Snacky kids? Here are some of my favorite natural and organic healthy snacks for toddlers. They are perfect for tiny snackers but totally suitable for adults, too!
Demi is talking up a storm these days – some of it we understand, some of it we don’t. And it should come as no surprise that my favorite words so far are food-related. Hummi (hummus), olla (olives), pa-ta (pasta) and her latest, nack (snack). ‘Nacks’ are requested (ok, demanded) many, many times from the moment she gets up until the moment she goes to bed.
And while I’m slightly against snacking (only because I want her to eat real meals and not crackers all day long), I’ve learned to loosen up when it comes to things like this. In a perfect world, she’d eat well-rounded meals full of vegetables, protein, whole grains and healthy fats (and sometimes she does!) and not be interested in crackers all day long. But life isn’t perfect and I’m certainly not perfect so I’m taking this as a lesson in parenting.
The truth is that snacks are a part of life. For kids, for adults, for toddlers. When it comes to snacks, fresh produce is a great option and incorporating them into snacks can certainly help kids reach the recommended daily 5-servings of fruits and vegetables. I try to buy fruit in season so it changes throughout the year, berries, stone fruits, apples, pears, etc. – and always bananas! Cucumbers, thin carrot sticks, roasted vegetables, etc. with a dip are a good option for vegetable snacks.
But fresh produce isn’t always easy or accessible or demanded…and that’s where these snacks come in. Some are leaning a bit more on the treat side, but still pretty good options.
Note: you’ll notice that I call out many of these snacks as being good options because they have protein. Not because I think toddlers need crazy amounts of protein, but let’s face it, they tend to choose carbs over anything else!
Healthy Snacks for Toddlers
Siggi’s Yogurt Tubes: I love Siggi’s yogurt and while I always prefer full-fat dairy, the (low-fat) tubes are FUN! It’s a nice dose of protein that’s low in sugar. (Demi took yogurt tubes for her 1st birthday treat at daycare and literally cried when she finished hers.)
Mini LaraBars: If you haven’t had larabars before, they are almost all made entirely of nuts and dried fruit. The sugars are a little higher (about 10 grams) but because it’s from a natural source and balanced with some protein and fat from the nuts I’m ok with it – Demi thinks they are a total treat.
Annie’s Bunnies: Bunnies come in a few varieties, but the whole wheat ones are my favorite – because the first ingredient is whole grain flour. They are also a fun shape for little fingers and they taste great!
Pea Crisps: When Demi started eating solid foods, we didn’t go the baby puff route, but instead, pea crisps. They are cheaper and I prefer the ingredients in the pea crisps. They are easy for early eaters because they have the similar light and airy texture as the puffs.
Cottage Cheese: It tastes good and it’s full of protein. Eat it plain, top it with fruit or applesauce, or something savory like chopped cucumber, tomato and dill.
Applesauce/Fruit Pouches: Applesauce and pouches don’t have much to them in terms of protein or healthy fats, but they are tasty and kids love them. Pair it with some cottage cheese if you want/need something with some staying power.
Granola Bars: I don’t know what it is about these granola bars, but they are SO good and taste like a treat. (I normally don’t like it when people say something like a granola bar tastes like a cookie, but these kind of do!)
Roasted Seaweed: I didn’t think of this snack, but when daycare told me Demi loved seaweed I started adding it to her snack rotation. We all love seaweed and while there isn’t much to it (super low-calorie) they are good for snacking.
Cheese: If you know me at all, you know our family eats a lot of cheese. We always have a few varieties of cheese in the fridge, but I like to have a bag of cheese sticks that are ready to throw in a bag or lunch box. Organic Valley is one of my preferred dairy brands: it’s a Wisconsin brand, I love that the dairy comes from small farms and…QUALITY!
What are your favorite snacks for little ones (or yourself)? I’m always looking for new ideas!