Do your kids struggle with getting to sleep and STAYING asleep? Sleep expert Valerie Kirk, medical director of Alberta Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Sleep Service, as saying that about 40% of children will have had a sleep problem by the time they’re 18. By sleep problem, she means “any issue related to falling or staying asleep that impacts the child or family.” Aka YOU’RE NOT ALONE! One tip we can offer is to make sure your child avoids big meals right before sleep and make sure the cut off time for sugar is at least 3 hours before bedtime! If your child just cannot go to sleep without a snack, think a glass of milk or light smoothie, a slice of whole grain toast with PB, or a banana. Those will go easy on the tummy so there’s no cramping or fussiness while they’re trying to fall asleep.
Here are a couple of our favorite after-dinner snack recipes:
Vanilla Cake Batter Oatmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats (I used gluten free rolled oats)
pinch sea salt
1 1/4 cups dairy free milk of choice, divided
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg (for a vegan option, sub for 1 flax egg- 1 T flax + 3 T water)
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional but highly recommended)
1 T coconut flour, sifted
1 T granulated sweetener of choice (optional)*
Sprinkles to top, optional
Combine oats, salt and 1 cup of milk in a saucepan or microwave safe bowl until most of the liquid is absorbed. Whisk in the whole egg very well (or flax egg) and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes, until oats are extremely fluffy.
Stir in the vanilla protein powder, sweetener of choice, vanilla extract and coconut flour until fully combined- Oatmeal mixture should be extremely thick. Add in the extra 1/4 cup of milk and ensure it is well mixed. Once this is done, refrigerate uncovered.
The next morning, stir the oatmeal very well and top with nut butter/sprinkles etc. Reheat if desired.
* If protein powder is sweetened, omit.
The protein powder is optional- If you omit, decrease the dairy free milk by 1/4 cup.
Ensure you use the whole egg over egg whites (if not using flax egg) as it provides the cake batter like texture. If you don't have coconut flour, add a tablespoon of flaxmeal, oat flour or almond flour.
Two-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream
4 large very ripe bananas
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Peel bananas and slice into 1/2 inch discs. Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a large plate or baking sheet. Freeze for 1-2 hours.
Place the banana slices in a food processor or powerful blender. Puree banana slices, scraping down the bowl as needed. Puree until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Add the peanut butter and puree to combine. Serve immediately for soft-serve ice cream consistency. If you prefer harder ice cream, place in the freezer for a few hours and then serve.
*Note-if you have a hard time creating a creamy consistency, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to help puree the banana slices. Make sure you use a powerful food processor or blender!