By Serena Norr
Although I adored making my own baby food, I also really love the toddler phase where I can do less mashing and more feeding of bite-sized food items. Thanks to a new set of chompers and the development of gross motor skills, toddlerhood is an exciting time when your child can explore the new textures and tastes of all kinds of yummy foods. Here are some of my favorite healthy toddler snack ideas that your little one can eat with his fingers.
14 Healthy Toddler Snack Ideas
Chunks of cheese Cut up some of cheddar, Swiss or Muenster for a filling, calcium-rich snack.
Mini sandwiches Make a standard peanut butter or almond butter sandwich with jelly, but add in some bananas for fiber-rich boost. Make them bite-size by cutting them up into fun shapes, like mini squares or triangles. Or, roll ‘em up, sushi-style.
Frozen veggies If your tot’s still teething, help him combat discomfort by having them gnaw on frozen vegetables like frozen peas, peppers, or string beans. Nutritionally, it beats the pants off a frozen bagel!
Apples and nut butter Cut up some apples and slather them in one of your favorite nut butters for a protein and fiber-rich treat (if your little one can’t do nuts, try sunflower seed butter). You can also use carrots, celery, or crackers for this quick combo. Just remember: Nut butter + almost anything else = winning toddler snack idea.
Fruit salad Sweet, yummy fruit is a great way to fill up your toddler while also giving her a nutritious snack. Make a fruit salad with mango, papaya, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes (cut up), apples, blueberries, and honeydew. For a little more substance, top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.
Trail mix I love to carry a portable (and not messy) homemade trail mix when I’m out and about. For a toddler, combine cereal, raisins, various nuts (best for kids two and up) and some dried fruit like figs, apricots, and mango.
Tofu bites. Want to get more protein into your tot? Try tofu. I love to give my toddler some cut up bean curd that’s been lightly fried with teriyaki sauce or sesame oil.
Frozen fruit pops Another way to enjoy a sweet treat is to freeze some fruit in a Popsicle tray. I like to use fresh or frozen berries that I mix with some yogurt and blend. Simply pour them in the trays for homemade fruit pop in a few hours. Need inspiration? Try these nutty yogurt pops.
Yogurt parfaits These are a great way to get your toddler to get involved in the kitchen. Have her layer a cup of yogurt with granola and fruit for a quick and tasty treat (just be sure to stick with plain or low-sugar yogurt). This Yogurt Swirl version is a great option for on-the-go snacking.
Baked fruit If you toddler doesn’t have that many teeth yet, you can bake fruit to soften it up. I like to cut up some apricots, pears, or peaches and lightly sprinkle them with a dash of cinnamon to enhance the fruits natural flavors. Be sure to bake for about 10 minutes and let cool completely before you serve to your tot.
Dips Hummus or a white bean dip are a great way for your toddler to explore new tastes and flavors while also enjoying a protein-rich snack. Pair it with some rice cakes or pita bread.
Roasted vegetables Instead of always serving frozen, consider roasting sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, butternut squash or broccoli for a delicious toddler snack idea. I love to cut up sweet potatoes in squares and drizzle them with olive oil for a yummy and healthy snack option. You can also make your own homemade fries or vegetable mash as your toddler tries a variety of new vegetables.
Puffs Puffs are one of the easiest snack ideas to carry – especially while on the go. Some of my favorites include Happy Baby’s Organic Green Puffs that include Organic Spinach, Organic Collard Greens and Organic Kale.
Yummy grains. Go beyond rice and serve your toddler some yummy grains like barley, quinoa, or bulgar. You can also turn it into a meal with some black beans or chickpeas.
Simple ideas for feeding tots between meals.