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When are kids old enough to get their own snacks?

I.E. Not prepare them, but mature enough to eat only enough, and not so much they pig out on the stuff and don't have room for the important meals, etc.

Just curious as to what age is good to start making "snack bags" and letting him take them at will.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:19 PM on Dec. 29, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (15)
  • My son is 5 and he can go in the snack cabinet and pick a snack after he asks permission.


    Answer by legalmommy101 at 8:21 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • We let our 4 year old into the pantry to snack as he wants. We keep the stuff he can have on the low shelves. Our 9 year old is allowed to cook her snacks, if necessary.

    Answer by Pnukey at 8:21 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • Mine are 12, 11, and 5. I let them have one snack between breakfast and lunch, one between lunch and dinner, and one after dinner. The one after dinner is the only "unhealthy" one normally. They can not just go into the ktichen and get what they want because they would be in there 24/7. They ask if they can have a snack and I say yes they can have a small snack, and tell them what they have to choose from. That works well for us.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 8:21 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • OP - I guess I meant without permission.

    April - Yeah, the being in the kitchen all day, that's what I would be worried about too. Okay. I just hate feeling like the food Nazi in the house (DH snacks ALLLLLLLLLL day long, MIL lives here and only buys crap foods, I think both think I'm evil because I don't let 6yo have candy and crap foods whenever he wants.)

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:29 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • Keep allowable snacks, like yogurt, fruit, carrot sticks, etc. accessible. Keep the ones you don't want them to have hidden.


    Answer by rkoloms at 8:32 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • OP..there is an illusion that there will come a time when they (kids) can snack, thoughtfully...without is a fantasy. LOL. The best I could do as my boys grew up was keep a 'snack box. Anything that was in there they could have ONE of after school. It usually had stuff like small bags of peanuts, trail mix, yogurt raisins, granola bars. It gets really crazy when they are in HS. They will eat a full meal ast school come home ..A LOT and STILL eat a huge supper. At least mine did. For a while my husband would walk in and say "where are the hollow legs?" Honestly, at 5-8 make them ask permission and give them a choice of a couple things.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 8:35 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • OP here - Yeah, I know 6 is waaaaaay too young, but sometimes questions come to mind and figure, since I'm thinking on them, may as well ask.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:51 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • mine pick a snack - they know just ONE or Mommy'll be pissed.

    they're 8, 6, and 3....

    Answer by hypermamaz at 9:00 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • now to teach daddy the one snack rule...

    Answer by hypermamaz at 9:04 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • If they haven't been overfed all their lives, not fed until they're in extreme pain, and have yet to encounter the idea of either 'clean your plate no matter how you feel' or 'eat because it's time and not until it's time, no matter how you feel' or 'primo' food (aka 'junk') vs. 'dull' food (aka 'actual food') and the snacks they're being offered are actual food, not crap made in a lab, they can do it right away.

    It is all the squirrelly, shame-filled, morality baggage that comes to the table with food that makes some things super-attractive and other things negotiable. When kids live without all of that, they eat a variety of foods in portions that are healthy, quite naturally.

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:09 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

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