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
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!
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.
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.
Nush Dairy-Free Strawberry Almond Milk Yoghurt (RRP of £1.50 for 120g)
This ymmy yoghurt can be enjoyed as a direct alternative to its dairy equivalent and is also free from gluten, soya, preservatives, additives and refined sugar.
Highly versatile, Nush Strawberry is a great way to kick-start the day at breakfast, is a perfect post workout pick-me-up and it can also be enjoyed as a nourishing dessert. Kids love it for its natural sweetness, making it a favourite after school snack that keeps hunger pangs at bay.
Ella’s Kitchen Melty Puffs, 79p, available from Waitrose
These fruity puffs have no added sugar, salt or nasties, making them a perfect addition for your kitchen cupboards. They are suitable for ages six months + babies and are just the right shape and size to help little hands learn to pick up food on their own. They’re also super melty to disappear in little mouths!
Banana suckies pouches, 79p per 100g pouch, available from Waitrose and Ocado (thecollectivedairy.co.uk)
These new banana suckies pouches are free from genetically modified ingredients, gluten, artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and are suitable for vegetarians, with no pips and bits. Really handy snacks for taking your toddler out and about, pop one in your handbag and off you go.
Del Monte Squeezies, 79p each, from ASDA stores.
These Squeezies count as one of your child’s five-a-day, with lots of vitamins and minerals and no added sugar. They’re made from 100% real fruit, in three flavours: Apple, Banana & Strawberry; Apple & Mango ; and Apple, Strawberry & Blueberry.
BEAR Claws, £2.49 (for a Multipack of 5 x 18g), Sainsbury’s
BEAR Claws are 100% pure fruit and vegetable kids’ snacks mashed into monster shapes. With no added nonsense and 1/3 vegetables they are a great way to get the little ones to eat more veggies and are one of your five a day. They’re available in four flavours : Strawberry & Butternut, Apple, Pear & Pumpkin, Blackcurrant & Beetroot and Mango & Carrot.
Heinz Mini Farley’s Rusks, £1.69 (4 x 33g)
A classic rusk is the perfect first snack for your little one as he can suck on them until they’re soft enough to swallow if he doesn’t have many teeth. Suitable from four months.
Little Beasts cereal bars, £3.99 for a box of 6, myprotein.com
These new Little Beasts cereal bars are packed full of protein and vitamins, perfect for healthy snacks on the go for your little ones. Available in three flavours: Double Chocolate, Toffee & Banana, and Strawberry & Raspberry.
Plum Mighty 4 Pouch, £1.19
This pouch contains four food groups – the mighty 4 – fruit, vegetables, dairy and ancient grains such as quinoa, millet and amaranth. When mixed with tasty fruits and yogurt, they provide plenty of nutrients and make a great snack for your baby. Suitable from 12 months.
Ella’s Kitchen Raspberry and Vanilla Puffits, £1.99 (5 x 6g bags)
This multi-grain cereal snack has puffs of rice that melt in your baby’s mouth, but are firm enough for his little fingers to hold. Perfect for keeping your toddler distracted while you wait for your meal to arrive in a busy restaurant.
Kiddylicious Sweet Potato Crisps, £0.70
A bag of these healthy crisps provides one of your 5-a-day and your toddler will love the natural sweetness from the sweet potato.
Goodies Sweetcorn Salsa Snappy Puffs, £1.99 (4 x bags, ASDA)
Get your toddler used to interesting flavours such as coriander and spices with these baked corn snacks. Suitable from 12 months.
Annabel Karmel Mini Breadsticks, £1.29
This tin of mini breadsticks is perfect for when you’re on the go. They’re made from wholewheat flour to up your baby’s fibre intake. Suitable from 12 months.
Plum Little Yums Spinach, Apple & Kale Wafers, £2.49
Made from the nutritious buckwheat grain, these wafer also contain fruit and vegetables. They’re a great first snack if your baby is teething and as they’re easy to hold, they’re useful for encouraging self-feeding. Suitable from six months.
Heinz Breakfast Biscotti, £1.99
These are made with a blend of six grains and contain inulin, a natural plant prebiotic that helps support healthy digestion by encouraging ‘good’ bacteria in your baby’s stomach. Suitable from 6+ months.
Annabel Karmel Raisins, £1.69
Giving your baby or toddler this bag of raisins can aid the development of his manual dexterity and fine motor skills – those are the movements he makes with his thumb and finger as he picks the raisins up to eat them. Suitable from 12 months.
Cow & Gate’s 100% Fruit Pouches, £0.79
These fruit pouches provide one portion of fruit and a third of your baby’s daily requirement for vitamin C, helping to strengthen his immune system and avoid illness. Suitable from four months.
HiPP Organic Little Nibbles Elephant Biscuits, 1.59
These apple-flavoured biscuits are the perfect little treat for when your toddler is hungry. Suitable from 12 months.
Organix Raspberry & Blueberry Rice Cakes, £1.19
These organic wholegrain rice cakes are perfectly sized for little fingers. They’re firm enough to hold, but gentle on delicate gums. There flavoured using natural fruit juice and no added flavours. Suitable from seven months.
Ella’s Kitchen The White One, £2.99 (4 x 90g packs)
For something different from the usual smoothies, this one is made from 100% coconut milk, pineapples, bananas and apple. We want one!
Kiddylicious Fruit Wiggles, £0.64
Children love having their imagination sparked so pretend these fruity string-shaped nibbles are tasty snakes or worms and your toddler will be fascinated. They come in strawberry, apple and tropical flavour.
HiPP Bananas & Baby Rice Pouch, £0.45
This pouch is perfect if you’re on-the-go with your weaning baby and need something that’s tasty and easy to spoon out when your little one needs a snack. It provides one portion of fruit. Suitable from four months.
Click here for 13 Brilliant Toddler Food Hacks
BEAR Arctic Fruit Paws, £0.55
Made from 100% dried raspberry and blueberry puree, these snacks have no added sugar and are stamped into fun artic animal paw prints to keep your toddler interested.
Yeo Valley Little Yeos Organic Fromage Frais, £1.79 for six
These thick and creamy organic fromage frais come in handy little pots and are sweetened using only organic grape juice concentrate. Flavours include strawberry & vanilla, mango & vanilla, strawberry & peach or apple & pear. They’re suitable for weaning.