7 Foods Children Should Avoid Before Bed

12 August 2019, Krista Harper

If you’re having a hard time getting your child to fall asleep and they’re eating right before bedtime, the snack may be to blame. While there are many healthy bedtime snacks that can help people sleep better, giving your child the wrong food before tucking them in may be keeping them awake.

Kids need up to 13 hours of sleep depending upon their age to perform their best at school. To help them get that optimum amount of shuteye, here are seven foods you want to avoid giving them for at least a few hours before they turn in.

  1. Soda

Any kind of sugary food or beverage disrupts sleep because the sweet stuff helps your body produce more of the hormone gherlin, which keeps the body awake. This causes a dangerous cycle because if your child doesn’t get adequate sleep they end up craving more sugar and carbs the following day thanks to their elevated gherlin levels.

Soda can be a double whammy because some flavors such as cola also contain caffeine, a stimulant. Reserve soda and sugary drinks for lunchtime or several hours before bed.

  1. Pizza

Who doesn’t love a cheesy slice of pizza, especially kids? While cheese on its own is a healthy bedtime snack, the acid found in pizza sauce can cause heartburn while the added grease makes the stomach work harder to process it. While it’s fun to visit an awesome pizza place in Bangkok during the daytime, it’s best to avoid eating pizza shortly before bedtime.

  1. Celery and Cucumbers

These two foods may be surprising; they’re nutritious vegetables, they make healthy snacks, and they don’t contain any sugar. So why shouldn’t kids crunch on them at night? Because they’re natural diuretics which means they draw water from the body and can make you pee more. This can interrupt sleep when a child needs to make a bathroom visit, and they can exacerbate bed wetting.

Watermelon is a diuretic food as well. Save these foods to enjoy earlier in the day.

  1. Sugary Cereals

A low-sugar, healthy cereal with a little bit of milk makes a healthy bedtime snack, as the carbs from the cereal and the tryptophan in the milk encourage sleep. However, many kids’ cereals contain high amounts of sugar that can counteract this natural sleep aid. Stick to unsweetened or low-sugar cereals and oatmeal.

  1. Cured Meats

Pepperoni and other spicy meats may be tasty but they also contain tyramine, an amino acid that helps you feel more alert. Have your child eat turkey meat instead, which contains tryptophan and causes drowsiness.

  1. Orange Juice

It may be packed with vitamin C and potassium, but orange juice is both highly acidic and full of sugar, which means it’s not a great choice before bed.

  1. Water

Water may be the healthiest beverage, but too much of it can encourage bedwetting and create the need for a middle-of-the-night bathroom trip.

Help Your Child Sleep Better

Giving your child good bedtime snacks and avoiding certain foods is only one way to encourage a better night’s sleep. Follow these tips to help both you and your kids enjoy a full night’s rest.

Here at BKK Kids, we love helping parents discover fun activities to do with their kids and providing tips to keep them healthy. For more advice on healthy foods to feed your family, check out our latest food and nutrition posts.