Our household runs by a simple rule: there shall be snacks, and they shall be good.
Snacks are to toddlers what (I imagine) cigarettes are to prison inmates. They open doors. They get things done. They help avoid potentially deadly situations. They come in handy when you have people to bribe.
We’re constantly one foot out the door with our toddlers, so we like to have options when it comes to healthy snacks for our kids on-the-go. We have our share of store-bought snacks because, well, you can’t go around making everything, but we also like to sprinkle in homemade snacks when we can.
Here’s a list of some of our current favorites, from bite-size, toddler-approved snacks to healthy options full of protein and nutrients. Enjoy.
1. Peanut Butter Breakfast Bites
What do you get when you combine peanut butter Cheerios, natural peanut butter, honey and vanilla? A snack that could also be a dessert – for parents and toddlers. Enjoy responsibly.
2. Healthy Baked Broccoli Tots
This snack is on the other side of the spectrum: if you serve it for dessert, you’re bound to get looks. Bad looks. Instead, make these as a healthy on-the-go snack between errands and toddler activities.
3. Mini Banana Breakfast Muffins
In our house, breakfast is typically the meal that we can get the most food down our toddlers. They haven’t eaten for at least twelve hours, so they’re ravenous little animals by the time breakfast rolls around.
These mini banana muffins are great if you have to eat and run: they’re small enough for toddlers to carry around, but pack enough of them together and they’ll make for a hearty snack.
4. Frozen Greek Yogurt Drops
Greek yogurt is a great way to get your toddlers some extra protein and nutrients, but it’s also one of the messiest snacks around, and hard to take on the road. Instead, consider making frozen yogurt drops and masquerading them as candy. Win-win scenario.
5. Homemade Mixed Berry & Spinach Gummies
We all know fruit snacks are delicious, but they’re often full of added sugar and not as healthy as you might think. For a homemade alternative, consider gummies made with fresh fruits, veggies and orange juice. There’s less refined sugar and they’ll taste less like plastic, which is always good in our book.
6. 3-Ingredient No-Bake Toddler Cookies
Cookies don’t have to be complicated, especially for the wee ones. Case in point: these no-bake snacks made with Graham crackers, bananas and peanut butter.
No baking means easy clean-up, and with some chocolate chips sprinkled on top, the little devils will never know they’re any different than normal baked cookies. What is normal anyway?
7. Banana & Orange Oat Bites
Our kids love bananas, oranges and other fruits, and they also love oatmeal. This is the sort of snack that combines all their edible loves into one place, so it’s on top of our list of new out-the-door snacks.
8. Strawberry Yogurt Bark
Anything that resembles dessert is a good snack (and distraction), and this strawberry yogurt bark is easy to make as it is good-lookin’. Throw them in a bowl or bag and off you go!
9. Carrot Stars
This healthy, easy 20-minute-to-make snack is high in protein and veggies, but is fun and festive enough to appeal to your toddler’s tastebuds. Use cookie cutters to make different shapes and designs, or make holiday-specific snacks depending on the time of year.
10. Strawberry Oat Bars
Let me be clear. If we had these snacks at our home, they wouldn’t trickle down to our toddlers. They would be stuck in my belly and my wife’s belly. That is all.
11. Homemade Gummy Bears
If your toddler isn’t impressed by regular square-shaped gummies, go the extra mile with a gummy bear mold and a fun, natural recipe for gummies. You can also use them to explain to your child how bears hibernate in the winter because of food scarcity.
12. Homemade Apple Chips
Fall’s our favorite season, and our toddlers love apples, apple rings, apple sauce – all kinds of apple stuff. Add these homemade apple chips to the list: they’re a slow-bake snack that’s all-natural and easy to throw at your kids while you’re out and about.
13. Blueberry No-Bake Snack Bites
Blueberries are a staple in our snack arsenal, but there are only so many cartons you can have at one time. To mix things up, try these blueberry snack bites – complete with chai seeds, flax seeds and oats – that give your toddlers a little something different and delicious.
14. Toddler Trail Mix
Sometimes “homemade” means throwing a few things in a bag and calling it trail mix. Kids love the variety they get compared to a single snack, and you can fill it with (mostly) healthy options.
15. Toddler Oatmeal Smoothie
One of our toddlers love smoothies, one doesn’t. For the former, we’ve made all sorts of concoctions with fruits and veggies, and this oatmeal drink is likely to become one of her favorites.
16. Apple Sandwiches
For an alternative to the traditional PB & J, consider the apple sandwich and all its glory. These snacks are great for parks or picnics, and adding some berries, honey or your toddler’s favorite spread can make it a hit from the first bite.
17. Homemade Mango Fruit Roll-Ups
No added sugar, no dehydrator, no problem. These homemade mango strips are devoid of anything artificial, but baking them for a few hours makes them as chewy and sweet as your run-of-the-mill fruit roll-up.
18. Homemade Goldfish Crackers
With only a few simple ingredients – cheese, butter, flour, salt – you can make homemade goldfish crackers that look and taste so much fresher than their store-bought counterparts.