Snacks are small meals that toddlers prefer and need to eat throughout a day to keep their blood sugar stable. As a new mom, once I “got” the importance of snacks, I faced a new problem, a problem I like to call “snack-overload,” whereby after crackers, goldfish, and carrots, I ran out of ideas.
But with some time and creativity, I managed to create a large repertoire of fun and healthy snacks for my toddler. This list contains 30 of my “go-to” snacks. Along with being fun and easy for her to manage, these snacks were designed to ensure that she is getting as much nutrition as possible with each snack.
- Cheeses- Mozzarella string cheese or cubed pieces of yellow or white cheddar
- Whole grain tortilla chips with homemade salsa
- Frozen bananas- Dip a banana in yogurt, roll it in crushed cereal, and freeze it for a tasty frozen snack
- Cottage cheese- Serve with fruit
- Cucumbers- Slice and serve with a low-fat, all natural salad dressing
- Whole grain toast- Cut into manageable pieces and serve topped with cheese, unsalted butter, or another topping
- Tortilla Roll-Ups- Roll up chicken or turkey or just cheese into a whole grain tortilla. Cut into bite-sized potions that are easily manageable by toddlers
- Sweet Potatoes fries- These can be purchased in the store, or you can make them at home by just cutting up a sweet potato into fries and baking in the oven, sprinkled lightly with sea salt
- Nori- This is a dry sea vegetable commonly used in Sushi. My toddler loves it because it’s salty.
- Olives- Pitted and sliced make a great, salty snack that your toddler may love
- Dry cereals- Whole grain cheerios are my toddler’s favorite
- Rice cakes- Serve plain or consider adding Nutella, peanut butter, or almond butter on top for added flavor.
- Snap Pea Crisps
- Toasted English muffins- Serve with a peanut or almond butter dip or with pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese
- Tofu- Buy the extra firm variety, freeze, and then saute in light oil and spices for a protein dense afternoon snack
- Fish cakes – Salmon or Haddock
- Medjool dates. Remove the pit and cut into smaller pieces
- Sesame sticks- These can be found at most health food stores and are made in many varieties (i.e. plain, honey flavored, Cajun flavored)
- Dried fruits- Most parents start with raisins, but give other fruits, like bananas, apricots, cranberries, blueberries, apples, and mangoes a try, too.
- Steamed vegetables- My toddler’s favorites are broccoli and carrots.
- Hard boiled eggs- Serve whole or cut into slices
- Avocado slices
- Nuts – Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, or walnuts
- Salt-less pretzels- Pair with a dip like peanut or almond butter
- Cooked legumes- Chickpeas, kidney beans, red beans, etc. Just sprinkle with some spices like paprika, cumin, or garlic powder. If you go with canned legumes, be sure to rinse the beans in water first to remove all the extra salt.
- Celery with peanut or almond butter spread on top
- Yogurt. (Rather than the sugary kind of yogurt marketed to kids, try a Greek plain yogurt. Most toddlers will go for this without even adding a sweetener like Honey.)
- Citrus fruits- Grapefruit, clementines, oranges. Remove skins and serve in pieces.
- Cubed melons- Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Watermelon
What are some of your favorite healthy snacks that you serve your toddlers?
Monday 15th of April 2013
Instead of Greek yogurt (which is typically lowfat or nonfat) I give my son plain goat's milk yogurt. He loves it, and it's made from whole milk and still sugar free.
Sunday 9th of September 2012
popcorn and nuts are a choking hazard for toddlers. I would not risk giving those as a snack.