SNACKS FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

  • by: Fondazione Valter Longo Onlus Editorial Staff
  • July 7th, 2022

A mid-morning and afternoon snack should represent about 5-10% of the required daily calorie intake. They provide the necessary energy to stay attentive, which is especially important during the school term, and they allow children and teenagers to face the next meal with a healthy appetite.

The following chart provides indications on how a snack should be made up: on the left there are the most common snack foods, and other healthier options to choose from

FOODS QUANTITIES (grams/oz) MAXIMUN WEEKLY FREQUENCY SUGGESTED FREQUENCY
7-10 years old 11-14 years old 15-17 years old
Slice of cake or packaged snacks 30/ 1 35/ 1.2 40/ 1.4 2/7 0-1/7
How can they be substituted? Seasonal fruit 150/ 5.2 150/ 5.2 150/ 5.2 7/7 3-4/7
Fruit bars 50/ 1.7 50/ 1.7 50/ 1.7 2/7 0-1/7
Nuts 15/ 0.5 20/ 0.7 30/ 1 7/7 3-4/7
Dark chocolate 20/ 0.7 20/ 0.7 40/ 1.4 1/7 1/7
Whole-wheat focaccia bread 40/ 1.4 40/ 1.4 80/ 2.8 1/7 0-1/7
Bread and jam 30/ 1 + 10/ 0.3 50/ 1.7 + 10/ 0.3 70/ 2.4 + 20/ 0.7 1/7 0-1/7
Bruschetta with tomatoes and olive oil 30/ 1 + 50/ 1.7 + 3 (3/4 tsp) 50/ 1.7 + 50 /1.7 + 3 (3/4 tsp) 70/ 2.4 + 50 /1.7 + 3 (3/4 tsp) 2/7 2/7
Freshly squeezed orange juice 200/ 7 200/ 7 200/ 7 2/7 instead of fruit 2/7
How can it be substituted? Fruit and vegetable extracts 100/ 3.5 150/ 5.2 150/ 5.3 4/7 2/7

Instead of fruit

2-3/7
Tea or herbal tea 250/ 8.8 250/ 8.8 250/ 8.8 7/7 2-3/7
Plant milk 200/ 7 200/ 7 200/ 7 2-3/7 2/7

 

By following this chart, you can create different types of snacks. The quantities should be adjusted according to your child’s age and body evaluation. Hot beverages, such as barley-based drinks and tea, can be added, restricting the sweetness provided by sugar, honey, and other sweeteners, in order to accustom our palates to real flavors, even when they are bitter! Lemon juice, cinnamon or bitter cocoa can be added to improve the drink’s tastes. 

EXAMPLES OF MID-MORNING SNACKS:

  1. Barley coffee or tea and fruit and nut bar.
  2. Barley coffee or tea and whole-wheat rusks with low sugar jam.
  3. Fresh seasonal fruit.
  4. Nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds).
  5. Fruit and vegetable extract with a tomato bruschetta (only when and where fresh tomatoes are available).

EXAMPLES OF MID-AFTERNOON SNACKS:  

  1. Barley coffee or tea and dark chocolate.
  2. Fruit and vegetable smoothie and whole-wheat focaccia bread (only where focaccia bread is available)
  3. Fruit and vegetable smoothie and whole-wheat bread with tomatoes.
  4. Fresh seasonal fruit.
  5. Barley coffee or tea and vegan apple cake.

SOURCES

(In: Prof Valter Longo, “La longevità inizia da bambini” – “Longevity Starts As Children”. Milano: Vallardi, 2019)

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