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Snacks for School-Age Kids

Snacks are an important part of your child’s day. Besides getting three meals, school-age kids usually eat one or two snacks a day.

Most schools offer a mid-morning snack. As kids get older, they may not need a morning snack unless they have a very late lunch. Talk with your kids to find out what works best for them.

Most kids want an after-school snack. A healthy after-school snack can help kids stay focused on homework and give them the energy they need for active play, sports, or other after-school activities. Pack healthy snacks for kids who aren't coming home right away. 

If you have an early dinner time, skip the snack and offer the salad or vegetable you make for dinner to take the edge off their hunger.

What Snacks Are Good for School-Age Kids?

Here are some snacks that school-age kids might enjoy:

  • home-made trail mix with whole-grain breakfast cereal and nuts and raisins
  • string cheese with grapes or other fruit
  • fruit smoothies made with yogurt, milk, or a dairy-free milk-alternative
  • ice pops made with 100% fruit juice or yogurt in ice pop molds or ice cube trays. Add chopped fruit before putting in the freezer.
  • whole-grain pretzels with peanut butter
  • fruit slices dipped in low-fat flavored yogurt or veggies dipped in hummus

Make Healthy Snacking a Habit

Buy and serve healthy foods. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. 

Here are some tips to help turn your child into a smart snacker: 

  • Keep healthy snacks in your refrigerator or pantry. Let kids choose their own snacks from a couple of healthy options.
  • Make sweets and other treats the exception rather than the rule. An occasional treat is fine, but serve healthy snacks most of the time.
  • Have a schedule for meals and snacks. Kids who graze throughout the day may not notice when they are hungry or full, and are more likely to overeat.
  • Serve snacks and meals at the table. Don't let kids eat in front of the TV or other screens.
  • Talk to your child about healthy choices and teach your child how to read food labels.
  • Be a role model and share a healthy snack with your child.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date Reviewed: 01-01-2021

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