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8 Healthy Food Suggestions For School-Age Children

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 22, 2023

8 Healthy Food Suggestions For School-Age Children

School-age children are typically more vocal when it comes to their likes and dislikes, especially regarding foods. But, parents can’t always give in to their wants; after all, nutrition plays a crucial role in their growth and development. To help you in meal planning, here are some of the best, healthy food suggestions for school-age children:

Fresh Fruits

Fruits are one of the best foods to give your grade-schooler because they are rich in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and even water. Moreover, most fruits easily appeal to kids because of their natural sweetness and bright colors.

According to experts, kids need about 2 to 3 servings of fruits daily. To add variety, remember that you can also serve fruits dried, canned, or frozen. Fruit juices also count but choose wisely – avoid artificially sweetened drinks and limit serving to 1 cup daily.

healthy food for school age children

Vegetables and Dip

Any vegetable is a portion of healthy food for school-age children. However, remember that variety is essential.

Like fruits, veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that boost your child’s health. The only problem is, children most often do not like them.

To help your grade-schooler consume more vegetables, why not prepare them with dips? Some of the best vegetables for dipping are:

  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kids in school need about 2 to 3 servings of vegetables daily, so don’t forget to include them in meals and snacks.

    Whole Grains

    School-age kids are growing bundles of energy, so they need great sources of carbohydrates. Serve them pasta, rice, corn, oats, noodles, bread, and cereals.

    However, whenever possible, choose the whole grain variety. Experts highlight that refined sugar like white bread, pasta, and rice, can cause spikes in blood sugar.

    On the other hand, whole grains retain most of their original nutrients. Furthermore, they give your child long-lasting energy.

    Lean Meat

    Lean meat, which contains less fat, is one healthy food for school-age children because it offers protein. Moreover, it’s also rich in various nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins.

    However, don’t forget to serve your child other meats from fish and poultry; eggs are also great. They, too, contribute to your child’s tissue repair and muscle growth.

    Daily, most kids need 2 servings of lean protein.


    Another one of the best foods to give your grade-schooler are sandwiches.

    This is because sandwiches are versatile – they can be served as meals or snacks, and your child can choose the ingredients to make the sandwich with.  For instance, you can serve the classic peanut butter sandwich for a protein boost, prepare chicken and veggie spread, or go with eggs.

    Additionally, sandwiches are easy to make; your kids can join you in preparing them.

    Cheese and Crackers

    If you’re looking for healthy food choices for kids, you can always count on crackers and cheese.

    This on-the-go pair is nutritious. Whole grain crackers, especially those fortified brands, are rich in fiber and other vitamins. They also give your grade-schooler a quick energy boost. And cheese is a tasty source of calcium and protein.


    Did you know that grade-schoolers still need 2 to 3 servings of dairy per day for strong bones and general health? This is the reason why milk is still a healthy food for school-age children.

    A daily serving of milk is always welcome, but don’t forget other dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt.


    Finally, let’s not forget water. With all the energy your kids spend studying and playing, they need to keep themselves hydrated.

    Moreover, water also has other functions like aiding in digestion and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. For this reason, kids should have 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.


    Children, regardless of age, need various foods from all the food groups, namely, fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy. They also need healthy fats, which you can incorporate into their diet by serving them nuts and seeds or fruits like avocado.

    How you prepare meals also matter. Case in point: choosing healthy cooking oils helps lessen their intake of saturated (bad) fats.

    And finally, don’t forget to keep track of their physical activity. A healthy diet and regular exercise go hand in hand in keeping your child healthy through every stage of their growth and development.

    Learn more about Parenting here. 


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 22, 2023

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