Bedtime snacks are one of the most common topics that I’m asked about. In a recent blog post, I addressed some of the questions that I receive about bedtime snacks for kids. Specifically in that post I cover whether bedtime snacks are a "do" or "don't". And, I cover the big pitfall that you want to avoid that contributes to kids not eating their dinner. Today I want to address another question that I frequently get asked about bedtime snacks. In the words of one VIP: "I have a 4 1/2 yo boy, who has been telling us he is hungry before bedtime even though he eats quite a large meal! What are the right types of food at bedtime snack - carbs only (bread, fruit?), protein only (meat?!), or a combo?
Right Types of Food at Bedtime Snack
The right types of food at bedtime snack are foods from two to four foods groups.
What foods groups you choose depends on what your child has eaten the rest of the day. The right types of food at bedtime snack are the food groups of which your child hasn’t eaten much. For example, if your child ate lots of grain products and dairy/alternatives throughout the day, then choose to provide food from the meat/alternatives group and some fruit or veggies.
This way you are helping your child meet their nutrition needs throughout the day.
An important related point when choosing what foods to offer is to include a challenging food from time-to-time. Clever kids will catch on if challenging foods are only offered at dinner and favourite foods offered at bedtime snack. And they’ll choose to not eat at dinner, knowing that they’ll have favourite foods soon (the opposite behaviour from what you want).
Remember to always brush teeth after bedtime snack and before bed.
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