Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks for Toddlers
Drumming up yummy, easy, and healthy on-the-go snack ideas for toddlers is…tricky to say the least! But it is an important to-do. Healthy snacks are a pivotal part of toddlerhood and a must-have with hectic schedules and long stretches away from home. But since tiny tummies fill up fast, you do not want to waste eating opportunities on low-to no-nutrient snacks like chips and fruit gummies. Instead, make every bite count with these nutritious on-the-go toddler snacks!
On-the-Go Toddler Snack Must: Fruit-Based Snacks
Dried, whole, sauced, baked: Fruit comes in many forms your toddler will love! But just remember, 'gummy' is not one of them! (Not only are gummy fruit snacks a choking hazard for children under 4, they are not a healthy snack choice, rather a glorified candy.) Some healthy fruit snacks to offer your toddler include:
1. Clementines These teeny citrus fruits were made for kids on the go! They are super-easy to peel and an excellent source of vitamin C, a key nutrient that helps to heal cuts and maintain immune health.
2. Dried cherries Dried fruit is a great on-the-go option, especially since you do not have to worry about browning or bruising like you would with some fresh fruit. A great pick: Dried cherries. They are a surprisingly good source of both beta-carotene (healthy eyes, skin, and immune system) and iron (crucial for learning and memory). To prevent choking, always chop pitted dried cherries before packing and serving.
3. Freeze-dried strawberries Freeze-dried strawberries make for an excellent long-term storable snack that offers a sweet and crunchy all-in-one. Nutrition-wise, freeze-dried strawberries are a good source of iron and fiber, and they are free of added sugar.
4. Unsweetened applesauce Unsweetened applesauce pouches are brimming with vitamin C and make a simple spoon-free snack that will surely ward off tummy grumbles.
On-the-Go Toddler Snack Must: Veggie-Based Snacks
If you have a picky eater who tends to shun vegetables at meals, you may have better luck at snack time, when the vibe tends to be more relaxed. Think of grab-and-go veggie snacks as a fun opportunity for your toddler to try new foods in new forms that will help increase their acceptance of good-for-you veggies.
5. Sliced cherry tomatoes and cucumbers A small snackable salad of sliced cherry tomatoes and cucumbers is sure to please. This delicious duo provides vitamin C, vitamin K, along with water to help with hydration. (Cutting round foods such as cherry tomatoes in half helps prevent choking.)
6. Sugar snap peas This plant-powered snack is maxed out in good nutrition with vitamin A, vitamin C, choline, potassium, fiber, folate, and more. Toddlers who are at least 3 years old can tickle their taste buds by dipping snap peas in ranch yogurt or red pepper hummus dip. For younger toddlers, pop out the peas or cut the whole pod into thin slivers.
7. Seaweed snacks The green, tasty snack strips offer iron, calcium, and folate, bringing some excellent benefits to your little one’s health. The best part: Since dry seaweed has a long shelf life, you can easily store this snack in the car for a quick anytime munch.
8. Roasted chickpeas Fuel your toddler’s body with lightly salted roasted chickpea snacks. Not only are they a great source of fiber to keep the bowels moving and grooving, they also offer iron to help prevent anemia. Roast for about 15 minutes at 163 degrees Celsius to ensure a soft bite.
9. Salsa and toasted pita Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, onion! There are so many veggies that can be crammed into a delicious salsa. Stash some in a lock-tight to-go container along with fiber-rich whole grain pita for a vitamin-packed and tasty snack.
On-the-Go Toddler Snack Must: Crunchy Snacks
10. Dry cereal Toss a low-sugar cereal into a container and be on your way. It does not get any more convenient than that! Cheerios, Chex, and Kix are all great options filled with B vitamins for energy, iron for healthy blood flow, and calcium to support bones and teeth.
11. Crushed nuts and seeds Give your little one a protein and fiber boost with nuts and seeds. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds also boast calcium, iron, and brain-nourishing omega-3 fatty acids. And cashews, peanuts, and almonds offer potassium and choline to boot! The safest way to serve nuts and seeds to toddlers is to crush or sliver them. Try sprinkling some over yogurt or cottage cheese in a to-go container.
12. Snap pea crisps A crunchy version of toddler favourite fresh snap peas, these snacks are their crunchy cousin! Here, your kid gets a fiber kick and the crunch they love.
On-the-Go Toddler Snack Must: Make-Ahead Snacks
13. Toddler trail mix The best thing about this nut-free trail mix is that there is no wrong way to make it! Simply adjust to your kid’s preferences. Some healthy, yummy, and safe toddler ingredients to consider: apple chips, dry cereal or puffs, soft roasted chickpeas, yogurt melts, shredded coconut, dehydrated, freeze-dried, or chopped dried fruit. (Mini dark chocolate chips can be a fun add-in, but since they can melt, be mindful about when to use.)
14. Homemade mini muffins Mini muffins are versatile, freezer-friendly, and delicious. When possible use healthier ingredients like whole wheat flour, flaxseeds, oats, Greek whole milk yogurt, and unsweetened applesauce to make bite-size banana, blueberry, pumpkin, zucchini, spinach, or sweet potato muffins.
15. Banana choco-oat cookie This quick-prep snack offers lots of potassium and filling fiber that will not disappoint your toddler’s taste buds! Simply mash three ripe bananas in a bowl and mix with 400 grams of old fashioned oats and about 64 grams of chocolate chips. Use a mini ice cream scoop to form cookies. Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes.
16. Portable fruit and veggie purees Make your own squeezable fruit and veggie purees! Toss 64 grams frozen pineapple tidbits, 64 grams frozen strawberries, a handful of fresh spinach, and 230 millilitres of your child's favourite milk into the blender. Mix until smooth, adding more liquid if needed, then transfer to a reusable pouch. Toss in your insulated cooler and be on your way to slurp-worthy snacking.
On-the-Go Toddler Snack Must: Cooler Snacks
Like a couple of the healthy snacks mentioned above, these on-the-go eats need to be kept cold to be safe to eat. Store these snacks in an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack for on-the-go snacking.
17. Tuna salad and whole grain crackers Tuna is a nutrition gold mine, packed with protein and omega 3 fatty acids, making it an excellent mini-meal when paired with whole grain crackers. To further boost nutrition and flavour, add finely chopped onions and celery to the tuna, along with some mashed avocado.
18. Cheese sticks A toddler-favourite, cheese sticks are a terrific portable snack that makes eating that much more fun. They are filled with protein, calcium, vitamin A, and fats to support your toddler's bone strength, vision health, and brain growth.
19. Yogurt tubes Yogurt tubes quickly deliver calcium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and vitamin D to your toddler. They are also a great source of probiotics to keep your little one’s digestive system in tip-top health. You can easily make your own with reusable yogurt tubes and plain whole milk yogurt and serve as-is...or you can add items like applesauce, diced fruit, or mashed banana. This way you get all of the flavour and nutrition without the excess sugar and food colouring of the store-bought tubes.
20. Hard-boiled eggs Eggs are loaded with protein, iron, vitamin D, vitamin A, and B vitamins. Plus, they are highly affordable tummy-filling snacks that do not take much time to prepare.
21. Milk or soy milk Milk or soy milk in an individual carton can moonlight as a satisfying snack. Your kid will drink up around eight grams of protein in every carton along with lots of calcium and vitamin D to help meet their daily nutrition needs. (Skip the flavoured varieties though. Toddlers do not need the added sugar!)
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.