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Should kids eat food before bed?

One of the things we face as parents is the challenge of kids suddenly getting hungry before bedtime. Should kids be eating before bedtime?

Eating a quick and nutritious snack before bed can have nutritional benefits for your child. If your child eats little during the day, they may not be getting all of the vitamins and minerals they need for good health. Offering a healthy snack can boost their intake of many different nutrients and supplement the foods your child eats during the day. Late night snacks can also be built into your child's bedtime routine so they can see their snack as a message signal to begin calming down and preparing for bed.

Keep a few healthy choices on hand so your child can choose his own late night snack. Best to make sure kids have something to eat 45 min to 1 hour before their actual bedtime.  A kid who goes to bed hungry is going to have a tough time getting to sleep. A kid who is over full and just eating to avoid going to bed is also going to have a restless night. The trick here is to know your child and what their limits are.  

So, what should we serve?

Fresh fruits and vegetables- are low-calorie options that supply nutrients

A bowl of whole grain cereal with skim milk or instant oatmeal with raisins

Wheat toast or crackers- low in calories and high in nutrition.

Pumpkin seeds and almonds – high in magnesium, which can relax muscles

Milk, turkey, and hazelnuts – high in tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into melatonin, which helps the body sleep

Popcorn – carbohydrate-rich foods which help kids sleep longer

Cherries, bananas, and pineapples – any fruit is a good choice; they all have complex carbohydrates and are low calorie.

Kiwi – linked to longer sleep time in problem sleepers

As you can see many foods that your kids love are on the list.  Simply keep in mind that the best snacks include both a source of protein and carbohydrates, which is meant to help them sleep through the night and sleep longer which means all the sleep-deprived mums and dads out there can also sleep without any interruptions.