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’s 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 don’t 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” isn’t one of them! (Not only are gummy fruit snacks a choking hazard for children under 4, they’re not a healthy snack choice, rather a glorified candy.) Some healthy fruit snacks to offer your tot include:
1. Clementines These teeny citrus fruits were made for kids on the go! They’re 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 don’t have to worry about browning or bruising like you would with some fresh fruit. A great pick: Dried cherries. They’re 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’re free of added sugar.
4. Unsweetened applesauce Unsweetened applesauce pouches are brimming with vitamin C and make a simple spoon-free snack that’ll 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’ll 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. Tots 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 325 degrees Fahrenheit 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 doesn’t 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 favorite fresh snap peas, these snacks are their crunchy cousin! Here, your kiddo 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’s no wrong way to make it! Simply adjust to your kiddo’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 won’t disappoint your toddler’s taste buds! Simply mash three ripe bananas in a bowl and mix with 2 cups of old fashioned oats and about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Use a mini ice cream scoop to form cookies. Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes.
16. Portable fruit and veggie purees Make your own squeezable fruit and veggie purees! Toss a half cup frozen pineapple tidbits, a half cup frozen strawberries, a handful of fresh spinach, and one cup of your child's fave 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 flavor, add finely chopped onions and celery to the tuna, along with some mashed avocado.
18. Cheese sticks A toddler-favorite, cheese sticks are a terrific portable snack that makes eating that much more fun. They’re filled with protein, calcium, vitamin A, and fats to support your tot’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’re 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 flavor and nutrition without the excess sugar and food coloring of the store-bought tubes.
20. Hard-boiled eggs Eggs are loaded with protein, iron, vitamin D, vitamin A, and B vitamins. Plus, they're highly affordable tummy-filling snacks that don’t take much time to prep.
21. Milk or soy milk Milk or soy milk in an individual carton can moonlight as a satisfying snack. Your kiddo 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 flavored varieties though. Toddlers don’t 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.