Tips to Help Kids Make Nutritious Snack Choices

Teach kids strategies for making it easier to choose nutritious snacks, such as having go-to appealing options in mind and planning ahead.


  • State examples of nutritious snack choices to fuel body and brain.

Info to Know

The lessons in this unit help kids to understand that food is fuel. Food is what you eat and drink to give your body energy to move and think. Rather than classifying foods as good or bad, encourage children to stop and think, then choose the best fuel (i.e., foods that supply nutrition and energy).

You can extend a lesson with videos from the fit video series, What Food Does for Your Body. Each video highlights a food group or category and serves as a great resource to introduce or review the benefits of eating a variety of foods. See the Extend the Lesson section of this page for a list of videos. 

For more information on nutritious eating, go to MyPlate.gov.

Set The Stage

Download and display the Smart Snacking Printable Pack as a visual reminder of nutritious snacks.

Ask students to share nutritious food and beverage choices they’ve made at home. Share the video, Healthy Snacks Food Quiz, with kids to get them thinking more about their snack choices.

To use this with your students click here.


What Do You Know About Nutritious Snacks?

Students take a quiz about snack choices. They show their answers by standing on their right or left foot or showing their thumbs up or thumbs down.


Learn to Make Nutritious Snacks for You and Your Friends

Now that kids are thinking about making nutritious snack choices, share some tips on making nutritious snack choices easier:

  • Cut fresh veggies ahead of time.
  • Place portions of nutritious snack foods like nuts or cheese cubes into small bags.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut whole-wheat bread, cheese, fruits, and veggies into shapes.
  • Make snacks fun! Create a caterpillar with apple slices or make animal faces with sliced veggies.

Check for understanding: What are some examples of nutritious snacks?


Practice Making Nutritious Snacks

Encourage nutritious snack choices by asking students to create a nutritious snack plate using the My Healthy Snack printable. For example, crackers, fruit, and cheese make a nutritious snack.

Close the Lesson

Have students share their nutritious snack ideas with partners or the whole group. Ask if anyone has heard about a new nutritious snack choice they’d like to try. Compliment them on having nutritious snack options in mind and comment that this makes healthy choices a lot easier!

Grade: K-2

Time: 20 Minutes

Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Core Concept–Eat a variety of foods within each food group each day.
  • Standard 4: Interpersonal Communication
  • Standard 5: Decision-Making


Social and Emotional Learning Competencies

  • Responsible Decision-Making

Extend the Lesson

View the fit Units and Lessons Scope and Sequence Chart.

Related Content

Food, Mood, Move, Recharge

Ways Healthy Choices Impact Kids' Moods

Grades K-2

Encourage kids to stop and think about their moods and energy levels. This leads to healthier decision-making.

Start Lesson

Helping Kids Learn About Food Labels

Grades K-2

Read nutrition labels to know how much natural and added sugars are inside what we eat and drink. 

Start Lesson

How to Gamify Nutritious Food Choices

Grades 3-5

Use a game to reinforce nutritious food choices.

Start Lesson
Food, Mood, Move, Recharge

Helping Kids Make Choices

Grades 3-5

We make choices all day long. Let’s help kids identify times during the day when they make choices and practice giving reasons why they made certain choices.

Start Lesson

Tips for Kids to Make Nutritious Food Choices

Grades 3-5

Show kids that different foods and drinks contain different amounts of sugar.

Start Lesson
Food, Mood, Move, Recharge

Four Types of Healthy Choices for Kids

Grades K-2

Teach kids that resting, having a positive mindset, eating healthy foods, and engaging in physical activity will help them make better choices.

Start Lesson