I am looking for some ideas....
After many years of frequent night waking, I finally have figured out that when my 5 y.o. wakes and can't get back to sleep it is because she is hungry. She doesn't feel hungry, though, so never asked for food and that is why I didn't know what was going on. After years of being up for hours at a time, I figured it out and will keep a banana or other snack by her bed. She still wakes me up rather than just eating it and going back to sleep, but I don't have to go downstairs to get the food at least.
But I'm looking for ideas of what to give her before bed that will last her through the night. I encourage her to eat a big dinner. I don't like to force food on her, though, or make her clean her plate. I want her to be able to listen to her own body. But I find myself really pushing the food simply because I want to get a good nights sleep. I try to make sure she has complex carbs and good fats at dinner. She goes to bed within an hour or so of dinner, but we still have a snack for her before bed (usually some dairy free yogurt or toast with nut butter and maple).
It has gotten a lot better with these tricks, but we still have a night or two a week that she is up. The worst is when she wakes an hour or two before her usually wake time because she often doesn't get back to sleep (which means I don't either).
I wonder if I set her up for this with all of those all-night-nursing sessions when she was a baby. Now she just needs a really full belly to sleep.