If it were up to my children to choose their bedtime snack, they’d be chowing down on cookies, ice cream or sugar laden cereal. But they are not boss and mom get’s to make the choice of what they eat at night.
My kids have always been allowed to eat a night snack around 7PM as we eat a very early dinner (5PM). I want relaxation, quiet and to be able to work in the evening, not children that are bouncing off the walls and getting a second wind because I allowed dessert. Sure, there are times we allow chocolate and sweets, but not often.
My children get healthy bedtime snacks at night that provide nutrition to keep their bellies full until the morning. Whether they get protein, small amounts of fat or healthy carbs, they are eating right to wind down for the evening.
Quick Healthy Snacks for Kids at Night
Peanut Butter Toast or Muffin– Serve the kids a serving of whole grain toast or a whole grain English muffin with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter such as Smucker’s Natural (or another nut butter). They’ll get a healthy serving of protein and healthy carbohydrates to help them nod off faster.
Popcorn– No, not movie theater style either. Though microwaving is more convenient and the way to go for most, we choose not to due to GMOs, artificial flavors, partially hydrogenated oils and who knows what else. Air-pop the popcorn at home in a popcorn popper, it’s fun. Add your favorite seasonings such as cinnamon, homemade taco seasoning, garlic or anything else the kids would enjoy. Popcorn is very low in calories, fat and a good source of fiber. Get popping!
Fruit Smoothie “Milkshake”– I have to call it a milkshake with my very picky 11 year old son. He loves strawberry and banana smoothies but truly believes I add vanilla ice cream. This is a delicious dessert type drink kids enjoy. In a blender just add ½ cup low fat milk, 1 small sliced banana, ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries and ice, blend and enjoy. This makes one serving and is thick just like a milkshake. Get more fruit smoothies for kids.
Whole Grain Crackers with Turkey & Cheese – A favorite before bed in our home. I make these in a plastic container so the kids get a feel like they are eating Lunchables, a prepackaged food that is banned in my home. To make, choose a serving of crackers (usually around 7 depending on the brand), 1 ounce cheddar cheese or their favorite cheese and 2 ounces low-sodium turkey breast (we use Sara Lee).
Low Sugar Cereal with Banana – Kids love cereal so let them eat it but make sure it isn’t full of sugar. Cheerios or a whole grain flake cereal with a banana is the perfect nighttime cereal. If your children like homemade oatmeal give them a hearty bowl before bed. Their bellies will be full from the fiber and snooze off in minutes as oats are a great natural source of melatonin – BONUS!
Apple with Peanut Butter– Apples are also a great source of fiber plus they’ll get protein from the peanut butter. Just remember to choose natural peanut butter.