University of Florida

Healthy Snacks for Children

While children may reach for the cookie jar or cake during snack time, adults can help them make healthier decisions. Children, who are offered a variety of healthy snacks, can develop life-long healthy eating habits.

Healthy Snack Ideas

Keep the following suggestions in mind when providing snacks for your child:

  • Reduce the number of snacks you serve your child each day.
  • Serve whole grains low in fat and sugar, such as breadsticks, popcorn, and whole-grain tortilla chips.
  • Offer fruits and vegetables often. Leave a bowl of fruit or vegetables, such as carrots or bananas, on the kitchen table. Canned, frozen, and dried fruits can also be a quick and easy snack.
  • Serve small portions of cheese with fruits, vegetables, or whole grain foods, as cheese is high in saturated fat.
  • Try low-fat dairy snacks, such as low-fat pudding.
  • Nuts can be high in calories, so offer small portions to children who aren’t allergic. Serve the nuts with other foods, too. (Remember, don't give whole nuts to young children who can’t chew well.)
  • Water is the perfect drink to have with snacks—it’s inexpensive and doesn’t have added calories or sugar.
  • Save cookies, brownies, and other treats for special occasions and differentiate them from fruit and other snacks that your child can eat when they want.
Adapted and excerpted from:

Center for Science in the Public Interest, “Healthy Snacks for Children” (FCS8823), UF/IFAS Family Youth and Community Sciences Department (rev. 09/2012).

Healthy Families,” Let’s Move! (Accessed 11/2014).

fruit bowl

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