Organic, all natural, non-GMO, gluten-free, grass-fed, hormone-free and non-lactose. Once upon a time, processed food laid claim to all of the hard-to-understand lingo but if you are trying to eat healthy, life can be just as complicated! As a mom, your first concern is feeding your baby or toddler a well-balanced diet that will give them good eating habits for life so you don’t really have time to decipher the jargon.
Snacking is a major part of that diet since most babies and toddlers have 2-3 snacks a day. Additionally, young children are reaching some major milestones, including eating solid foods and tackling “finger foods” as they master the use of their pincer fingers. It’s no wonder that finding a nice array healthy, child-friendly snacks can become quite the conundrum! However, we’ve done our research so that you don’t have to, and we have great recommendations for healthy snacks for your baby and toddler sure to be a hit in any household!
- Cheese: As a mom, I could spend my entire day eating a plethora of cheeses (even the smelly ones). But, your toddler can also enjoy this yummy, easy-to-pack snack! This great source of calcium makes a fun finger food and you can cube it or cut it into cute figures for your little one. Use a pretzel to spear it or make fun fruit-and-cheese kabobs for your toddler.
- Mini-muffins: These are a yummy handheld snack and travel well in a diaper bag or snack bag. Using a mini-muffin tin, make fun-sized snacks for the ones you love and include delicious delicacies like banana, oatmeal, zucchini, and carrot muffins. This is a great way to get whole grains as well as fruits or veggies into your child’s diet. And because they crumble, you can make the bites as small and as age appropriate as you need from your baby to your preschooler.
- Apples, Bananas and Pears, oh my! Children love fruit, and as a mom, you should love to give it to them! It’s healthy, it’s yummy and it’s easy to prepare or take on the go. Bananas, pears, apples, blueberries, grapes, kiwi – the list of what your baby will love goes on. Always be sure to chop or slice the fruit into pieces so they are large enough to be finger foods but small enough to be chewed, gummed and swallowed. You can go with just one fruit per snack or make a delicious fruit salad combo that your little one will love. The king of healthy snacks, you will never go wrong with fruit!
- Yogurt: No matter the age, this delicacy never seems to go out of style. Eaten plain or dressed up with oatmeal or fruit, children love this excellent source of calcium. You can freeze it and make yogurt pops, blend it with fruit for smoothies, or just keep it simple and serve it in a bowl. Do read labels and consider sugar and sodium content when choosing your brand and style of yogurt as some kinds can be heavy in these categories.
- Hummus: This Middle Eastern spread is excellent served at a cocktail party or with your child’s crackers or veggies. A pureed mix of chickpeas, hummus is a treasure trove of vitamins and nutrients. Serve it with crunchy foods such as carrot sticks, cucumbers or crackers or on soft pitas and tortillas for little ones still trying out their chompers.
- The Incredible Edible Egg: The American Egg Board coined this slogan to promote their product, and moms should be happy they did. Eggs are a good snack food for babies and toddlers and can be cooked and served in numerous ways to keep little mouths happy. Hard-boil and dice them, scramble them or fry them and serve them in a yummy pita. Eggs provide little one with a good portion of their daily protein so everyone will be happy with the results!
- Whole Grains Cereals: When looking into cereals, you have to acknowledge that these are often processed foods; after all, grains are taken and made into various, kid-sized shapes such as puffs or Os. However, there are cereals with good fiber content yet still low in sugar and salt that your child will enjoy. The undisputed pluses to cereal? It’s a great finger food for babies or young children, travels well and can make a snack or a meal, depending on what you need.
So there you have it! A list of healthy snacks for your baby and toddler that are sure to please you too! As with any good nutrition plan, try to vary the options and don’t be afraid to add in new ones. This is your starting point to developing happy, healthy eaters for life!
Yum-Yum and Happy Parenting!
- Plant, Jacqueline; Berg, Fraya and Brookhart-Schervish, Lori. “The 34 Best Snacks for Kids.” Parents.com. https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/feeding/healthy-eating/the-20-best-snacks-for-kids/
- Rosenbloom, Cara. “7 Healthiest Cereals Your Kid Will Love.” Todaysparent.com. August 14,2017. https://www.todaysparent.com/kids/kids-health/7-healthiest-cereals-your-kids-will-love/