Healthy Snacks for Kids and Toddlers

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 3, 2008

We are very limited in the “snack” foods that we can buy because the boys have an oat (not wheat) and soy allergy. In a way this has been a blessing because it has forced me to buy them snacks that don’t contain soy, and therefore don’t contain perservatives, hydrogenated oils. Perservatives, hydrogenated oils and “soy lechitin” are the best and cheapest way for companies to make your favorite snack foods…but they are BAD for your body!


HEALTHY TODDLER SNACKS

  • Veggie Stix (“Fries” as we call them)
  • Veggie Crisps
  • Stretch Island Fruit Co. Fruit Leather
  • Fruitabu Fruit Leather (These both taste just like Fruit Roll Ups…WITHOUT the dyes and sugar!)
  • Annie’s Brand…Bunny Honey Grahams, Bunny Cheddar Crackers (Annie’s products have no preservatives or additives!)
  • Cascadian Farm French Fries
  • Pumpkin Yogurt (Check out Betsy‘s Toddler Tidbits over at Full Tummies! I love reading them! She is full of great ideas!)
  • Applesauce with Cinnamon
  • Dried Fruit without Sulfur (available at most Health Food Stores!)
  • Carrot Sticks or other fresh veggie
  • Ants on a Log (Celery, Natural PB and Raisins (check labels for sugar and sulfur!))
  • Cheese Cubes
  • Pear or Apple Bites (Fresh Fruit, peeled and cubed for your child’s chewing needs!)
  • Clementine Oranges, Peeled and Separated
  • Any fresh fruit, cut into cubes and peeled if necessary
  • Sweet Potatoes Cubes…Pierce and Microwave 5-7 minutes, Slice open, Let cool, Cut into cubes
  • Cereal Trail Mix – Cheerios, Dried Fruit, Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Gorilla Munch Cereal
  • Kashi Cereal Bars

My 16 month old can eat all of these snacks. Please note that each child’s “chewing level” is different depending on readiness and their teeth. Do NOT give your child something they are not able to eat or chew properly! Supervise closely when introducing new foods!

In our day and age of convenience, the “grab and go” bags are the easiest and best. Several products above are “convenient” for quick trips and errands. Don’t sacrifice quality for convenience! Spend a few minutes reading labels and you’ll be surprised at what you are giving your kids!

A wise friend shared this with me and I have taken it on as my motto: “You crave what you eat!”
Eat sugar, you crave sugar.
Eat veggies, you crave veggies.
Eat hydrogenated oils snacks, you crave those.
Eat fruit, you crave fruit.

Think about it! It not only applies to us, but to our kids as well! I’ve found it to be true!

PLEASE share with us some of your favorite healthy toddler snacks!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha A. September 3, 2008 at 11:54 am

Homemade Quick breads- pumpkin, zucchini, lemon, banana with cream cheese, peanut butter etc
Homemade cookies- made with whole wheat flour, oats and other good things added.
vegetables and homemade dip
Hummus and crackers or carrots

Reply

Kate September 3, 2008 at 9:03 pm

You’re motto is so right on!

Thanks for sharing your list for snack ideas. We eat very similarly and I’m always looking for more snack ideas.

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Betsy September 5, 2008 at 6:03 am

Hey, thanks for the plug! We also eat lots of cereal trail mix (what I usually refer to as “Toddler Trail Mix”). My oldest has graduated to actual trail mix since she can handle nuts just fine. Oh, we’re waiting so anxiously for those molars to arrive for the boys–what culinary delights await them when they can chew crunchy things! Incidentally, sounds like our kids are similar ages–my boys are 16 months old, too. (My daughter is almost 3)

Reply

Erin October 7, 2008 at 9:14 pm

SD loves dehydrated peas! I get them at Sprouts!

Reply

valley mom October 29, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Check those Veggie Stix for yeast extract, it is MSG (monosodium glutamate) in disguise!

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valley mom October 29, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Also, many of Annie’s products do contain MSG (in yeast extract). Sad, I know. I was so disappointed when I found out.

My toddler loves Babybel cheese, pretzels, whole grain cereals in a cup (snacks on them throughout the day), diced or sliced fruits, grated carrots, grated cheese, dried cranberries or cherries, mini bran muffins, carrot muffins, zucchini muffins, yogurt, chopped pumpkin seeds (very high in protein and iron).

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Jaime November 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm

My hubby and I decided to purchase a food dehydrator so we could make healthy snacks for our son. So, instead of spending money on fruit strips and dried fruit, we just make our own. And it helps prevent us from throwing away fruit that spoils. We can puree it and turn it into fruit strips.

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Brittany January 6, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Our snack foods are pretty similar to the above…muffins(with veggies and fruit), fruit, yogurt, tortilla chips with salsa, cereal mix, and granola bars

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Navine August 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm

My daughter has dairy allergy. We do homemade muffins, quick breads and cookies with sprouted spelt flour, fruits, nuts and fish with bread. i am going to start working on adding beans and greens to to the mix. thanks for the reminder that health food store would have unsulphured dried fruits.

Reply

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