Healthy snacks should be a staple in the nappy bag, and we all know they are a godsend when we have a cranky, impatient, ‘hangry’ toddler in the doctor’s waiting room, on a plane, or when you just need to have an uninterrupted conversation with someone for 5 minutes! However rather than buying expensive, processed baby snacks, it’s so so easy and much more healthy and cost effective to make your own. Sometimes we just need a helping hand when it comes to snack ideas for babies and toddlers.

However too often do I see snack lists, even designed by Dieticians (!), that suggest mainly wheat based, beige, convenient foods while completely missing out on nourishment and nutrition.

So here is my Nutritionist designed, Mum-tried-and-tested list of snack ideas for babies and toddlers.

Most of these things are quite obvious, but sometimes you just need a simple reminder. Many of these are great to make in big batches and freeze, then simply defrost a variety of them over night, ready to go the next day. By the way, these snacks are not just for kids – busy mums and dads should also be munching these! I will keep updating this list as the ideas come to me 🙂

  • Fresh veg, eg cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes (cut in half or quarters for babies)
  • Fresh fruit, eg blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, mandarins, small handful of grapes (cut in half or quarters for babies)
  • Banana slices
  • Banana sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Banana with avocado (cut or mashed)
  • Banana mashed with unsweetened peanut butter (see recipe)
  • Roasted cubes of pumpkin (delicious hot or cold)
  • Roasted sweet potato ‘fries’
  • Apple slices topped with almond butter
  • Wholegrain bread strips with ABC spread (almond, brazil nut, cashew)
  • Wholegrain bread with avocado
  • Wholegrain bread with cheese and cucumber
  • Wholegrain bread with peanut butter and cucumber
  • Homemade pear, raspberry and coconut muffins
  • Homemade apple maple muffins (see recipe)
  • Homemade zucchini bites (see recipe)
  • Homemade pumpkin and date scones (see recipe)
  • Zucchini frittata fingers
  • Mini meatballs (eg chicken, beef, turkey)
  • Mini arancini balls
  • Mini quinoa and veggies balls
  • Hummus on no-salt rice crackers
  • Natural corn crackers with unsweetened peanut butter
  • Natural cheese cubes and cherry tomatoes
  • Stewed fruit with yoghurt (see recipe)
  • Natural yoghurt and berry compote (see recipe, pls avoid buying fruit flavoured yoghurt as it’s loaded with sugar)
  • Homemade oat biscuits (see recipe)
  • Homemade, sugar free pancakes or pikelets
  • Unsalted, natural popcorn
  • Organic sultanas mixed with slivered almonds

 

Couple of key tips:

  • Think protein – nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, grass-fed meat and dairy
  • Avoid constantly giving wheat or grain-based foods
  • Always choose full-fat dairy: ‘low-fat’ or ‘skim’ options are higher in sugar, and lower in important fat-soluble nutrients such as Vitamins A, D, E and K
  • Choose whole foods where possible
  • Avoid store-bought options; homemade is always fresher, yummier and lower is sodium, sugars and additives
  • Steer away from flavoured kids yoghurts – they are loaded with sugar. Use natural yoghurt and add your own fruit
  • Water (and maybe milk), is the only hydration toddlers need. Fruit juice and soft drink are no-no’s.