A hungry child will likely have difficulty falling and staying asleep. A healthy bedtime snack is one way to fend off the late-night munchies for your kids. The type of food you serve your child at bedtime can also affect his sleep. Proteins often stimulate the brain, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Instead, opt for carbs and foods containing tryptophan, an amino acid that helps calm the brain.
Whole Grain Cereal
A bowl of whole grain cereal with or without milk provides the carbs that might help your child fall asleep. Check the sugar content before you pour a bowl of your child’s favorite cereal. Many cereals are now made with whole grains, even the sugary ones. For the healthiest bedtime snack, choose an option with a low amount of sugar. A bowl of oatmeal is also a healthy option. Fresh or dried fruit mixed in with the cereal adds to the health value.
Fruit and Cheese
Fruit and cheese work well together and offer nutritional value as a bedtime snack. Choose in-season fruits for the cheapest and best tasting options. Pears and apples go well with cheese. To make the snack more exciting, cut them up in bite-sized chunks. For older kids, plastic toothpicks give them a creative way to pick up their apple and cheese chunks.
Nut Butter Sandwich
Your child’s favorite nut butter makes a simple filling for a bedtime sandwich. To avoid making him too full, use only one slice of bread for the sandwich. Peanut butter is the classic sandwich option, but almond butter is another option for variety. While nut butters do contain protein, if you keep the amount to a minimum, it shouldn’t affect your child’s sleep. A slice of whole grain bread counteracts the protein with a healthy dose of carbohydrates.
Hard Boiled Egg
Eggs are another food that might help your child fall asleep at bedtime. Boil extra eggs in the morning and save a few for the bedtime snack. If your child is old enough, she can dig into the egg whole. For younger kids, cut the egg into chunks or slices for easier eating. A slice of whole wheat bread or toast is a healthy addition to this snack if your child needs a little more food to get rid of her hunger.