Snack healthy & delicious with these low-cal treats
When it comes to snacking before bed, there’s enough research to make you wonder if it’s healthy to eat anything before powering down for a good night’s sleep. The reality is that in a 24 hour period, calories in must equal calories out to maintain a healthy weight. Even if you jammed all your calories into a bedtime snack, you won’t gain weight any more than someone who spaced those calories out. As long as you made smart food choices, not salty or sweet and nutritionally empty – which will absolutely weigh you down.
Weight gain aside, what you eat before bed can disrupt your sleep in big ways. And disrupted sleep can lead to poor food choices the next day. See the problem? If sleep isn’t high on your priority list, the ultimate sleep-horrible-diet might be for you.
But even if you’ve maxed out your calorie count for the day, going to bed hungry isn’t the answer either. Your growling stomach may disrupt your sleep and you’ll wake up feeling fatigued and famished – which will also to poor food choice early the next day.
The solution? Reach for a low-calorie, sleep-friendly snack ( think breakfast for bedtime) to satisfy your hunger without bloating you in the morning. Sounds perfect, right?
Belly up to the bedtime snack bar with some simple grab-and-go low-calorie snack choices
If you’re hungry for a little something more after dinner, these quick and easy, healthy snack recipes might be just what you’re hungry for.
- String cheese. No recipe required! One serving delivers a delicious and balanced serving of protein and fat, the perfect combo to leave you satisfied for a good night’s sleep.
- Non-fat chocolate pudding in a cup. Chocolate is always appropriate and at approx. 90 calories per serving you’ll enjoy the party in your mouth – without any guilt.
- Bananas. At approx. 100 calories, these high-fiber gems are loaded with satisfying fiber and tryptophan.banana fruits isolated on white background
- Cereal. Grab a whole grain or bran cereal and enjoy a healthy, satisfying snack that’s low in sugar. For a delicious twist, enjoy your cereal with low-fat Greek yogurt that’s super-high in protein.
- Mini turkey sandwich. Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that plays a role in the sleep-inducing process. Load a thin slice of whole grain bread with a couple pieces of turkey and a pickle. Don’t forget the mustard.
- Small bowl of rice. Researchers say high glycemic index foods like rice can aid tryptophan and melatonin production, both of which are associated with better sleep. Unlike bread and pasta, which can disrupt sleep.
- ½ ounce of your favorite cheese. Cheese is high in fat but it’s also a good source of protein and can fill you up without making you feel over-full. Pair with a whole grain cracker for some added crunch.
- Savory popcorn. At just 30 calories a bowl, popcorn is the unsung hero of late night snacking. Sprinkle on some paprika or cinnamon to give your metabolism a boost.
- Trail mix. Stir in unsalted walnuts, almonds, cashews – whatever nuts you enjoy most – and mix with dried cranberries for a healthy, tasty treat.
- Banana smoothie. Blend milk and bananas and you’ve just gifted yourself with a healthy serving of magnesium and B6, which will help your brain produce serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter).
- Soup. Warm food is comfort food, which is perfect for a bedtime snack. Pick an easy-to-digest soup (butternut squash or broth-based ones like chicken noodle) and avoid tough-to-digest lentil or bean soups.
- Apple & peanut butter. Crunch into a yummy apple slathered in peanut butter, which is rich in protein. You’ll fill up without feeling like you just ate a 4th meal of the day. Less than 100 calories, depending on which brand of peanut butter you choose.
Our favorite low-cal bedtime snack recipes
Sweet potato chips recipe
Sweet potatoes are a jam-packed with B-vitamins, which act as stress-defenders. And because they’re rich in complex carbs, they help regulate blood-sugar levels overnight.
- large sweet potato
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Slice sweet potato crosswise thinly.
- Arrange chips in a single layer on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with salt.
- Cook for 45-50 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- Remove from oven when centers are soft and edges are crisp – you may need to take smaller chips out early to avoid scorching.
Cinnamon oranges recipe
A carb-rich snack that’s easy to prepare and a sweet treat before bed – or try it in the morning with French toast and blueberries. Delish!
- 4 navel oranges
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
With a sharp knife, remove rind and white pith from oranges. Cut each into 5 or 6 slices and arrange on 4 plates. Whisk together orange juice and lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Spoon over the orange slices.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- Smoothie recipes that promote sweet dreams
- Slow-cooker breakfasts you’ll be dreaming about all night long
- Ingredients (and recipes) for bedtime snacks to help you sleep better