Healthy Snack Foods for Toddlers

* This is a guest post by Olivia Van Buren

Most mothers aim to provide their toddlers with a healthy and balanced diet, but we all know that a busy schedule and picky-eaters can sometimes get in the way of realizing those plans. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a whole arsenal of foods that are easy to make and that most kids love at your disposal?

 

 Healthy Snack Foods for Toddlers

It is easy to reach for french fries, chicken nuggets, or pizza, which most kids enjoy eating, when you are in a hurry and want to make sure that your child will eat what you present them with. But healthy foods can be enjoyable too!
Avoiding processed foods, especially trans fats and lots of sugar, will benefit your kids a life time. These quick food tips help you cut unhealthy snack foods out of your toddler’s diet, and will save you time and money too!

Fresh fruits with yoghurt

Kids need both calcium and the vitamins and fibers that are found in a lot of fruits. Combining probiotic yoghurt with fresh fruits such as apples, strawberries, berries, pineapple, or any other fruits you happen to have on hand is a great way to make sure that your child gets both these ingredients. A combination of fresh fruits and yoghurt, which you can top with some maple syrup to make it more sweet and interesting, will probably be more appealing to most children than either of them by themselves. Fresh fruits and a plain probiotic yoghurt are far healthier than commercial children’s yoghurts.

Home-made pita bread with dips

Pita bread is relatively easy to make, and quick too. You can make either plain pita bread, or bread with garlic or other spices. There are plenty of Middle Eastern dips that go really well in combination with this simple bread. Hummus is a dip made with chick-peas, garlic, and olive oil that can be very quick to make. Making hummus involves little more than blending these ingredients in a food processor until the mixture becomes homogenous.
Egg plant dips are also wonderful quick to make. Of course, you can also buy these products ready-made, and still offer a relatively healthy and tasty snack.

Nuts, raisins, and dried fruit

Once your child reaches two, these foods are one of the easiest and healthiest snack foods possible. Dried fruits such as figs and apricots can be cut into smaller pieces to make them easier to chew for little mouths. Banana chips are healthy, but still sweet, and dried apple chips are also a favorite among many kids.

Cheese cocktails

Cutting a few different kinds of cheese into squares and then piercing it with a tooth pick and adding cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, olives or radishes results in a healthy feast for the eye that any toddler would find hard to refuse. If they are very small or accident prone, leaving out the tooth pick is a good idea.

Olivia Van Buren is a mother and a journalist. She writes about reproductive rights and natural childbirth.

 

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Gera

Gera is a techie & foodie passionate about how to succeed in social media. He focuses also on successful blogging tips and food connections. You can connect with him on Google +. Subscribe to his Free WPulsar Newsletter about WordPress Plugin & Theme Reviews, Blogging and Social Media.

Belinda

Great ideas – I like the cheese cocktail – that would work on me, too.
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Christine

This is a great list! I don't have kids but I definitely should have some of these snacks around so that I'm encouraged to eat healthier.
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elra

This little girl remind me of one of my nephew, somehow he's born vegetarian. Only eat veggies and only eat it if they are still crunchy. My sister still actually trying hard to make him eat some meat or poultry, not successful yet. Btw, like most toddler, he hates raisin, love nuts, not so much into cheese though 🙁
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Soma

I have a little one at home whose diet and choices are limited and picky. I can imagine the struggle to feed healthy food. Yes raw vegetables and fruits is what she loves, tho not the same with cheese.

redkathy

Nice post! I did all of the above with my boys. Both love cheese and dried fruits. To this day they choose good food over junk. Veggies and "kid flavored" dips are another healthy alternative snack.
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Tia

My son is the pickiest 2 year old in the world. I don't so much as try to give him healthy food as I do trying to give him ANY food. 🙂

Your idea about the cheese would work, leaving off the veggies. He loves any kind of finger food like that so long as it fits in the following food groups: cheese, cereal, plain wheat bread, and more cereal!

Thanks again for the tips.

Tia
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zerrin

These are all great ideas! I will pass this article to my brother and his wife as they are trying to be very careful with my niece's diet.
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pegasuslegend

I can totally relate when my boys were younger did all of these things, that child above is absolutely gorgeous what a great informative fun post to read for young moms to instill good habits!
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will

Hallo Olivia,

That's not a bad way to start nibbling on life at all.

Very best wishes from Hamburg

Will
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FOODESSA

Well, Olivia….this is not only a great post that I'll pass along to my friends and family that have toddlers…I can see where I can enjoy your tips too ;o)
Very nice post…thank you.

Flavourful wishes,
Claudia
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Honey

Not only for toddlers, these are great for big people too. I definitely carry a snack box with fruit and nuts when I get the munchies at work. Better than reaching for a chocolate bar! 🙂

Rosa

Lovely snacks!

Cheers,

Rosa
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@natashacardinez

Great suggestions! These sound good even for adults too.

Claudia

Grand ideas. I fondly remember those days – and kids do love fruits and vegetables (cut small round ones in half!)

Cajun Chef Ryan

Great list of foods for toddlers Gera. We always struggled to find the best ingredients for our children as they were younger, always a challenge to keep them from eating too much fast food and junk!

Dried fruit is always good, but have to be careful with those that are coated with sugar first, you want the ones that are not treated with coatings.

Bon appetit!

Kevin_Martineau

Great suggestions! My children are a little bit older (5, 8, 11) but we work hard at providing healthy snacks for them.
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Not Quite Nigella

Great idea Gera! I think it's easy to forget how good and indeed easy it is to have a healthy snack for kids (and adults! :P)
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Camala - CC Recipe

Nice to meet ya Olivia…great post as a mom to toddlers and preschoolers these are snacks that I feed my kids every day! Thanks for sharing!
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Joanne

No toddlers in our house. In fact, I've never had kids but I hear it's quite the challenge getting children to eat what you want them to eat. Guess you have to just keep trying different, healthy, things until there's success.
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Carolyn Jung

Another great tip is to get kids involved in the meal-making. They will tend to want to eat it then. It can be as simple as having them help you plant and tend herbs and veggies in the backyard. Or mixing and stirring up ingredients in a bowl in the kitchen.
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Dee

Great list, I’m a total advocate of Mothers just getting into the kitchen to make healthy snacks. It can be so easy and kids like the process. The days of opening plastic bags and packets to feed out kids have to be over soon!
If you would like to share something on my site, I’d love to make it a feature. We have just launched but we have a kids section on there which I hope to encourage Mothers to just try simple things out.

Cole Stan

I still remember, as a toddler before, I just want to eat fried chicken! But, my dad knows how to encourage me to eat fishes and vegetables too. Since he has that dictator attitude, he make sure that he will be the one to serve the dish in my plate! He then give me my share of chicken legs!
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OysterCulture

Great ideas and great tips – I'm going to share this link with some parents of toddlers. Thanks for sharing.

MaryMoh

Great ideas…even for adults. Love that picture of the girl with the broccoli…….so adorable…healthy eating from young.
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Liz

Thanks, Gera for posting this important guest contribution. Good habits begin early. I have friends who have toddlers and small children, and I am passing this on to them. Please keep the stimulating ideas and your own wonderful posts coming!
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