Snacks are important part of a healthy diet for busy toddlers. Before reaching for the fish shaped crackers again, try these easy and fun snacks first.
1) Bell Pepper Strips
If vegetables have no friend in your toddler, start by offering strips of the sweeter red pepper.
Portable and full of potassium, you can never go wrong with a banana.
3) Black Olives
Make sure you serve at least ten- one to stick on each finger!
Cherries are in season from mid- to late summer. Like bananas, they are a good source of potassium. Removing the pits is a pain, but a cherry pitting tool, which can be purchased at most stores with a kitchen utensil section, makes quick work of the job.
These fuzzy green fruits have a soft texture that is great for toddlers still getting their teeth. They are also nutritional powerhouses, with tons of fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium.
6) Better Than Cheesecake Snack
Spread a small dab of cream cheese on a graham cracker, then top with thin slices of fresh strawberries.
7) Hard Boiled Egg
Hard boiled eggs are a convenient snack because you can boil several at a time, then store in the fridge for convenience. An egg white on its own contains almost four grams of protein, and is also a good source of magnesium. Serving the yolk will provide your toddler with lutein and Vitamin A. To make the yolk of a hard boiled egg more palatable, serve it like a deviled egg. Mash the yolk, then add a touch of mayonnaise and mustard and sprinkle of black pepper before spooning it back into the boiled egg white.
Pass on the high fructose corn syrup by buying the natural variety, then flavor it yourself with a pinch each of cinnamon and real sugar.
9) Peanut Butter on Celery
A classic snack loved by many for its crunchy goodness. Stringy celery is best for older toddlers.
Bake your own at home, where you can control the ingredients. Baking from scratch is surprisingly quick and easy. Substitute yogurt or applesauce for half of the oil in your recipe, or mix in a banana puree for a wet ingredient.
Apple slices can be a choking hazard, so make sure to peel and dice this fiber-filled fruit for younger toddlers. For older toddlers, spread peanut butter on thin slices- delicious!
Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are all delicious. Use a melon baller to make fun round shapes for older toddlers, or just cube it and serve with a toothpick and close supervision.
Blend frozen strawberries, a few ounces of vanilla yogurt, and a splash of juice into a smooth consistency. Eat it with a spoon, or thin the smoothie with a little more juice so it’s sipable.
14) Freezer Peas or Corn Kernels
Frozen veggies such as peas or corn kernels are inexpensive, quick, and perfect for little hands. Thaw by running under water, or cover with a little water and zap in the microwave for a few seconds.
15) Air Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is not appropriate for younger toddlers, but if you have an older toddler it is a great whole grain snack. Sprinkle on seasonings such as lemon pepper or cinnamon and sugar instead of salt and butter.
16) Dill Pickles
Spears or snack-sized, pickles are always a hit. Roll one up inside a slice of ham for a really yummy treat.
Blueberries are a good source of fiber and Vitamin C. Small and portable, they are great snack when you are on the go with your toddler.
18) Canned Fruit
To get the most nutritional benefit, fruit is best served in its original state. However, if you need a quick, convenient snack or are running low on fresh produce, don’t overlook canned fruit, such as pears or peaches. You can buy peaches packed in fruit juice and pears in extra light syrup, with minimal added sugar.
19) Cucumber Slices
Cucumber slices are tasty and refreshing.
These small, sweet mandarin oranges are a perfect snack for toddlers because they are easy to peel, delicious, and the sections are just the right size for little hands.
String cheese is fun and cubes of cheddar are the perfect size for toddler fingers.
22) Homemade Trail Mix
Store bought trail mixes may contain ingredients inappropriate for toddlers, such as nuts or raisins. Make your own at home with ingredients such as dry cereal, dried apples or banana chips, or even a few chocolate chips for a treat.
Whole wheat or cinnamon raisin, large or mini, there are many bagel varieties on the market today.
24) Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Make sure to cut these toddler-sized tomatoes in half before serving to your toddler.
25) Cottage Cheese
One half cup of cottage cheese has a whopping fourteen grams of protein. To make it more visually appealing, add in chopped pears or peaches.
Dress up a serving of plain vanilla yogurt by topping it with a little bit of granola, diced strawberry and banana, or a pinch of cake decorating sprinkles.
Nectarines are a great fruit for younger toddlers because of their soft texture.
28) Whole Grain Crackers
Many brands are now offering crackers made with whole grains. Check the label for whole wheat flour, and don’t assume that multi-grain is the same. Serve them plain, or with a dab of peanut butter or cream cheese.
Like nectarines, plums have a soft texture perfect for toddlers who don’t have all their teeth in yet.
30) Fruit Juice Popsicles
Make snack size popsicles by pouring your toddler’s favorite fruit juice into the compartments of an ice cube tray. Cover the tray with a sheet of plastic wrap. Once the popsicles are slushy, stick a toothpick in each compartment to serve as a toddler size popsicle stick. Once completely frozen, peel back the sheet of plastic wrap and enjoy.