10 Healthy Snacks for Toddlers
Snacking doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Snacks that are nutrient-rich and low in sugar and salt can help fill in nutrition gaps. Focus on whole foods that contain protein, fiber, and vitamins.
By Jennifer Steil
Our kids are snacking so much these days that they’re consuming enough calories to make up a fourth meal, says a study in Health Affairs. Since 1977, children’s snack intake has increased by about 168 calories.
Worse, those calories tend to come in the form of salty or sugary foods like potato chips, candy, and sugary drinks.
But snacking doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Snacks that are nutrient-rich and low in sugar and salt can help fill in nutrition gaps, especially if children eat erratically at meals. Focus on whole foods that contain protein, fiber, and vitamins. Keep your kids happy with these healthy snacks that are perfect for toddlers.
1. Blueberries with Greek yogurt
Blueberries contain lots of vitamin C and healthy antioxidants, while Greek yogurt is high in protein to keep your child full longer.
2. Apple slices with peanut butter
Apples provide fiber and vitamins and peanut butter is rich in protein.
3. Scrambled or hard-boiled egg
Eggs can keep kids fuller in between meals and are packed with healthy proteins.
4. Whole-grain cereal with milk
Oatmeal is rich in heart-healthy fiber, and can be mixed with pureed fruit and nut butters to make it more interesting. Make sure store-bought cereals don’t include sugar. Barbara’s Breakfast O’s, for example, are only lightly sweetened with fruit juice.
5. Hummus and whole-wheat pita bread
Hummus includes healthy fats as well as proteins.
6. Avocado mashed with banana
Avocados have lots of healthy fats and fiber, while bananas are rich in potassium. Plus, they taste delicious together.
7. Steamed or raw veggies with homemade dressing
Vegetables are vitamin-rich, and kids who don’t like them plain can be enticed with a tasty dressing. Avoid store-bought dressings full of trans fats and artificial ingredients and whip something up at home. Yogurt, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, and honey make a quick dip.
Blend yogurt, wheat germ, and your kids’ favorite fruits for a tasty drink.
9. Whole-grain toast with cream cheese
Whole grains are high in fiber and cream cheese adds a dab of protein.
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