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Diversifying your toddler’s snack options can present a challenge, especially considering their specific taste preferences. This collection of toddler snacks is designed to spark creativity and break free from the usual snack choices. The joy of exploring various foods can be an adventure for your little one. Don’t hesitate to mix snacks from different categories for a fulfilling and balanced treat. However, if your child leans towards a single snack at a time, that’s absolutely okay—every child has their own unique appetite!

The key message here is EXPOSURE and FUN! Encourage your child to see and interact with a variety of healthy snacks. Even if they decline them repeatedly, the effort is valuable for the day they opt for a nutritious choice. Keep it exciting and enjoyable!

Healthy Snacks for Kids

Let’s begin by acknowledging that we often impose unnecessary pressure on ourselves when it comes to providing snacks for children. The truth is, snacks don’t have to be flawless; they can be convenient and utilize store-bought options.

I always approach snacks as an opportunity to introduce foods that might not have been enjoyed during other meals. Simultaneously, I avoid obsessing over nutritional details, as this can quickly lead to unnecessary worry.

It’s essential to keep in mind that, in the grander scheme, most kids maintain a fairly balanced diet when observed over the week. If a particular meal or day seems less balanced, zooming out and evaluating their overall intake throughout the week can provide a more accurate perspective.

Each family has a different idea of what they want for their kiddos, this list is meant to be fun, and on the days that you don’t have a plan.

I hope this list helps you.

Healthy Veggie Snacks for Toddlers

Introducing vegetables as snacks is a smart way to encourage increased vegetable consumption throughout the day. Here are some simple options. Refer to the image above to determine how to introduce raw veggies, progressing from left to right as the children enhance their chewing abilities.

  • Avocado: Cubed or mashed on bread for a tasty avocado toast.
  • Snap peas: Sliced into slivers as needed.
  • Cucumbers: Sliced or diced for easy munching.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Halved or quartered for safer eating.
  • Roasted sweet potato
  • Shredded carrots or carrot slices/sticks (start with very thin slices as raw carrots can be hard to chew)
  • Thawed frozen peas
  • Thawed frozen corn
  • Thawed edamame

TIP: Enhance the flavor of these veggies by offering a dip or sauce, such as ranch, guacamole, almond butter, salsa, sour cream, or hummus alongside. It makes the veggies more appealing and delicious for little ones.

 

Quick and Hydrating Fresh Fruit Snack Ideas for Kids

Here are some effortless ways to enjoy fresh fruits with your children. Not only are they speedy to prepare, but they’re also hydrating and full of nutrition.

  • Apples: Slice them thinly into matchsticks or very, very thin slices.
  • Baked Apple Slices
  • Bananas
  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • Citrus: Slices of clementines, oranges, or mandarines.
  • Grapes: Sliced in half vertically for safer consumption.
  • Fruit Cups: Homemade or store-bought in 100% juice.
  • Fruit Wands
  • Kiwi
  • Melon
  • Mango
  • Peaches: Sliced or stewed
  • Pears

TIP: For little kids, slice fresh fruit into small cubes or very thin pieces to ensure they’re easy to bite.

 

Wholesome Pantry Produce Choices

Here are some of my preferred fruits and vegetables that I always keep stocked in my pantry, providing additional options beyond just fresh produce.

  • Homemade or Bare Snacks Apple Chips
  • Convenient Applesauce Pouches
  • Dried Fruit (mango, apricots, cranberries, cherries), cut into small pieces as needed
  • Freeze-Dried Fruit and Vegetables
  • Canned Fruit in 100% Juice
  • Fruit Leather, torn into little pieces as needed
  • Raisins
  • Toddler Pouches (like the Clearly Crafted ones or yogurt pouches)
  • Snack size Nori from the Asian section of your store.

Nutritious Whole Grain Snacks for Toddlers

Here are some top picks of my whole grain snacks, ideal for providing kids with an energy boost between meals.

  • Low-sugar cereals: Cheerios, Kix, Chex
  • Sandwich cubes
  • Homemade Cheesy Oat Crackers
  • Honey Graham Energy Bites
  • Muffins
  • Puffs
  • Soft-Baked Granola Bars
  • Leftover Waffles
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Whole grain graham crackers

TIP: Our forever favorite is toast.

 

Crunchy Snacks for Children

Children often enjoy foods with a satisfying crunch, providing valuable sensory input. However, it’s essential to avoid hard-to-chew items like chips or tortilla chips, which can pose choking hazards. Here are some safer crunchy snack ideas:

  • Freeze-dried fruit
  • Veggie Straws
  • Cheese crackers
  • Snap pea crisps
  • Quinoa Chips (soft and high in protein)
  • Mini rice cakes
  • Chickpea Puffs
  • Triscuits Thin Crisps (easier to chew than traditional ones)

TIP: For safety, hold off on whole nuts and popcorn until after age 4 to reduce the risk of choking.

Wholesome Dairy Snack Options

Combine any of these with a serving of fruit for a simple and nutritious snack. Opting for whole-milk dairy not only enhances taste but also helps in keeping the kids feeling full until their next meal.

  • Cheese: Sliced, cubed, or in the form of string cheese
  • Cottage cheese (or as a Cottage Cheese Dip)
  • Drinkable yogurt or Yogurt Drinks
  • Kefir
  • Milk (dairy or nondairy)
  • Plain yogurt or Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt
  • Smoothies

TIP: An excellent choice we love is Smoothie Melts. These are shelf-stable yogurt melts made with organic fruits, veggies, and whole milk—perfect for little ones as they dissolve quickly and provide a safe and convenient snack option.

 

Protein-Packed Snacks for Toddlers

Snack time provides a wonderful opportunity to introduce protein-rich options, whether from vegetarian or meat-based sources. Below are some of our preferred and easily accessible protein choices.

  • Beans: Slightly mashed or as hummus
  • Hummus (great on crackers, bread, or as a veggie dip)
  • Chickpeas (such as these Soft-Baked Cinnamon Chickpeas)
  • Chopped cashews and walnuts (for ages 2 and up)
  • Cubed chicken
  • Cubed turkey
  • Deli meat (sliced turkey, ham, or salami, cut as needed)
  • Eggs: Hard-cooked, scrambled, or as Egg Muffins
  • Edamame: Thawed and removed from the pods
  • Frozen peas: Thawed
  • Nut butter or sunflower seed butter (excellent on toast, apple slices, or as a dip for pretzels, etc.)
  • Peanut Butter Muffins or Protein Muffins

Key Tips for Toddler Snacks

  • Maximize Leftovers: Utilize leftovers as snacks or even small meals, especially if your children are veering towards snacks and turning away from regular meals.
  • Take a Weekly View: Assess your child’s diet variety by examining their overall food intake throughout the week. This offers a more accurate understanding of their eating patterns.
  • Normalize Appetite Changes: Understand that a child’s hunger can fluctuate between meals and days. Allow your children to signal their hunger levels, as accurately predicting them can be challenging.
  • Embrace the Division of Responsibility: Familiarize yourself with the Division of Responsibility approach during mealtimes, a strategy that can alleviate stress surrounding feeding.
  • Explore Simple Homemade Snacks: Discover a range of easy-to-make homemade snack ideas, such as Oatmeal Bars and Breakfast Bars, to gather more creative inspiration for nutritious homemade snacks.