Nutrients For Growing Children (cont.)


National surveys indicate that three out of four school-aged children get their own snacks. Snacks may contribute up to one-third of total daily caloric needs, and a significant proportion of nutrient needs. Poor snack choices result in too many high-energy, low-nutrient foods that can upset nutritional and caloric balances. Children who are physically active and growing need to refuel periodically throughout the day. Properly planned snacks can meet that need. Children tend to eat what is available. School-aged children from ages 6 to 11 rely on household food supplies for their snack choices. Parents and other caretakers can help children make nutritious snack choices by keeping foods on hand from the first five food groups shown in the "Food Guide Pyramid."

Below are some good suggestions for "snack attacks!"

  • Baked potato chips or tortilla chips with salsa
  • Pretzels (lightly salted or unsalted)
  • Bagels with tomato sauce and lowfat cheese
  • Flavored rice cakes (like caramel or apple cinnamon)
  • Popcorn-air popped or lowfat microwave
  • Veggies with lowfat or fat-free dip
  • Lowfat cottage cheese topped with fruit or spread on whole-wheat crackers
  • Ice milk, lowfat frozen or regular yogurt (add skim milk, orange or pineapple juice, and sliced bananas or strawberries to make a lowfat milk shake)
  • Frozen fruit bars
  • Vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, graham crackers, animal crackers, fig bars, raisins
  • Angel food cake topped with strawberries or raspberries and lowfat whipped cream
  • String cheese

Some of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the NIDDK, National Institutes of Health. (

Last Editorial Review: 8/13/2003

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