Mom Slammed Online for Banning Daughter's Bedtime Snack: 'Bad Habit'

The internet has slammed a mom for telling her daughter she isn't allowed to have a snack before bed.

In a post that has gained more than 100 replies on the popular discussion site Mumsnet, the mom explained the situation: "So my daughter likes to go to bed with a snack. I have always said no but my husband is weaker than me and says yes.

"She eats a healthy dinner about 5 p.m., then [dessert], and has fruit to eat whenever she wants," the post said. "My arguments are that she should have eaten something earlier—I say an hour before bedtime so 8 p.m.—and she is only eating as a delay tactic or out of habit. I doubt it is doing her any good to eat late and is only forming a bad habit for the future."

The mom continued to explain that the 12-year-old usually snacks on things like a large chunk of cucumber, but sometimes cheese or chorizo.

She asked: "Am I being unreasonable saying no to bedtime snacks?"

Judy More, a registered dietician and nutritionist specializing in child nutrition, told Newsweek: "During puberty, children grow rapidly for about a year or more and they do need extra calories and nutrients to support the growth. Girls do their growing over the year before their puberty starts, and boys once puberty has begun."

"The snacks mentioned [in the post] were quite nutritious snacks," More said. "As long as it's not sugar before bed, I don't think it would matter, but it should be a nutritious snack."

Girl snacking in bed
A mom has shared her concerns about her daughter's bedtime snacking on social media. A file photo of a girl snacking in bed. Yuliya Apanasenko/Getty Images

Mumsnet users shared their thoughts on the tween's nighttime snacks, overwhelmingly slamming the mom for being unreasonable.

One commenter said: "Those are fine snacks. I'd leave her be," while another wrote: "My daughters are mid-teens and always, always have a piece of toast before bed. So around 9:30 p.m.-10 p.m. They are both slim. I've always thought it helps them sleep! They are growing, it's good for them I think."

"I'd want a snack if my meal was that early," shared another user, and another agreed: "I would really struggle to go from 5 p.m. to breakfast without anything, I would be absolutely ravenous."

Another reply suggested that the best action may be to move the daughter's dinner time and said: "Can you make dinner a more reasonable time? She can then snack after school, then eat dinner."

But the mom later updated her comment and said: "I think people have misread my post. This is not about her having a snack at all, it's the time of that snack. I'm happy her eating at 8 p.m. an hour before bed but not as she is literally about to get into bed."

"Teens grow quickly. They go through that pubertal growth spurt, so it's really important that they have nutritious food," explained More: "Some teenage boys can grow up to 13 centimeters in a year, they really need extra calories and nutrients. It's not uncommon for boys going through that growth spurt to eat a great big dinner and then an hour later want something extra. They're hungry because they need the extra calories and nutrients.

"Of course, if children are demanding more food and they're overweight I'd say no, but if they're not overweight, then I'd say go for it."