Or in my case, don't feed the toddler after eight o'clock! My wife, who is obsessive in her concern about how much sleep our toddler gets (she's now 2 years 8 months old) worries when she does not get to bed by ten o'clock at night. I, too, would like her to settle down and sleep by then, but I don't consider it a world-ending disaster if she's up a bit past that. That said, one thing that I think would really help would be not giving our daughter food after eight o'clock at night. Particularly when it is sugary stuff such as fresh fruit or juice. That just makes her wired and revving to go. If she's thirsty, I say give her water. Giving her sugar is not going to facilitate sleep. If she is a bit hungry, all the better, that will give her less energy to fight sleepiness.
I just post this now to vent - my wife is concerned about bed time but still gives sugar late, sometimes right up to just before ten o'clock. I'm trying to work on this. Part of the problem is that another obsession she has is whether or not both children get enough to eat. Our two month-old has been eating like a six month-old, 32 ounces a day since he was only a few weeks old (when 24 ounces would be more appropriate) and yet she was still concerned he wasn't eating enough. I can assure everyone that neither of my children are starving.
I won't even get into my wife's obsession with cold - (ok, I lied, I'm getting into it) I think it is partly a Russian thing, where they think that cold causes diseases to a ridiculous extent. Today I had to fight to get out the door with our two year old to take her to day care without putting on a second coat because the first coat was not enough. After all, it was 65 degrees outside and will be 75 today - and what if she went outside in the morning??