First, the not packaged snacks...
Toddler snacks don’t need to be anything fancy. At this point, they are still very much exploring whole foods in their natural states. The very best snacks for toddlers would be fresh veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Real, whole foods contain no added sugar or sodium, additives or preservatives, and expose children to a wide variety of tastes and textures from mother nature. Not to mention, they are cost effective, and most require little to no prep beside peeling or slicing. Many of us are familiar with the old favorites, like apple slices and carrot sticks, but here are a few more to try if you haven’t yet. There is so much to discover with just these groups of whole foods; it’s incredible. Then, I promise I’ll recommend some packaged snacks too.;)
Now for the packaged snacks...
There is something oddly satisfying about giving our kiddos little treats with fun, cute packaging. Bottom line: I don’t know one parent who doesn’t buy packaged snacks. Since packaged snacks are a reality (parks, daycare, playdates, lunch boxes, car rides, etc), it’s comforting to have some in our toolbox that we know aren’t just serving empty calories to our growing toddlers and / or getting them hooked on sugar. While there is plenty of junk out there, the market has a come a long way since we were little. With some careful label reading, we can find a host of snack options that are based in real, wholesome ingredients with minimal processing. Here are a few of our current favorites:
SOLELY PINEAPPLE COCONUT JERKY
Why we like them: Fruit jerky? Yum! I love being able to serve a fruit like pineapple, which is a bit of a headache and mess to serve on the go, in this easy format. And these babies have a half of a pineapple in one jerky stick. I appreciate they are organic, non-gmo and just two ingredients: pineapple and coconut
Off the Beaten Path Veggie Crisps
Why we like them: First off, these taste delicious, much more flavorful than your regular mini rice cake. Secondly, they include two different types of peas and black beans, upping the protein to 3g per serving instead of the usual 1g for mini rice cakes.
Go Raw Sprouted Cookie Crisps, Carrot Cake
Why we like them: The clean ingredient label: Dates, Carrots, Sprouted Sesame Seeds, Coconut (Unsulphured), Nutmeg. Here is a chance to offer a “cookie” that is made from fruit and seeds. I also love sneaking some veg in my cookies too.
Vegan Rob’s Beet Puffs
Why we like them: I’ve never found a kid that didn’t like a puff. Most puffs are made from rice or corn, but these are made from the environmentally-friendly and nutritious grain, sorghum. I also love the addition of beet, which eliminates the need for any added sugars.
Why we like them: 100% cheese with no additives and a whopping 11g of protein and lots of calcium to boot. My kids love the taste and crunch of these little nuggets, and they conveniently deliver the benefits of fresh cheese without having to refrigerate.
Oloves Pitted Green Olives
Why we like them: Olives have a host of benefits from iron to fiber with a healthy dose of good-for-you oil. These handy-dandy individual pouches serve the olives already pitted and lightly flavored with basil and garlic for a no-mess introduction to olives.
Amara Yogurt Smoothie Melts
Why we like them: Yogurt melts, while loved by all, are generally spiked with cane sugar as the second or third ingredient, turning them into candy. These deliver that same addictive melt-in-your-mouth feel, are safe for even younger ones 8 months and up, but have zero added sugar and the addition of veggies. Plus they come in dairy and plant-based varieties.
AMARA Yogurt Melts, But Better.