Do toddlers need snacks? Absolutely. Whether your kiddos are at the park, home or preschool, there’s one thing you know for certain: your child is hungry! It’s time to break out the toddler snacks.
The list of snack ideas below will keep you and your toddler happy.
4 Things to Do When Choosing Toddler Snacks
Even the best chewers can get distracted, especially excited toddlers. Be sure to have children sit down to eat and tune into the foods while eating. No matter the food type, a distracted eater is a hazard. Here are some added tips for packing fun and safe snacks:
1. Keep Things Colorful
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Monochromatic lunches can be boring, so try adding pops of color with blue blueberries, purple grapes or bright red strawberries.
2. Add a Handful of Crunch
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Foods like crisp cucumbers or snappy pretzels are fun sensory foods for tongues.
3. Cut Out Shapes
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If your kids are really struggling to try new fruits and vegetables, use a cookie cutter ($12) to cut out a fun shape, or create an animal with the food to spark their interest. Think back to ants on a log (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins).
4. Make Safety a Priority
What foods should toddlers avoid? Consider choking hazards when packing toddler snacks. The most common choking hazards include:
- Hot dogs
- Round fruits and vegetables
- Hard candy
- Whole nuts
- Nut butter
Use this guide to choking prevention to avoid choking hazards and pack safe foods.
Healthy Snacks for Toddlers with Protein and Fat
Here are a couple of healthy protein snacks that are perfect for a lunchbox or snack at home.
What are good snacks for toddlers? Toddlers definitely need healthy fats as their brains continue to grow at a rapid pace.
Snacks for Toddlers on the Go
Snacking at the Park
If you’re headed out to the park, consider packing foods that can handle warm temperatures or be sure to use an ice pack. You also want to avoid snacks that are messy or will require a hand washing after and don’t pack snacks with wrappers in case trash receptacles are limited.
You want to pack every day’s lunch with healthy snacks for toddlers. Many schools now ask that you keep their space a nut-free zone, and we absolutely want to support those who have allergies. If your child loves peanut butter, opt for a sunflower butter instead! Here are a few preschool-friendly ideas:
You can pack a variety of the snacks above into a bento box lunch like this for your toddler.
One Last Note About Toddler Snacks
Remember that toddlers have varying appetites and energy needs. Some toddlers may be on the move all day long and hungry more often, and others may only graze. Tune them into their tummies and help foster their intuition in being a mindful eater. They’re actually better at this than most adults!
If you’re struggling and finding yourself engaging in food battles, then check the Ellyn Satter Institute to guide table talk and find ways to raise intuitive eaters.
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Cheeseburger Mini Muffins
I invented these cute little muffins so I could enjoy the flavor of cheeseburgers without resorting to fast food. I often freeze a batch and reheat however many I need, including as appetizers. —Teresa Kraus, Cortez, ColoradoGo to Recipe
Creamy Skillet Noodles with Peas
I’ve made this creamy noodle side for years. Since kids and adults go for it, I keep the ingredients on hand at all times. —Anita Groff, Perkiomenville, PennsylvaniaGo to Recipe
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
I first made this fresh, fruity salsa for a family baby shower. Everyone wanted the recipe. Now, someone makes this juicy snack for just about every family gathering—and I have to keep reminding everyone who introduced it! —Jessica Robinson, Indian Trail, North CarolinaGo to Recipe
Wheely-Good Pasta Salad
Red pepper pieces accent this yummy side dish, and the pasta wheels really drive the theme home. —Amber Kimmich, Powhatan, VirginiaGo to Recipe
Nothing is better than freshly made guacamole when you’re eating something spicy. It is easy to whip together in a matter of minutes and quickly tames anything that’s too hot. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, TexasGo to Recipe
Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
I love when an entire meal can be cooked outside on the grill and I don’t need to heat up the kitchen. These grilled sweet potatoes meet that requirement and are healthy, too! —Natalie Knowlton, Kamas, UtahGo to Recipe
Kids’ Favorite Chili
This third-generation hearty chili is a family favorite. It’s a sweet and easy chili that’s sure to warm up the whole family on those chilly fall nights. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, ColoradoGo to Recipe
Chocolate-Hazelnut Fruit Pizza
You can prepare this snackable pizza in just 10 minutes! It’s a fun way to sneak in those daily servings of fruit. —Dalynn Dowling, Grand Forks AFB, North DakotaGo to Recipe
PBJ on a Stick
Take the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the go with these skewers. They also make easy snacks. —Sara Martin, Brookfield, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Mini Mac & Cheese Bites
Young relatives were coming for a Christmas party, so I wanted something fun for them to eat. Instead, the adults devoured my mini mac and cheese. —Kate Mainiero, Elizaville, New YorkGo to RecipeTaste of Home
ABC Cheese Dip
My children like this dip because the seasoning is mild. You can use plain veggie sticks or cut out numbers and letters from the sweet peppers. —Kimberly Miller, Norfolk, VirginiaGo to Recipe
This recipe features the flavors of your favorite pie but only takes a few minutes to make—and there’s no cooking or baking required. Perfect for when you’re rushing to get kids on the bus! —Elizabeth Dumont, Boulder, ColoradoGo to Recipe
Pico de Gallo Black Bean Soup
Everyone at my table goes for this feel-good soup. It is quick when you’re pressed for time and beats fast food, hands down. —Darlis Wilfer, West Bend, WisconsinGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Pigs in a Pool
My kids love sausages and pancakes but making them during the week was out of the question. I bought the frozen variety on a stick but wasn’t keen on the calories, additives or price. This version of pigs-in-a-blanket is a tasty, thrifty alternative. —Lisa Dodd, Greenville, South CarolinaGo to Recipe
Apple and Peanut Butter Stackers
The best way to get kids interested in cooking and eating right is to let them help. These apple and peanut butter “sandwiches” are one fun way to pique their interest and kitchen creativity. —Shirley Warren, Thiensville, WisconsinGo to Recipe
We serve these quesadillas as chili dippers or load them up with salsa and sour cream for a super starter. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, ColoradoGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Lunch Box Pizzas
When you have these fun-to-make mini pizzas, it’s no challenge finding lunch fare that the kids enjoy. Plus they pack nicely in sandwich bags and travel well, so there’s no mess. —Rhonda Cliett, Belton, TexasGo to Recipe
Satisfying Tomato Soup
After craving tomato soup, I decided to make my own. My sister Joan likes it chunky-style, so she doesn’t puree. Serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich. —Marian Brown, Mississauga, OntarioGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Peanut Butter Granola Pinwheels
I came across this easy and tasty snack while searching online for healthy munchies for kids. Great for after school, it’s really quick to make and filling enough to hold the kids until dinner. To satisfy heftier appetites or to serve as a power lunch, cut each tortilla into fewer pieces or provide one per child. The recipe is easy to increase as needed. —Mary Haluch, Ludlow, MassachusettsGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Cheesy Egg Puffs
My father loves to entertain, and these buttery egg delights are one of his favorite items to serve at brunch. The leftovers are perfect to reheat in the microwave on busy mornings, so Dad always stashes a few aside for me to take home once the party is over. —Amy Soto, Winfield, KansasGo to Recipe
Strawberry Lime Smoothies
Peak-of-freshness strawberries make this thinner, easy drink a summer staple. —Elizabeth Johnson, Greenville, South CarolinaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Yogurt Dill Dip
Every person who tries this dip wants to know what makes it taste special. The secret is the blend of yogurt, sour cream and mayo. —Krisann Durnford, Muskego, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Pizza Meat Loaf Cups
Fix and freeze these moist little meat loaves packed with pizza flavor. They’re great to reheat for an after-school snack or quick dinner on soccer night. My family likes to drizzle extra pizza sauce on top. —Susan Wollin, Marshall, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
We came up with this fresh and fruity summer snack idea. It’s easy to make ahead and carry to the ballpark, beach or playground, and the cinnamon-spiced yogurt dip adds a fun touch kids love. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
When I was a girl, Mama used Texas longhorn cheese in this recipe. After it melted all over the macaroni, I loved to dig in and see how many strings of cheese would follow my spoonful. —Imogene Hutton, Brownwood, TexasGo to Recipe ⓘ