Best Bedtime Snacks to Help Your Child Sleep

Posted by in No-Cry Sleep

Many foods can affect energy level and sleepiness. Some bedtime snacks induce a feeling of calm and even drowsiness, while others can create feelings of alertness.

In most cases, carbohydrate-rich foods are known to have a calming, relaxing effect on the body, so they make great bedtime snacks. Other foods that are known to help creating a calming effect similar to that of carbohydrates are green, leafy vegetables, and sunflower seeds or sesame seeds.

Breastmilk is, of course, a perfect before-bed drink as it contains sleep-inducing properties for both mother and child. Cow’s milk – Particularly when warm, milk can be a relaxing choice as it contains tryptophan, calcium and magnesium, which can bring sleepiness. (Avoid cow’s milk if your child has allergies, and don’t add chocolate!)

It can take thirty minutes to an hour for the sleepy effect to occur, so aim for a healthy carbohydrate snack a half hour before naptime or just before beginning your pre-bedtime routine.

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Here are a few ideas for bedtime snacks for your child to have before you start the nightly routine:

  • Whole wheat toast and cheese
  • English muffin with low-sugar jam
  • Oatmeal with bananas
  • Whole-grain cereal and milk
  • Bagels (especially whole wheat) with cheese or turkey
  • Whole grain crackers with tuna or turkey
  • Peanut butter sandwich
  • Low-sugar oatmeal cookies with warm milk
  • Whole wheat pretzels with cheddar cheese
  • Apple slices with natural peanut butter
  • Brown rice pudding
  • Yogurt and low-sugar granola
  • Scrambled eggs with avocado

Of course, check with your child’s doctor if these bedtime snacks seem to be upsetting their tummies or causing other problems. There are often good alternatives that can help them sleep well.

Related article: Night Waking: Does your Baby or Toddler Have a Problem?

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