Snacks are an essential part of the diet for many children. They are especially needed when your child is undergoing rapid growth. That is why adolescents tend to be so ravenous at snack time. The following guidelines may help you with snacks:
- First: Snacks should only be allowed once between main meals. That is a total of 2 times a day. Frequent snacking or "grazing" will interfere with eating adequate portions of the main meals. Frequent snacking also leads to tooth decay.
- Second: Some of the best foods for snacking are yogurt or yogurt bars, crackers of different types, fruit juice, cereal, fruits, or nuts. Although vegetables are a great choice, most children don't care for them.
- Third: Avoid the meat food group for snacking. All of the other food groups are fine. Avoid refined sugars for snacking, such as soda pop, Kool-Aid, candy bars and cookies.
In summary, snacks are a good idea for most growing children, but keep the size of the snack to a reasonable amount. If you have other questions about snacks, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.