What to give your child for snacks

What to give your child for snacks


Give your child healthful snacks. Avoid foods high in sugar or foods that have empty calories (such as soft drinks or juice). Eating extra sugar puts your child at risk for tooth decay, even if they are just getting baby teeth.

Because your child may not eat a lot during meals, it is important that they eat healthful snacks. Go to myplate.gov for meal and snack patterns and ideas.

Empty calories

Empty calories give your child calories but no vitamins or minerals. Your child can have some empty calories but too many can fill up your child. Examples include:

  • sugars or sweeteners: soft drinks, fruit punch, candy, cakes, cookies, pies and ice cream
  • solid fats: cookies, cakes, pizza, cheese, sausages, fatty meats, butter and stick margarine

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5, sixth edition, ped-ah-91554
First Published: 02/01/2010
Last Reviewed: 11/16/2022