Toddler Snacks that Satisfy

child reaching for berries on the counter

Do you feel like your toddler lives on snacks? They won’t eat the meal you make, but eat snacks no problem? Well, that’s a totally separate post, but today I’m going to share with you my go-to snacks for my toddler and the toddlers I work with. Considering how often our young ones are snacking, it’s important that we make those snacks hearty and nutritious for their growing brains and bodies.

The trouble with those pre-packaged convenience snacks (looking at you fish crackers, veggie straws, and fruit gummies) is that they just aren’t satisfying. Instantly gratifying, yes, but satisfying for more than 30 minutes? No way. A snack should be a mini-meal that can tide your kiddo over until the next scheduled meal. Do you serve one-food-group items for a meal? Probably not, so don’t do that with snacks, either. Aim for at least 2 food groups when planning snacks for toddlers. I suggest that one of those food groups be a protein or a healthy fat because this helps to keep your toddler satisfied for longer, AKA out of your kitchen asking for a snack every time you turn around! The second food group ideally is a fruit or a vegetable; this is because we know kids aren’t getting enough of these each day (especially veggies).

So, do we ban fish crackers and veggie straws forever? Of course not! They are fine to include in the context of other healthful snacks. Toddlers are snacking about 2-3 times a day, so even if just one of those snacks meets my recommendation, that’s a great start. When you do serve something like fish crackers, count out a few and put them on a plate with a cheese stick and a few sliced berries, or pair their favorite cracker with a thin spread of peanut butter and thinly sliced apples (no chunks to prevent choking).

Here are some of my favorite go-to snacks for those hungry toddlers:

  • Cheese stick (cut in half lengthwise) with quartered grapes (never serve whole grapes to a child under 4)
  • Thin sliced cucumbers and hummus  
  • Cottage cheese topped with chopped canned peaches (always buy in 100% juice, not syrup!)
  • Thin sliced apple with peanut or almond butter (thinly spread the nut butter on the apple as globs of nut butters can cause choking)
  • Matchstick carrots and Greek yogurt dip 
  • Plain, whole-fat yogurt with berries and walnut “sprinkles” (chop nuts very fine and sprinkle them on) 
  • Hard-boiled egg with sugar snap peas 
  • Guacamole or sliced avocado with thin sliced bell peppers or quartered cherry tomatoes
  • Frozen Greek yogurt popsicles

If you’re looking for even more ideas, check out some of my videos on this topic here! If you’re ready to take the plunge into my Ultimate Guide to Creative Snacks, you can purchase that using this link.

Just remember that anytime you are serving foods to a child under 4, quarter anything round (cherry tomatoes, grapes, large blueberries) and avoid sharp edges like on tortilla chips.

Let us know if you loved some of these ideas!

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