A question recently popped up on my page from a Mum asking me “what healthy snacks can I give my toddler before bedtime?”
A bedtime snack can help to aid sleep if you chose the right foods. Toddlers tend to burn off their food quickly and because their tummies are so small nut their need for energy so large they often get hungry soon after a main meal.
[note: please make sure your child has some water after eating and always clean their teeth before bedtime. Dentists are urging parents to keep snacks to a minimum to reduce the acidity in the mouth as this contributes greatly to tooth decay. See link HERE
The best foods to give before bedtime are those that contain the sleep inducing amino acid, tryptophan and the mineral magnesium. These natural chemicals help calm and relax the body and mind.
Foods Containing Tryptophan
• Dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt
• Nuts (particularly; cashews, almonds, walnuts, flaxseed, sesame seeds)
• Fruits (particularly; apples, bananas, avocado)
• Vegetables (particularly; spinach, broccoli)
• Grains (oats, rice etc)
Foods Containing Magnesium
• Nuts & Seeds
There are of course, some foods you should definitely avoid! Foods high in fat and sugar are a big no-no at bedtime. Also avoid any caffeine containing foods or drinks (i.e. chocolate) and spicy foods.
Perfect Bedtime Snacks
A bedtime snack should be small.
1. 1 no. oatcake with 1 tbsp. hummus
2. 1/2 apple cut in to wedges with 1 tbsp. cashew nut butter
3. Small pot (fromage frais sized pot) natural yoghurt with ½ chopped banana
4. 1 cup of warm almond milk
5. ½ avocado mashed on ½ to 1 slice of wholegrain toast
6. Peanut butter and strawberry sandwich, 1 slice of bread only
7. Porridge, small bowl with added seeds & fruit
8. 2 tbsp. cottage cheese with fruit
9. 1 finger of cheese (use the little finger as a guide to amount) with 1 wholegrain cracker
10. Homemade flapjack (recipe HERE)
For more snacks ideas download my FREE snacks guide and recipes HERE.