If you eat an early dinner or if the kids are busy with sports and other evening activities, chances are that everyone starts to get hungry again before bedtime. Families tend to have different philosophies when it comes to bedtime snacks; some prefer that the kids eat only fruit, while others go with the traditional cookies and warm milk. If you are looking to liven up your bedtime snack routine, here are some ideas for kid-friendly snacks:
- Popcorn. Particularly if your evening routine involves playing a game or watching television, popcorn is a great choice. Serve it plain, with butter and salt, with sugar and cinnamon, with cheese powder… the possibilities are nearly endless! In our family, we like adding a bit of sugar to the popping oil, making a sweet “kettle corn.”
- Bagel pizzas. These are a hit any time of day, and the carbohydrates and cheese will help keep little tummies full until morning. Place a tablespoon of tomato sauce on a half of a bagel, then add a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and a dash of Italian seasoning.
- Muffins with cream cheese. Whip up a batch of your family’s favorite type of muffin, either homemade or from a box, earlier in the day. When it’s time for a snack, slice them in half, add a smear of cream cheese (the whipped type spreads more easily), and enjoy!
- Cheese and crackers. This is another favorite bedtime snack in my house. A few slices of cheese served with whole-grain crackers is satisfying and healthy. If you want, give each child a handful of grapes with this snack, too!
- Fruit and dip. Sometimes kids don’t simply want to eat an apple or orange out of their hand, but will eat it if they can dip the slices into yogurt or peanut butter mixed with a bit of honey. Try various types of fruits and dips to see what your family likes best.
A bedtime snack should ideally include some protein or fat, as carbs will be digested quickly and may leave your child hungry should he wake in the middle of the night. Pairing any of the above snacks with a glass of milk, either warm or cold, can help by adding protein (and fat, if you don’t use skim milk) and might even help him to nod off to sleep if Grandma’s theory on drinking warm milk was correct!
What are some of your family’s favorite bedtime snacks?