Dear Lola,

My daughter has recently started waking up in the middle of the night to make herself a snack. I am concerned this nighttime eating will lead to weight problems as she gets older. My husband is not worried at all and thinks all kids snack. How should I address the issue with my daughter?


Midnight Morsel

Dear Midnight Morsel,

Midnight snacks. I can honestly say that the midnight snack is single-handedly responsible for my genius. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are delicious appetizers that prepare my belly to receive the midnight snack.

Just as brain power fades, the midnight snack steps in to the rescue.

Before you jump straight to eating disorders, perhaps you might be willing to consider the other reasons your Miniature Human might be snacking. The most obvious reason being a growth spurt. Miniature Humans go through many of these during their growing years and they are  not generally cause for alarm. A few crackers, a bit of cheese and a glass of milk, and your Miniature Human wanders back to bed prepared to conquer the last sliver of sleep before she rouses the household at dawn with her extremely loud morning cartoons. That snack probably bought you an extra hour of sleep!

If this snack is actually a five course meal, you have cause for alarm.

Another reason that your Miniature Human finds herself roaming the kitchen in the middle of the night is that you are serving dinner too early. These smaller humans have much faster metabolisms than their grown counterparts, requiring them to eat more often. Imagine how hard it would be to sleep if your belly were echoing like the empty hull of a ship. Nightmares are born from these noises and should be avoided at all costs!

An after dinner snack may help cut down on the midnight madness.

We also must consider the idea that your Miniature Human is having difficulty sleeping – a problem many suffer from thanks to the pandemic and its ensuing chaos. Picture this: your Miniature Human wakes in the middle of the night, she quietly meanders around the house, bored and in need of an activity. Turning on the television could wake the household, so she would most likely avoid doing that and earning herself a lecture. Playing with toys in the middle of the night is usually forbidden in most households, so we can assume she would also avoid that activity. This leaves your Miniature Human with only one option – indulging in a midnight snack. 

Full bellies make it much easier to fall back to sleep.

You should monitor the situation for the next several weeks and see if your Miniature Human’s nighttime activity increases or decreases. Be sure to add a bit more dinner to the table and offer a snack before bedtime. If this solves the issue, then there is no need to worry further. If your Miniature Human continues to wake through the night, it might be time to talk with the doctor about other causes for sleep disruption. Please be sure to avoid discussing your Miniature Human’s weight in front of her. Eating disorders are easily started and difficult to overcome.

Until next time, may the snack Force be with you!


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2 replies on “Dear Lola – Midnight snacking leads to weight worries…

  1. Lots of incredibly well-reasoned points here! As an adult, I often find myself eating late at night, and never assumed it’s anything besides being hungry again – metabolisms and calorie intake are difficult to predict, especially related to stress caused by the uncertainty of this year. I like that you didn’t jump to any worrying conclusions

    Liked by 1 person

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