If a toddler's blood sugars dip during the night it can lead to your little one having a restless sleep or waking sooner than they should. A full tummy before bed in the form of a healthy bed-time snack can not only help settle a toddler sooner but aid in a full nights sleep not only for little one but you too!
A healthy bedtime snack such as honey on toast, or a banana with nut butter that combines proteins & complex carbs like these form amino acids that act like tryptophan (the chemical that makes you sleepy) that can not only keep your little ones from waking early but also help them fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
Snack time tips
As a rule of thumb try to give snack 45mins to an hour before actual bedtime to let food settle in little one's tummy.
Offer a small snack to keep bellies full (but not too full!) A big snack before bed can have the opposite effect & keep a little one up whilst they try to digest a big snack.
Make sure your little one is sat down in his highchair or bumper seat before offering snacks to avoid choking hazards.
Keep foods light, steering clear of sugar, veggies (whilst obviously a healthy snack their full of fibre so can be a little difficult to digest just before bed) and caffeine.
|Warm Cows Milk - nutrient-rich & high in calcium, a mineral essential for healthy bones and teeth||Wholemeal Toast - also a good source of iron magnesium and selenium.|
|Warm Oaty Milk - also great for bone health & a good source of vitamin B12 but low in protein when compared to cows milk||Wholemeal or Oat Crackers - perfect for keeping blood sugars level & tummies full|
|Yoghurt - an excellent source of protein, calcium and potassium.||Apple - an apple a day keeps the doctor away, probably because it's not only packed with A, B6, E, K, but also magnesium, potassium, phosphorus & riboflavin|
|Piece of Light Cheddar - is a great source of protein, but can be high in sodium so keep portion sizes small, think an inch cubed||Banana - rich in potassium, one banana provides 30g of carbs|
|Nut Butter (no added salt or sugar) - whichever nut butter you decide upon they all packed with protein & magnesium, as well as a healthy dose of vitamin B6 & fibre||Oats - one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, rich in thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron|
|Cottage Cheese - not the highest source of protein on the list but packed full of vitamins B1, B3 and B6, as well as vitamin A, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper.||Wholegrain Cereal - (no added sugar) - a bowl of cornflakes, Weetabix or shredded wheat are all perfect carbs packed options that will help the body absorb tryptophan (the chemical that makes you sleepy)quicker|
|1 Slice of Turkey Breast - a great source of protein, perfect to help build muscles and bones, essential for childhood development||Rice Cake - opt for the wholegrain but make sure to balance with some protein & fibre as on their own rice cakes can spike blood sugars. (Peanut butter if the perfect match)|
|Hummus - rich in protein, resistant starch & anti-nutrients, which slow down the digestion of carbs||Wholemeal Pitta - has barely any sugar & is a good source of fibre with the added bonus of calcium to help build growing bones.|
|Soy Yogurt - has a protein count comparable to cow's milk yoghurt & also great at keeping blood sugars balanced||Honey - a good source of antioxidants & natural sugars, perfect for a sweet tooth. Great paired with warm milk for a soothing bedtime drink.|
|Half an egg - did you know eggs are one of the most protein-dense foods you can eat, & with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids they are incredibly nutritious.||
Wholegrain Wrap - A good source of carbs & with added calcium, iron & potassium they're perfect for making a small bedtime snack.
Our favourite bedtime snacks to help kids sleep:
- Hummus on Oak Cakes - Yum, check out our recipe for Blushing Beet & Apple Hummus HERE
- Warm milk with honey & a slice of wholemeal toast - warm milk has the added benefit of being soothing, a warm tummy before bed on a cold night is sure to help aid in sleep.
- Apple & Nut Butter - a tasty snack with the added benefit of being high in magnesium which research suggests helps aid a deeper sleep.