A mother left a message in the background, saying that her baby needs to drink milk every night before going to bed, and she keeps crying when she doesn’t let it, and she won’t sleep until she drinks milk. She is very worried about the child Will this cause indigestion.
On the contrary, some parents are worried that their children will be hungry at night, so they will feed their children some food before going to bed, so that the children are full before going to bed. Which approach is more reasonable?
1. Can I eat before going to bed?
General advice: Try to avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Eating before bed can increase the burden on the gastrointestinal tract. Children’s stomachs are weak, and the speed of gastrointestinal movements slows down at night, which can cause food to be stored in the gastrointestinal tract for too long. You may wake up the next morning with bad breath and no appetite to eat, resulting in loss of appetite.
Affects children’s sleep. The child goes to sleep after eating, and the stomach is ready to rest at this time, which will affect digestion, make the child’s stomach bloated, and easily lead to poor sleep, tossing and turning, and unable to enter deep sleep. Whether deep sleep affects growth hormone secretion and height development.
Studies show that the longer you go in deep sleep, the more growth hormone you get. When growth hormone is at its peak secretion, the body is basically in a state of deep sleep at the same time. So if you want your child to grow taller, deep sleep is essential.
Eating before bed can lead to obesity. If you go to bed immediately after eating at night, the calories you consume far exceed the calories you consume, which can easily be converted into fat and stored, causing obesity.
Prone to sweating. Eating before going to bed will cause the stomach to secrete more gastric juice, the intestines will move, and the body will produce a lot of heat, but there is no way to metabolize it, and it can only be emitted through the skin, causing the child’s skin to sweat a lot.
Causes gastroesophageal reflux. Lying on the back without proper activities after sleeping, children with weak gastrointestinal function may have food reflux into the esophagus, causing vomiting.
2. What should I do if my child is hungry before going to bed?
If your child is really hungry, it’s okay to eat properly.
But try to avoid foods that are high in sugar and oil, such as chocolate cake, candy, fried chicken, burgers, fries, etc., and avoid foods that are prone to flatulence, such as sweet potatoes, beans, etc.
The ideal nighttime food should be: Carbohydrate-based, with some protein. They soothe a hungry stomach and put your child to sleep comfortably.
Recommend several foods that can help you sleep, such as:
Warm milk: Milk contains two hypnotic substances: the first is tryptophan, which has the effect of inhibiting central nervous system excitation and sedation. Let the child’s mental state relax before going to bed to help sleep. The second is the peptides that have a regulating effect on physiological functions, which are beneficial to relieve fatigue and help fall asleep.
Banana: Bananas contain magnesium, potassium and other trace elements and vitamins, which can improve sleep quality.
Almonds: Almonds contain tryptophan, which aids sleep, and melatonin, which helps regulate sleep and wake cycles .
Millet porridge: Millet is rich in tryptophan, and millet contains less starch than rice, making it easier to digest.
But no matter what kind of food you eat, you should not eat too much before going to bed, and the best time to eat is 1-2 hours before going to bed, rather than going to bed immediately after eating.
Also note that be sure to brush your teeth after eating to avoid tooth decay.
3. Is it okay for children to drink milk before going to bed?
If the child is just a little hungry, then milk is actually a good night snack. It is not high in calories and gives a good feeling of satiety. A small glass of milk can effectively relieve hunger, which is much better than eating instant noodles, cakes, and potato chips.
And milk contains high-quality protein, rich in calcium and vitamin B6 and other rich nutrients, can improve immunity.
But some children don’t drink milk when they are hungry, but are used to drinking milk. For such children, drinking milk is just a bedtime ritual for them.
If you choose to keep the milk before going to bed, parents can find a way to make the baby’s feeding time a little earlier, and don’t wait until he is about to fall asleep before giving milk.
Try to drink milk before going to bed, such as bathing, brushing teeth, reading picture books together with children, chatting gently, etc. Drinking milk before the bedtime routine can allow time for gastrointestinal digestion and avoid the sleep association of milk to sleep. Brushing your teeth after drinking milk can also ensure your child’s oral health.
Whether the child can eat before going to bed depends on the amount of food the child eats a day. As long as the nutrition of the three meals a day is balanced and adequate, generally speaking, the child does not need to rely on nighttime snacks. If you need extra meals for reasons such as your child’s study, you also need to manage your bedtime diet.
Parents should focus on helping their children establish good and regular eating and sleeping habits, and allow their bodies to adapt to establish a positive and healthy cycle, which is even more important for children.