, everyone gets their showers and starts to settle down, but 10 minutes before bedtime rolls around, you look down to see the little ones asking for a night snack.
Are Bedtime Snacks Okay?
Sure, they are. You don't want your kiddos going to bed hungry, do you? Christine Palumbo, R.D. (nutritionist), says, "Assuming [your kids are] eating enough dinner, there is nothing wrong with [them] needing to have a substantial bedtime snack, particularly if it consists of healthy foods. [Your] kids may be about to enter a growth sprout; often times calorie needs increase right before a growth sprout."
What Snacks Are Okay?
Be aware that bedtime snacks come in many forms and greatly affect the sleep that your children will get. For example, you don't want to feed them a chocolate brownie right before bed. If you do, you might check in on them at eleven o'clock only to see them staring up at the ceiling, unable to go to sleep.
Palumbo's bedtime snack suggestions include:
All of these snacks are heavy in protein, which will help curb hunger until morning rolls around and it's time to eat breakfast. And just like your momma always taught you, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
Other healthy snacks that you could give a try include those that are rich in carbohydrates; these foods tend to contain "the natural sleep-inducing chemical tryptophan," which can help children, especially younger ones, settle down before it's time to go to sleep. However, it's best to avoid sugary, processed carbohydrates, as they contain sugar and are likely to keep your kids wired instead of tired.
Is There a Right and Wrong Time for a Bedtime Snack?
It is highly recommended that bedtime snacks be consumed about 30 minutes prior to going to bed. When eating too close to bedtime, this can sometimes interfere with sleep.
Top Tips to Remember
Stay away from sugary foods right before bed. In fact, you may want to eliminate them after 5 o’clock in the evening. Remember, foods rich in carbs will help keep your kiddos full during the night, allowing them to get the best sleep possible. And if you really want to provide them with a good night’s rest, cuddle up with them on their memory foam mattresses and read them a nice bedtime story.