A reader recently asked,

“I enjoy seeing the meals you prepare for your children. We have four children under five and they frequently want to eat between meals. Is there “snacking” that goes on in your home? If so, what options are available?”

To be honest I am not a big fan of snacking for my children and this is why. When I would have daily snacks my more picky eaters would eat less at meals, hoping for a snack (they liked better) to hold them over until the next meal. That being said my children do not go hungry unless it is their choice to not eat the meals they are given. If a child eats all of their meal and then is hungry a few hours later they are allowed a healthy snack.

Here are some snack options in our home:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Oranges
  • Muffins
  • Nuts
  • Crackers (occasionally)
  • Raisins
  • Cheese

I do not buy a lot of prepackaged food so our snacks are usually limited to fruit and vegetables. When we travel, or are out around a meal time I do have snacks like goldfish, pretzels, and granola bars in the car to avoid purchasing fast food.

If you have little kids, one fun way to have snack time is to serve healthy finger foods in a muffin tin. Each tin holds a different food. The kids then pick food out of the tin that they would like to eat. I know that some kids are truly hungry between meals, but I would avoid giving them processed foods that fill them up with empty calories, fat, sugar and preservatives.



  1. ‘I know that some kids are truly hungry between meals’

    Ha! Some MOM’s are truly hungry between meals, too! We are a snacking family, but we also do not have any picky eaters and everyone eats well at mealtime. While I have to watch it, none of us are overweight, so this seems to be what we need. Maybe because I experience low blood sugar, I believe that snacks are important. One of my daughters and I both will begin to shake and feel sick to our stomachs if we need to eat. We have a ‘snack bucket’ of snacks that are acceptable, as well as fruit on the kitchen island, and things like cheese sticks in the fridge. I think it’s just important to pay attention to each person and their needs. While you didn’t say this (nor did you imply it), some people who don’t feel the need to snack feel that NO-ONE should, and that doesn’t meet everyone’s needs. Having said all this, indiscriminate snacking is not allowed in our house either. My kids have always had to ask permission to get a snack. I finally relaxed that rule once my older daughter reached about 10, because I felt she had a good understanding of what and when she could eat.

  2. I try to do a fruit/veggie and something else like crackers and cheese or peanut butter. I’ve been trying to keep a variety of veggies/fruits that they like although dd prefers grape/cherry tomatoes to any veggie that we’ve found yet.

  3. I have seen that muffin tin snack idea! That is so cute for little kids 🙂

    My kids like to make cookies, breads, pies, cakes! So we always have snacks around here. We are so baaaaaad! LOL We eat a lot of fruit too, though! 🙂

  4. The rule at our house is that if you want to eat a fruit or veggie between meals, you don’t have to ask, just help yourself. Otherwise, you ask if it’s something like graham crackes, goldfish, muffins, etc.

    My kids eat a LOT of fruit and veggies this way.

Speak Your Mind