An article on Healthline shares some different food and drink options that could improve sleep. First on their list is milk. Research supports that a warm glass of milk before bed improves sleep. Milk contains tryptophan and melatonin; tryptophan promotes relaxation and causes a child to fall asleep faster, and melatonin regulates the sleep/wake cycle. If your toddler doesn’t like milk, cheese, yogurt, or other dairy products are also a good choice for a bedtime snack.
Another article on Moms.com includes some mom-approved foods that make toddlers sleepy, such as bananas. Bananas also contain tryptophan, as well vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, and complex carbohydrates. Potassium is a natural muscle relaxer and carbs produce serotonin, which makes you feel calm and drowsy. Slice up a banana and add it to your toddler’s oatmeal, a smoothie, or serve it whole. Bananas are also filling and will keep your little darling full for longer.
Who doesn’t love cherries?? According to Cleveland Clinic, dark, sweet, and tart cherries contain the highest levels of melatonin. They are also full of vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, and magnesium. Try cherries in different forms, such as fresh, frozen, dried, or juiced. Beware of cherry pits and choose cherry juice without added sugar.
There’s a reason Popeye ate spinach to grow big muscles; spinach is PACKED with minerals, vitamins, and iron. If that isn’t enough to encourage your child to eat it, it's also rich in tryptophan. Again, tryptophan has a calming effect because it turns into serotonin. If your toddler doesn’t love spinach, try blending it into a smoothie or sneaking it in an omelet with turkey. Turkey and eggs also contain sleepy goodness. Breakfast for dinner, anyone?
Oats are so versatile! You can make your toddler oatmeal with fruit, overnight oats, healthy granola bars, or porridge. Oats are whole grain, gluten free, and a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also help the body naturally produce melatonin. Yes, please!
The Ultimate Bedtime Smoothie for Your Toddler
If your little one is extra picky, try blending these sleepytime foods into a yummy bedtime smoothie for your toddler. Here’s our favorite recipe:
- 1 Banana
- ½ Cup of Spinach
- 1 Cup of Dairy Milk or Nut Milk of Choice
- 2 Tablespoons of Oats
- 2 Tablespoons of Honey
Add all of these yummy, sleep-inducing ingredients to a blender and blend until the mixture is nice and smooth. Enjoy before bed and get ready for those extra Zzzs!
No matter which bedtime snack you choose for your little one, add these healthy foods that help toddlers sleep through the night to your next grocery list and normalize eating them in the evenings. The next time your toddler insists on a bedtime snack, you can enthusiastically offer one of these choices. Then, snuggle them in their cozy günamüna pjs, read a bedtime story, and pat yourself on the back for helping your little one get a peaceful night’s sleep.