10 Great On-the-Go Snacks for Toddlers
Growing, mobile toddlers are big eaters, and their stomachs often seem to growl the loudest when you’re out and about! Keep a stash of healthy, portable snacks in your bag and you’ll always be prepared when your tot’s appetite comes alive.
Try these 10 nutritious, convenient, and tasty snacks for toddlers on the go.
Musselman’s New Squeezables
Healthy and convenient, Musselmanâ€™s new Squeezables apple sauce pouches are a handy snack option to have with you at all times. Available in honey cinnamon, strawberry, and unsweetened flavors, Squeezables provide good for your child fruit in each pouch. Children seem to know these squishy packages are made for them. And the twist-off cap minimizes the mess; no spoon needed.
A good source of protein and calcium, satiating string cheese is fun for littles to eat and extremely convenient for moms to grab as they’re running out the door. String cheese comes in a variety of flavors including cheddar, colby, and the classic mozzarella so you can mix it up. Because it is perishable, this isn’t one to stick in your bag for later, but instead place it directly into your toddler’s hand for refueling on the way to the playground!
Offer a toddler some pita or veggies to dip into a cup of hummus, and you’ll be rewarded with a little one happily feeding herself a healthy snack packed with fiber, protein, and more. You can buy individual servings of hummus or just scoop a tablespoon or two into a reusable container. Pack cut-up veggies like baby carrots, cucumbers, and broccoli spears or pita chips and you have a portable, though perishable, snack to give your toddler.
Almond, peanut, cashew, and other nut butters are loaded with protein and always a hit with kids (provided there’s no concern about allergies). Spread the nut butter of your choice between whole-grain crackers or on a rice cake and throw them in a container for tasty and satisfying noshing on-the-go. Don’t forget the baby wipes for post-snack time clean up!
Dried fruit is a great portable snack because it will keep for a long time in your bag, and it still packs the fiber and other nutritional benefits of fresh fruit. Some toddler favorites include raisins, dried blueberries and cranberries, apricots, and freeze-dried strawberries and blueberries. Buy it in individual servings or mix up a few different types to create a flavorful on-the-go treat for your toddler.
Smoothies are one of those perfect on-the-go toddler snacks: they’re versatile, nutritious, and adored by little ones. You can buy ready-made ones or make your own. Experiment with fruits, veggies, yogurts, and milk alternatives to find your toddler’s favorite smoothie recipe. Almond milk, a banana, and frozen strawberries or blueberries is a good base on which to build; you can also add spinach or kale, or other frozen fruit. Throw in a tablespoon of ground flax, wheat germ, or chia seeds for extra nutrition, then pour the whole thing into a spill-proof sippy cup. Voila! Snack to go is served!
All kids love granola bars, and here’s why: a lot of them are basically candy bars trying to pass for healthy. But there are a growing number of good-for-you granola bars out there that taste great too. Take a look at the nutrition info and pick a bar that is low in sugar (relative to its serving size), holds its own in the fiber and protein categories, and preferably is made with whole grains.
If you like to bake, muffins are a fantastic option to make-ahead and freeze for future toddler snack attacks. These versatile little treats can be sweet or savory, flush with vitamin-rich veggies or fiber-full fruit, and are easily modified for dietary concerns such as dairy allergies or gluten intolerances. If you’re concerned about the amount of oil or butter in a specific muffin recipe, know that you canÂ swap it outÂ for applesauce without affecting the flavor or texture. Bake a dozen regular size or make them mini for smaller appetites and freeze the extras. When you need them, they’ll be waiting to grab and go as you’re heading out the door (they defrost quickly!).
Toddlers love melted cheese sandwiched between grains, which is why this finger-friendly, portable food is a hit with little ones! Gently warm a whole wheat or corn tortilla or flatbread and fill it with cheese and any veggies your little one enjoys, then fold it over for a tidy tortilla sandwich to go.
You might be surprised to find out that some toddlers love the strong, tangy flavor of olives! These small fruits are an excellent source of healthy fats, Vitamin E, and many other vitamins and minerals. A quick rinse can remove some of the salty brine that might be overpowering for your toddler’s taste buds. Although they’re soft, olives’ oval shape can present a choking hazard so make sure to cut into quarters before tucking them into a to-go snack container.
Katie Quirk is a mom of two, a boy and a girl. She lives and writes in Seattle, WA.