by Heidi Green
December 15, 2011
Although The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney has famously said she has taught her son that he “can’t have dessert every night after dinner,” many families do allow their children to eat dessert at dinnertime or have a snack before bedtime.
Fortunately, dessert doesn’t have to mean super-sweet treats like cookies, cakes, or pies. Making a habit of healthy after-dinner treats can help children re-define “dessert,” from a baked good or frozen treat heavy on the refined sugar to a tasty snack that also happens to be good for them.
Closer to bedtime, you may want to try one of the snacks that meet the criteria of the well-known Dr. Sears for being “snooze foods.” To induce restfulness, Dr. Sears recommends a snack that combines complex carbohydrates with some protein, and perhaps some calcium.
Keep in mind that you should avoid spicy foods before bed, and that liquid snacks may cause wakefulness (or bedwetting accidents).
In any case, while it’s generally best to reserve the sweet treats for rare occasions like birthdays, holidays, and other special events, there’s no need to deprive children of evening snacks. Just keep them healthy.
Click here for our slideshow on 10 Healthy Fruit Desserts.
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