80ºF

Best bedtime snacks for kids

photo

Who doesn't love a little snack before bed? Evening snacks can be fun for kids but some choices are better than others. Jennifer Willoughby, a dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Children's, says there are a few important things to consider when choosing a nighttime snack for kids.

"You want to make sure it's something calming for the children, nothing that's going to rev them up," she said.

Willoughby says you'll want to avoid concentrated sweets like candy.  Also, steer clear of foods that contain caffeine because it will excite them up as opposed to wind them down. 

Smart evening snack choices include foods with protein because it helps keep kids full until morning. Warm milk, a bowl of whole grain cereal, whole grain crackers and cheese, or a cheese stick and fruit are good options. Even popcorn can be a healthy nighttime snack.

"As long as it's air popped, you wanna go no movie theater butter, low on the salt, but that would be a good snack at night for the kids because it has fiber in it so it will also help keep them full," Willoughby said.

She adds, a nighttime snack can be a good opportunity to make up for any nutrients
your child might have missed throughout the day.