Introduction: dietary habits acquired at school age are the cast to be played in adulthood. The afternoon snack should provide 15-20% of daily calories and it’s a good opportunity to manage fruit, milk and cereals.
Objective: to know the afternoon snack habits in schoolchildren between 6 and 12 years old.
Methods: assessment of afternoon snack habits in children aged 6-12 years old in a school in Madrid. A survey on afternoon snack habits in the last 3 days was conducted to children. The results were analyzed in SPSS®.
Results: a total of 214 surveys were analyzed, 104 girls and 107 boys. Children having an afternoon snack every day were 76%, decreasing to 28 to 20% in children aged 11 and 12 years old respectively. It consisted of bread or sandwich in 60-69%, fruit 49% and industrial bakery 38.5%. As for milk, 94% had some type of dairy product; however 76% had it in the form of shakes, custards or puddings. A rate of 48% of children drink water, while 70.1% drink packaged juices.
Conclusions: measures to establish a change in the type of snack seem necessary, recommending the consumption of fresh fruit instead of packaged juices, milk or yoghurt instead of shakes, custards and puddings, and avoiding the consumption of pastries.
Keywords: Snack. Snack habits. Obesity. Mediterranean diet.