Finding healthy snacks for your toddler – and ones he or she will actually eat – can be a challenge. We are bombarded with thousands of unhealthy snack options, and sometimes it just seems easier to cave and run to a fast food drive-through, or grab a bag of chips from the checkout aisle. We've all been there, and have broken down in stressful situations (starving toddler wailing in the supermarket, strangers staring and giving you the stink-eye) by grabbing whatever junk food is within arm’s reach, tossing it to your child, and then feeling guilty later.
With a little planning ahead, these situations can be avoided, and you can be prepared to have healthy snacks to offer your toddler at all times.
One of our absolute favorite healthy snack options is made possible by Squooshi. If you love making baby food and toddler food from scratch, Squooshi reusable pouches are for you. Our toddler testers absolutely loved these pouches, especially since they are adorned with bright, colorful animals: a lion, bird, panda, and walrus.
Squooshi allows you the freedom of making your own baby food (try our spinach, apple, & rutabaga puree!)– selecting each ingredient that goes into the pouch – with the convenience of reusable pouches. These pouches have a little zipper on the bottom that can be used to fill the pouch with purees, yogurt, smoothies, etc., and the zipper also allows you to clean out the pouch when your child is finished with it.
Squooshi pouches are BPA, PVA, phthalate, and lead-free, so you can be sure that your child’s snack is being held in the safest packaging possible. Two sizes of pouches are available: 2.5 ounces and 4.5 ounces, and they are dishwasher and freezer-safe.
Pre-Cut Fruits & Vegetables
Toddlers love food that comes in “their size” – bite-sized foods of any kind can really excite them, including fruits & veggies. Keeping fresh fruits & vegetables in the house is always a great idea, but when you’re already late for heading out for the day, or your toddler is starving, the last thing you want to do is whip out a cutting board and start chopping.
Think about starting “produce cutting days” where you slice up several different kinds of fruits & veggies – think apples, peaches, pineapple, cherries, carrots, cucumbers, celery, etc. – that will last for several days in your refrigerator. For items that tend to turn brown when cut up (such as apples), add a little spritz of lemon juice to help slow oxidization. Store them in kid-friendly containers or plastic bags, so they're ready to grab at a moment's notice.
It’s much easier to make healthy decisions when the produce is already cut and ready, awaiting snack time. Older kids can even go into the fridge and pick out their own snacks, without you worrying about them needing to cut it themselves.
Clean Snacks For The Car
There's nothing worse than cleaning up a sticky car snack mess, or brushing out piles of crumbs from your toddler's car seat, so healthy, and non-messy, snacks for the car are a must!
Some tidier, non-sticky, non-crumbly choices are whole wheat wraps/tortillas cut into triangles, pretzels (for older children, to ensure no choking risk), natural/organic animal crackers, or organic fruit snacks. Another great idea is to pre-cook some whole wheat/high fiber pasta every week, store it in the refrigerator, and toss a few handfuls into a zip-top bag for a great on-the-go snack that is also crumb-free!
A Homemade Treat: Peanut Butter Honey Oatmeal Bars
Looking for a toddler-friendly snack that's packed with protein and fiber? Try these no-bake peanut butter, honey, oatmeal bars. The recipe is crazy simple, and versatile - you can add ingredients based on your toddler's favorite foods.
Here's What You Need:
Ground flax seeds, chia seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, peanuts, or chocolate chips, added to taste.
Here's What You Do:
Combine the peanut butter and honey into a large saucepan, and cook over low heat until the ingredients combine to reach a smooth consistency. Add in the oatmeal (and whichever optional ingredients you choose), and stir until thoroughly combined.
Pour the mixture into a 9x9 pan, pressing down so that it forms one large bar. When this has completely cooled, slice into squares and serve!
For more great ideas for your toddler, check out our NURTURE section!
Photo credit: Cookies For Breakfast