Easy and healthy snack ideas for toddlers

by Samantha Ball |

It's always tempting to reach for the biscuits when your toddler shouts "I'm hungry" on repeat and you have a million things to do, but why not prepare for those dreaded moments with some delicious, healthy snacks that your toddler will love?

Although grabbing the biscuits out of the cupboard might seem like the easiest option at the time, we all know what happens when the sugar wears off. So why not chop a few veggies or some fruit in the morning, or even get your toddler to help bake some healthy snacks ready for snack time?

That way you aren't tempted to reach for the unhealthy snacks.

‘Because your baby has such a small stomach, every mouthful counts, so pack each meal with lots of nutrients,’ says Sarah Shenker from The Nutrition Society. 

'A good diet lays the foundations of your baby’s body, so prime your baby’s palate with these tasty superfoods.'

Opting for nutritious foods will help your toddler to feel both energised and satisfied, so you may even notice those sugar and overtired tantrums happen less.

We've made a list of delicious snack ideas that are not only healthy, but so yummy your toddler won't refuse them.

12 easy snack ideas for toddlers:

1) Banana slices

Most toddlers love bananas and they are a huge win for their nutrients! They are full of vitamins, potassium and magnesium, which is great for bone formation.

2) Watermelon triangles

Watermelons are very refreshing for little ones and are a great source of vitamin A and C. Chopping a watermelon into little triangles makes it easy for little hands to hold, or even pop a lolly stick into the end to make fun watermelon lollies!

3) Rice cakes

Either use mini rice cakes and put a small dollop of houmous on top, or larger ones and then break into small pieces. The houmous stops them from being too dry but you could also top with cream cheese. Plain rice cakes are an ideal snack when you’re out

Although rice cakes aren't full of nutrients, they make a great substitute for sugary biscuits. You can even top them with a bit of peanut butter and chopped fruit!

4) Fruit and veggie smoothies

Remember those purees you became an expert at making? Turn them into delicious smoothies using the food combinations your little ones loved! Smoothies are great in between meals to fill their little tummies or even as a breakfast drink to fill them while lunch.

5) Apple slices

Chopping an apple into slices makea a great snack for toddlers as well as helping with toddler weaning. They are highly nutritional, but if your little one can't be tempted by them, why not dip them in a little bit of peanut butter or nutella?

6) Dried fruit

Dried fruits are healthy little snack ideas and super convenient as you can store them in your cupboards for a lot longer than fresh fruit! Buy packets of raisins, cranberries and even mango to store away. You can even pop the little packets into your bag for a healthy and tasty snack on the go.

7) Pitta triangles with avocado dip

Mash an avocado to make a dip and cut some pitta bread into triangles for a healthy snack. Add a bit of lemon or honey to the avocado to make it a little bit sweeter if your toddler prefers it! You can even use hummus instead of an avocado.

8) Celery sticks

Celery sticks are great for dipping in hummus and other sauces, but they're even better for making little celery boats! Fill the middle with cream cheese, hummus or something else your little one loves and even top with a bit of dried fruit. It's a great, healthy snack choice!

9) Fruit lollies

Who doesn't love an ice lolly? Make your own lollies by blending fresh fruit and yoghurts, then pop the mixture into lolly moulds and put them in the freezer for at least 4 hours. It's quick and easy to do and your little ones won't be able to get enough of them. Homemade fruit lollies are great for the warmer weather too, and a healthy alternative to the ice cream man!

10) Veggie sticks

When you're making dinner, chop a few extra slices of vegetables up and pop them in a tub in the fridge to use as snacks the next day. It saves you time and the colourful mixture of veggies will look appealing to your little one. Veggies are packed full of nutrients, so mix up what you give your toddler!

11) Strawberries

A popular snack for toddlers! Strawberries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants which are great for growing little ones. You can make healthy smoothies and ice lollies from them, or simply chop them in half for a delicious snack.

12) Veggie muffins

Veggie muffins are a great way to sneak in some of your toddlers five-a-day. It's just like a normal muffin, but with diced vegetables instead of chocolate chips! Add in your little one's favourite veggies and they'll love their healthy cakes at snack time.

Why not check out this yummy cheese and cherry tomato muffin recipe to get you started?

Don't worry if you haven't got time to prepare and make these snacks in between your busy schedule. There are plenty of healthy snack options to buy from the supermarket to keep in your handbag or at the back of the cupboard for those times you've not got time to prep the snacks yourself. We've put together a list of some of our favourite pre-prepared snacks to buy when you're doing your weekly shop.

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Fruit Bowl Mango Flakes (£2 for a pack of 6 bags, available from Tesco stores)

The Fruit Bowl range provides a variety of tasty and fun fruit snacks. They contain six times their own weight in fruit and Mango Flakes count as one of your child’s five-a-day, plus there’s no added sugar, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.

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