Toddlers are picky eaters by nature, and it can be oh so easy to rely on the rice cakes, puffs and other convenience foods that they seem drawn to. These are not necessarily bad foods to be eating, but they sure don’t offer much variety!
About a month ago, as I served Baby B the same old cereal for dinner the third night in a row, I realized that we’d fallen into a just such a rut. So, I set out to intentionally offer him more new and different foods.
We kept meal times casual, offering a few options and then letting Baby B decide what and how much to eat. Before long, he was eating from the family meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner most of the time!
Snacks, however, took a little more effort. Baby B is a grazer, and I’m not always eating when he is. Sometimes we’re out of the house or in a hurry, and I certainly don’t want to make any more dishes than necessary.
So, I started a list of super easy, healthy snacks to offer him. All of these can be ready in 5 minutes or less and require very little work. I thought I’d share them with you incase you find yourself in a toddler food rut as well!
14 Quick & Healthy Snacks for Toddlers
- Apple sauce and Nut Butter. Mix up about a 1/2 cup of applesauce and a heaping Tablespoon of smooth nut butter until there are no chunks. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon if you’re feeling fancy.
- Canned Soup and Cheese. We love Amy’s brand Tuscan Bean and Rice soup with a little organic grated cheese on the side. Baby B loves to sprinkle the cheese on his soup all by himself!
- Thawed (barely) Frozen Peas. For some reason, cooked peas just wont do around here. Some frozen peas slightly thawed in a cup of water however – yum!!
- Fresh Fruit. Berries, melon, bananas, apple slices, blueberries… You name it!
- Sprouted Grain Bread with Cream Cheese. We use 12 grain Ezekiel bread, lightly toasted. I usually partake in this snack as well.
- Spinach Smoothie. Get some veggies in there by blending up some frozen banana, frozen strawberries, milk of choice and a big handful of fresh spinach!
- A Variety of Cereals. Cereal is such a quick and easy travel snack it is hard to get away from completely! So, I serve a variety of organic, fruit juice sweetened cereals made from different grains, like millet, rice and oats.
- Crackers and Dip. Toddlers love to dip their foods. Baby B often enjoys whole wheat crackers with a little soft cream cheese or nut butter for dipping. I’d like to introduce hummus soon as well.
- Avocado. Cut into small cubes and serve straight up!
- Polenta. Polenta out of the tube is precooked and super easy! I offer it sliced right out of package or sautée it in butter. Left overs from snacks work great for dinner.
- Yogurt. Baby B loves plain, no sweetener added whole milk yogurt. We get it at Trader Joes.
- Eggs. We keep a stash of hard boiled eggs in the fridge for quick protein snacks. Baby B cracks the egg, then hands it to me to peel.
- Freeze Dried Fruit. Organic Freeze Dried Strawberries (affiliate link) are one of our favorites. They make a great travel snack!
- Fresh Veggies. Once Baby B gets a few more teeth we’ll start introducing carrot sticks, jicama, green beans and snap peas.
You can find more food suggestions and tips for toddler meal times at Ask Dr. Sears.