Averaging six small meals a day, it might seem like a day with your baby or toddler is just passing time between meals. To satiate their growing bellies, it’s important to make every bite count. If you’ve found yourself in a snack time slump, or feel like your only on the go options are packed with unhealthy preservatives, then check out the ideas below. With both prepackaged and homemade goodies to choose from, these healthy treats are both kid- and mom-approved.
Crackers: You can always opt for a pre-made option like Annie’s Organic Crackers, but if you are looking to cut back on ingredients try making your own. This delicious Animal Cracker recipe from BabyFoodE features three different flavor options, including dark chocolate for mommy, so be sure to try them all.
Hummus: Create a dipping game, diving your toddler’s favorite whole grain bread or cut-up veggies (for older toddlers) into a bowl of hummus. Made from chickpeas and heart-healthy olive oil, this protein and fiber packed dip is a filling snack.
Applesauce: Inexpensive, healthy and sweet, applesauce is a classic go-to snack that most toddlers love. You’ll find all-natural, unsweetened options in pre-packaged cups or pouches like these from GoGo SqueeZ or try this easy recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
Cottage Cheese: Considered a complete protein, when paired with fresh fruit like peaches or pineapple cottage cheese makes a wholesome snack. Try these cottage cheese pancakes from Weelicious for a delicious breakfast-style snack anytime of day.
photo: Yummy Toddler Food
Yogurt Gummies: This hybrid yogurt and gummy snack from Yummy Toddler Food is packed with fresh fruit and full of flavor. Easy to make, use silicone molds to create fun shapes.
Cheese Stick: Broken up into small bites or pulled into fun strings once your toddler is able to chew, string cheese is the perfect calcium-filled snack.
Banana with Peanut-, Almond-, Cashew- or Sun-Butter: Bananas are loaded with potassium and when paired with your child’s favorite butter it becomes a protein-packed snack you can feel good about serving. Be sure to look for an all-natural spread that includes just nuts and salt.
Smoothies: Ideal for when you’re on the go, make your child’s favorite blends at home and transport in an easy-to-clean container like the Squeasy Snacker Silicone Reusable Food Pouch.
photo: Little Duck Organics
Freeze-dried Fruits and Vegetables: Look for fruits and veggies freeze-dried with no added sugar, like these packaged treats from Little Duck Organics, Just Tomatoes, Etc!, or the Happy Family Brand. For older toddlers, the larger freeze-dried mango and banana from Trader Joe’s are another great option.
Avocado: Full of healthy fat, Vitamin E, fiber, iron, and potassium (just to name a few benefits), this nutrient dense fruit is delicious cut into cubes, pureed into a smoothie, or mashed on top of toast and served with a side of berries.
Popsicles: The perfect snack for teething toddlers, it’s easy to turn leftover smoothies into refreshing pops. You can even get the kids in on the fun mixing ingredients. Mama Papa Bubba features some yummy flavor combinations.
Pudding: Surprisingly easy to make, forgo to the store bought mix and opt for making your own pudding flavors. BabyFoodE gave this basic snack a healthy makeover by adding a little peanut butter, chia seeds and a few other surprising ingredients. Find the recipe here.
photo: Land of Nod
Muffins: Muffins are an easy solution to getting your picky toddler to eat their necessary vegetables. From sweet potato to spinach, the possibilities are endless. Try whipping up a batch of these Carrot and Zucchini Muffins from Cupcakes and Kale Chips.
Yogurt Bites: Yogurt dots are a great source of calcium, good fats and probiotics. These colorful, all-natural Frozen Yogurt Dots from Small Fry are fun to make and even more fun to eat. But if you’re short on time, the Organic Greek Yogis from Happy Family will also do the trick.
Fruit Snacks: Sweetened with honey and made with 100% fruit juice, DIY fruit snacks are a healthier alternative to the classic store bought treat. Try this easy recipe from Kelsey Nixon and Land of Nod.
What do you feed your toddler at snack time? Share with us in the comments below.
— Lauren Hill