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If your toddlers are anything like mine, then they eat everything in sight. That is, of course, until mealtimes when they’re suddenly not hungry anymore. That’s why I try to make sure that the snacks they have are healthy, varied, and nutritionally balanced. When I looked for a list of ideas for healthy snacks for toddlers, I often just got a list of fruits and veggies.
So, this list assumes that you’ve considered that and are looking for more variety. Hopefully, you’ll find some inspiration and some things your kids will love.
Ok, so I know I said no fruit slices, but bear with me. These rainbow fruit skewers are very cool. Whenever we have guests round, I make some of these. They go down a treat with everyone, kids and grown-ups alike.
They look so funky that everyone wants to grab one. You don’t have to stick to the recipe. You can use whatever fruits you have to hand that your little ones love.
#2 Hummus With Dippers
Store-bought hummus is excellent, but it’s pretty easy to make at home as well. Either way, it’s a food item that is high in both fiber and protein. The fats in it are the healthy fats that your little one needs to grow.
You can dip anything that appeals to your toddler in hummus. Options include – raw veggie slices, pitta bread, crackers.
I’m a big fan of dried fruit snacks for toddlers. They keep for much longer than fresh, so when your kids’ tastes change for a while, you’re not left with a pile of rotting, uneaten fruit.
These apple crisps are easy to make and offer a tasty and crunchy treat. They’re about as mess-free as you can get when dealing with toddlers – nothing sticky, just a few crumbs.
These little fruit balls are easy to whip up in the bender. You throw all the dried fruit in and give it a good whizz round. I’ve tried this recipe with a few different fruits, and it works well. The ones with dates have a really lovely texture. It’s a bit like eating a chocolate truffle.
There is a lot of energy packed in these little bites, so they’re perfect for giving your toddler an energy boost if they’re flagging a little.
A Quick Note on Ingredients
Some of these recipes are British in origin, so here are the translations to save you looking them up. I know it’s an extra step, but trust me, these recipes are worth it.
- Semi-skimmed milk = 2% milk
- Self-raising flour can be replaced with all-purpose flour. Just add 2 tsp of baking powder with every cup of flour
- Caster sugar = baker’s sugar – you can substitute regular sugar, but make sure your butter/eggs are extra cold
Muffins are a nice, easy to pack, snack. You can take them anywhere, and they always go down well. This recipe has a mix of wholemeal flour and white flour. So, along with the fruit it makes for a healthy muffin recipe.
The other great thing about muffins is that you can get your toddler involved in making them. My boys love doing all the mixing. When they help you make the food, they are always so much more excited to eat it.
If you have some overripe bananas lying around that no one will eat, then these are the perfect solution. Banana muffins are a tasty treat, and it stops those bananas from going to waste.
They are a little heavier than the apple and sultana muffins above. So I recommend making them in smaller cases and dropping the cooking time a little. With these, a smaller muffin will still go a long way.
This is the last muffin recipe on the list, and it uses only whole wheat flour. There are also oats in the mix. These are filled with complex carbs that are great for slow-release energy to keep your toddler on an even keel.
The sweetness of these muffins comes from the applesauce. Now applesauce is one of my go-to toddler snacks, but it’s a hassle if you’re out and about. This is why I love recipes that have the yummy flavor of applesauce but don’t require a spoon and wet wipes to deal with.
#8 Pitta Bread
Pitta bread is a versatile snack option for toddlers. They’ll often happily munch on a stick of pitta bread as is. However, you can make it more exciting by popping veggies inside or giving them dips to try with the bread.
If you’ve not made bread before, then pitta is a good first one to try. You only prove the mix once, and it’s quite forgiving. If baking bread isn’t your thing, then the store-bought stuff works just as well.
We love flapjack at our house. But, my favorite recipe is a little on the decadent side and is certainly not an everyday snack option for little tummies. So I was intrigued when I found this recipe for savory flapjack.
The mix of seeds and cheese means that it’s packed full of fiber and protein. The oats will give your toddlers some slow-release energy. Which means you get fewer bursts of hyperactivity followed by tantrums.
#10 Fruit Roll-Ups
Fruit roll-ups can be a great healthy snack, but if you’re buying them, you do need to choose with care. You want to avoid any with added sugar, as this will quickly wipe out the health benefits.
You can actually make these at home. They’re not hard to make, but they are a little time consuming, as you have to strain the fruit. However, it’s so satisfying when you slice them up, and they roll into cool little bundles. It also means you avoid all the added sugar.
#11 Trail Mix
Trail mix can either be so healthy that it stops being tasty or so tasty that it is anything but healthy. So, the best option is to find the middle ground. Pick some kid-friendly bits as well as the healthy ingredients.
Trail mix is basically a bag with carbs, fruit, and protein. If you make it yourself, you can adjust the ingredients’ ratios to match what your child has eaten that day. If they turned their nose up at the meat in their lunch, then pop a few extra nuts in the mix.
To make it as healthy as possible, stick with whole-grain carbs when you can. I like to use whole-grain cereal.
The great thing about trail mix is that many kids will flip onto auto-pilot and eat everything in the bag. Even eating items, they would typically turn their noses up at.
#12 Ants On A Log
Traditionally ‘ants on a log’ is celery filled with peanut butter and raisins on top. I’m not going to lie – when I first came across this, I thought it sounded like the worst ‘treat’ ever! However, I came across a recipe that gives you loads of options, and suddenly I understood what this snack could be.
You need to think of it as three pieces – the log, the filling, and the ants. Each of these things can be pretty much any food with the same basic qualities as the originals. Then you can mix and match. If two of the items are super tasty, you can sneak in a third, nutritious, but less delicious component.
Nuts are a great nutritious snack option. They are high in protein and healthy fats. There are loads of varieties to try, and you can even get flavored options.
I know a lot of parents worry about allergies, so avoid giving nuts to toddlers. But, research suggests that exposing toddlers to nuts can prevent them from developing allergies as they get older.
Many Westerners think that nut allergies are widespread, and they are in some countries. However, in Israel, for example, one of the most popular kiddy foods is a peanut-based snack called Bamba. In Israel, there are hardly any kids with peanut allergies. Early exposure can provide some protection.
If your family has a history of allergies, you should speak to a doctor about any concerns before introducing nuts to your toddler’s diet.
#14 Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs seem to come in and out of fashion all the time. I think they’re great, and if you eat everything in moderation, then that’s what matters.
In terms of nutrition, eggs are a complete protein source. They contain all the essential amino acids your toddler needs for their growth and development.
Hard-boiled eggs are fully cooked, so you don’t have to worry about the risk of things like salmonella. They are easy to transport and make a tasty snack for on the go.
Granola bars are another great and versatile snack option. Depending on your toddler’s age and their complement of teeth, you might want to steer towards softer granola bars.
This recipe gives you a baby and toddler-friendly base that creates a soft and crumbly bar. Once you have a base recipe, you can tailor them to your needs. They are great plain, but you can add chocolate chips or fruit to give them an extra little kick of sweetness.
When you need a snack in a hurry, you can’t beat these cookies. They have three ingredients, take 10 minutes to cook, and have no added sugar. The cookie you get out is soft and easy to eat, even for babies just starting food.
The sweetness comes from the orange juice. The banana adds flavor and holds it together. The oats then provide fiber and slow-release energy.
The downside is that they don’t keep for more than a day or so. But, since they’re quick to make, it’s not a huge problem. They freeze well, so that’s another option.
Yogurt is a great toddler snack. It’s full of protein and does wonders for their digestion. So here’s a summery twist on yogurt. The bonus here is that it’s ideal for teething pain as well.
The recipe is easy to make, and you can get the little ones involved as well. It’s also an easy one to modify and tailor to your preferences. The base is just plain natural yogurt with a bit of honey for some sweetness. You then add in your fruit and freeze it up. It’s a much healthier alternative to ice cream.
I hope browsing this list has given you some new ideas to try out on your toddler. Getting them into healthy eating habits from an early age can save you a lot of work down the line. Let us know in the comments which recipe you tried and how it went. If you liked the list, please share the inspiration with others.