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School Snacks

Healthy snacks help control hunger between meals and ensure children and youth get enough nutrients.

 

Snacking Tips

  • Offer 2-3 snacks at set times.

    Mid-morning, mid-afternoon and bedtime are usual times for snacks. Space snacks so that your child will still be hungry at meal times.
  • Involve your child.

    Let your child or teen choose between different healthy choices.
  • Think of healthy snacks as small meals.

    Follow Canada’s Food Guide by choosing a variety of healthy foods for snacks. Limit highly processed snacks. Fresh fruit is always a good snack. It could be as easy as a yogurt with sliced banana and water!
 

Fresh fruit is always a good snack

Bowl of apples
 
  • Be prepared.

    Have ready-to-eat healthy snacks in the fridge and pantry. Foods like cut-up fruits and vegetables, cubed cheese, plain yogurt, mini homemade carrot, oatmeal or bran muffins, and whole grain crackers are healthy snack ideas.
  • Be a role model.

    Eat healthy snacks with your child and try new foods together.

Quick Snack Ideas

  • Yogurt Parfait: layer yogurt with fresh berries and top with granola
  • Fruit Smoothie: in a blender, combine frozen fruit, plain yogurt and white milk or unsweetened fortified plant-based beverage (e.g., soy, almond, etc.)
  • Whole grain crackers and cheese with a small bowl of grapes
  • Veggie sticks with hummus
  • Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon, and cheese cubes
  • Cereal with white milk or unsweetened fortified plant-based beverage and fresh berries

Snack Worthy Drinks

Avoid letting children drink juice or other sugar sweetened drinks. Fill a reusable bottle with water and let them sip on that during the day. Use the tips below to find the best drink for your child.

  • Water

    Water is the drink of choice!
  • White milk or unsweetened fortified plant-based beverages

    White milk and fortified soy beverage are considered part of the protein grouping of Canada’s Food Guide. They can be enjoyed with meals or snacks and contribute to your protein intake. Other unsweetened plant-based beverages (e.g., almond or pea) are also healthy choices and can also be enjoyed at meals and snacks. However, they do not have enough protein to count towards a protein food. Drinks like flavoured milks, flavoured fortified plant-based beverages and 100% fruit juice (PDF 523KB) contain nutrients but they are also high in sugar and should therefore should be limited. Serve whole vegetables or fruit instead of juice.1
    Sweetened drinks, like fruit punch/cocktail/drink, sports drinks, and pop should be limited. These drinks contain mostly sugar and water. They provide very few nutrients and should be saved for special occasions only.
 
Date of creation: January 21, 2013
Last modified on: November 22, 2019
 

References

1Canadian Paediatric Society. (2011, March). Healthy Eating for Children. Retrieved from
http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/healthy_eating_for_children