Coming up with yummy and healthy snack ideas for kids each day can be a big challenge. This master list of toddler snacks, which includes both fresh and store-bought, will make it easier to serve nutritious food that your kids will actually want to eat.
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of offering the same few foods…and having a toddler who wants to eat only a few foods! I hope this toddler snacks list helps to remind you of other options when you feel stuck or encourages you to try a few new foods with your little one.
You can try to pair up two items from different categories to keep things balanced and ensure the snack is filling. But if there are times when that doesn’t happen or a child isn’t hungry for more than one food, that is totally normal and OK, too.
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Healthy Snacks for Kids
I want to start by saying I think we often put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to snacks for kids. In reality, they don’t need to be perfect. And they can also be easy and include store-bought foods.
I always try to think of snacks as a way to offer foods we haven’t had a chance to enjoy at other meals, while also trying to avoid tracking nutrition too closely because that can quickly lead to anxiety.
I try to remember that most kids eat fairly balanced if you zoom out and look at their intake over the course of the week, so try that if each meal or a day seems less than balanced.
TIP: Here’s a downloadable and printable version of this post.
Healthy Fresh Fruit Snack Ideas for Kids
Here are some easy fresh fruit ideas to try with your kids. All are really fast, hydrating, and nutritious.
- Apples, thinly sliced into matchsticks or very, very thin slices
- Baked Apple Slices
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Citrus such as clementines, oranges, or mandarines, sliced
- Grapes, sliced in half vertically
- Fruit Cups: homemade or from the store in 100% juice
- Fruit Wands
- Peaches, sliced or stewed
TIP: Slice fresh fruit into small cubes or very thinly for little kids so the pieces are easy to bite.
Fresh Vegetable Toddler Snacks
Offering veggies at snack time is a helpful way to increase the odds that the kids will eat more throughout the day. Here are some easy ones. Use the visual above to know how to start offering raw veggies, working left to right as the kids improve their chewing skills.
- Avocado, cubed or mashed on bread or toast as avocado toast
- Snap peas, slivered as needed
- Cucumbers, sliced or diced
- Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- Roasted sweet potato
- Shredded carrots or carrot slices/sticks (raw carrots are very hard to chew, so make sure they are very thin to start)
- Thawed frozen peas
- Thawed frozen corn
- Thawed edamame
TIP: Offer a dip or sauce, such as ranch, guacamole, almond butter, salsa, sour cream, or hummus alongside any of these veggies to make them more flavorful and delicious.
Healthy Shelf-Stable Produce Ideas
These are some of the fruits and veggies I like to keep on hand in my pantry for additional options besides just fresh.
- Apple chips (homemade or Bare Snacks)
- Applesauce pouches
- Dried fruit (mango, apricots, cranberries, cherries, cut into small pieces as needed)
- Freeze-dried fruit and veggies
- Canned fruit in 100% juice
- Fruit leather (torn into little pieces as needed)
- Toddler pouches (like these Clearly Crafted ones or these yogurt pouches)
Product we love
These soft fruit and veggie bars are one of our very favorite toddler snacks. Use code yummy10 to save 10%.
Whole Grain Toddler Snacks
These are some of my favorite whole grain snacks for kids to give them lots of energy between meals.
TIP: These Oatmeal Muffins are a forever favorite of ours.
Crunchy Kids Snacks
Kids often like crunchy textures, which can be really helpful sensory input. Jus steer clear of foods like chips or tortilla chips since they can be hard to chew and potential choking hazards. Here are some safer ideas with crunch.
TIP: Avoid whole nuts and popcorn until over age 4 to lessen the risk of choking.
Healthy Dairy Snack Ideas
Feel free to pair any of these with a fruit for an easy snack. Whole-milk dairy will help keep the kids fuller until the next meal (and often tastes better!).
TIP: We love the Beets n’ Berries Smoothie Melts from Amara, which are a shelf-stable yogurt melt with organic fruits, veggies, and whole milk and are a quick-dissolve, safe snack for little kids. (sponsored)
Protein Toddler Snacks
Snacks can be a great time to offer protein from vegetarian or meat-based sources. Here are some of our favorite easy options.
- Beans, slightly mashed or as hummus
- Hummus (on crackers, bread, or as a veggie dip)
- Chickpeas (like these Soft-Baked Cinnamon Chickpeas)
- Chopped cashews and walnuts (2 or 3 and up)
- Cubed chicken
- Cubed turkey
- Deli meat (sliced turkey, ham, or salami, cut up as needed)
- Eggs, hard-cooked, scrambled, or as Egg Muffins
- Edamame, thawed and out of the pods
- Frozen peas, thawed
- Nut butter or sunflower seed butter (on toast, on apple slices, as a dip for pretzels, etc)
- Peanut Butter Muffins or Protein Muffins
Downloadable Snack List
You can download a condensed version of this post in my free Resource Library. Feel free to print it out and keep it close by for easy reference when you need it.
Best Tips for Toddler Snacks
- You can always serve leftovers as snacks or as a mini meal, especially if the kids are starting to refuse “regular” foods and only wanting snacks.
- Zoom out to look at what your child is eating over a whole week if you’re worried they aren’t eating much variety. That is a more accurate picture of their food intake.
- Remember that appetite can vary from meal to meal and day to day. It is very hard to accurately predict another person’s hunger, so let the kids show you how hungry they are.
- Learn about the Division of Responsibility as an approach to mealtimes that can alleviate stress.
- Find my favorite Easy Snacks to Make at Home, Oatmeal Bars, and Breakfast Bars to help offer more ideas for homemade snacks.
I’d love to hear about your favorite snacks for kids, so please chime in below in the comments!
This first was first published February 2018.