School-age children (ages 6 to 12 years) need healthy foods and nutritious snacks to fuel their busy bodies. They have a consistent but slow rate of growth, requiring them to eat four to five times a day (including snacks). Eating healthy after-school snacks is important, as these snacks may contribute up to one-third of the total calorie intake for the day. Remember that school-age children may also be eating more foods outside of the home.
Many food habits, likes and dislikes are established during this time. This makes it a perfect time to experiment with new foods, as school-age children are often willing to eat a wider variety of foods than their younger siblings. Family, friends and the media (especially TV) influence their food choices and eating habits. Be sure to talk about nutrition, encouraging the child to make their own healthy choices.