Nutrition for children ages six, seven, and eight is best examined from the individual rather than the age perspective. While eight-year-olds have a better sense of future than younger children, some eight-year-olds will complain when their lunch or snack is delayed or changed without notice. All three ages are deep into skill development and can be encouraged to help prepare food (creatively) for the other children. Sevens and eights are more likely to respond to requests to model good manners than a six-year-old will be. Six-year-olds who come to day care after school will tend to be tired and need a nutritious snack that rejuvenates their energy. Snacks for seven- and eight-year-olds can be a time of talking and relaxing.
Appetites are alive and well in children ages 9-12. Growth is slow and steady for most children, although some girls will enter puberty around this time. Child care providers can expect most children to have a growth spurt. The small motor skills of this age child are being perfected, and they can be trusted to help prepare nutritious snacks. This age can be self-conscious, so healthy snacks will support positive eating habits.