23 answers

Snack Ideas Anyone?

Hiya everyone, I have a 3 year old son who doesn't like to eat. He won't eat meat or veggies. The only veggies he eats are carrots and cucumbers and of course they have to be raw. He loves apples, watermelon, pineapple, and a few other fruits. He loves bread and cheese and milk but gets constipated pretty easy when he has too much of those. I was wondering if anyone out there has any good fun snack ideas that I could use with my son so he can be involved with the prep of the food. He likes chicken nuggets of course.. what toddler doesn't! lol :) he loves fish sticks as well. But I'm scared of him getting tired of those and not eating anything at all.. I try to stay with healthy snacks but sometimes he just won't take them. Pretzles, popcorn, and goldfish are his three main snacks thru the week. Anyway, I'll stop babbling and close this for now. Any and all suggestions would be VERY GREATFUL!! Thanks in advance!!

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Here's a good snack idea you might want to try.
Spread peanut butter on a tortilla put fruit example sliced pears, apples, bannanas grapes, mango etc on top then roll it up and eat it. Also another good thing to try is get veggies carrots, celery, and other veggies give it to him with some veggie dip, or ranch dressing. My son is three but, it helped us get veggies down him.

You might try sweet potato chips. Take a sweet potato and slice it pretty thin, but not transparent, maybe 1/4 inch or so. Beat an egg white and he can dip the potatoes in the egg to cover. Drip off the excess and bake on a sprayed cookie sheet in the oven. Sorry I forget the exact time and temp. I would say 300-325 until they get golden brown. 10 min maybe. My daughter loves them, and they aren't fried or have added sugar.

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A nutritionist once told me just to ensure he is getting his nutrition throughout the day. Does your son like peanut butter? Peanut butter, as you know, offers protein which they need. What about yogurt? I don't think there's anything wrong w/the veggies he does eat? It's a test and trial with kids :) I have a 3 yo and soon to be 5 as well. Good luck, and let us know how it goes :)


Here's a good snack idea you might want to try.
Spread peanut butter on a tortilla put fruit example sliced pears, apples, bannanas grapes, mango etc on top then roll it up and eat it. Also another good thing to try is get veggies carrots, celery, and other veggies give it to him with some veggie dip, or ranch dressing. My son is three but, it helped us get veggies down him.

Hi C.. In my experience with my 4 1/2 yr old daughter let your son eat what he wants. They don't seem to get tired of the same thing day after day and my daughter was and still is a very picky eater. Try Nutripals, either the bars or the drinks. There are times when that is the only thing my daughter will eat regularly. Good luck!!

I know your situation all too well. My daughter use to only eat meats and maybe a tomato here and there. But she grew out of it. She wanted more variety and would pick food off of our things. So I would recommend dressing up the food a bit more. You say he loves apples, stick some toothpicks in them (legs) and scewer some carrots or grapes. He's three so I think he'd be ok with the toothpicks. Another my daughter likes is the "worms." I get a straw (in stead of a toothpick) and bend rolled up ham, you could add in some cheese so he'll want to eat it. Does he like cereal? You could ask your pediatritian if he's having enough nutrition, if not smash up vitamins and add them into the cereal.

Its hard to get toddlers to eat a variety of foods, I have a four year old who eats everything except spinach and asparagus and 2 year old daughter who eats only bologne by itself, popcorn, and spanish rice with beans. I too have tried everything for her, but I just cant get her to eat either. My son is more hands on so my snack suggestion is celery and peanut butter. Of course I dont serve him a whole lot of peanut butter, but I put some on his plate and let him dip it in himself. They have both helped me make little pigs in a blanket with cheese. (biscuits little saugsages and cheese) Some kids just find their favorites and stick to them until they are ready to try different tastes on their own. I have my lil girl help out with food prep, but it still doesnt get her to eat.

Hi C.:

Something I would do with my daughter when she was young was make a big munchy tray with a variety of everything good and colorful. For example, I would cut up slices of lunch meat and roll them up like hour de'vours, sticking colorful toothpicks in them, cut up some cheese into cubes, slice bananas, carrots sticks, celery w/ cream cheese/peanut butter, raisins, apples, things that you both like, and place them on a "mystery" food tray (cheap serving trays with cute pics on them) and that would be our supper. I'd put in her favorite video and we'd get to sit on the floor japanese style, watching whatever her favorite video was at the time, and if she'd guess what the mystery pic was on the tray before she was done, she'd get a special treat for dessert--like a small scoop of ice cream or a small piece of chocolate. We'd make games out of food and I'd never force her to eat anything she doesn't want. Now, she eats everything in sight! :-)

Another trick my mom used to use on my sister (who was extreeeeemely picky) was to take whatever she was making for dinner and send a plate up to a neighbor's house. The neighbor would invite my sister over for a "special" meal (my mom's) and she'd eat it there. Guess Mom took advantage of the old adage that food "always tastes better at someone else's house."

Hope these ideas help you out!

Does he eat pancakes? Try putting pureed vegetables (or baby food) in your pancakes. For example: make blueberry pancakes with pureed carrets, sweet potates, or squash. Or strawberry pancakes with pureed peas or green beans. Than you can use a low sugar or no sugar suryp.

Good luck.

You might try recipes for making your own bread and goldfish crackers (I like the dining on a dime cookbook) - you can throw in pureed veggies and even meat in some of them.

According to my pediatrician, stop stressing. Give him a vitamin and let him eat.

My 23 month old daughter doesn't like to eat either. She prefers her drinks to her food. I have to give her chewable vitamins due to this. Some things that I have tried with her include: getting something new to all of us to eat(it's a new experience), lunchables, tv dinners, microwavable meals in the baby section, and spaghetti o's. By getting these, I offer her whatever we're eating or what I had originally made her to eat, and if she doesn't want it, then I pull one of these out. Normally she tends to at least pick at it, and eat a couple of bites. I also pull out a snack that she really likes, and leave it in eyesight and tell her that if she wants it she has to eat something off of her plate. That tends to help from time to time. Hope that helps.

I have a 4 year old little girl and an 8 month old girl. What I did to get mine to eat her veges was make little animals or other fun stuff with them. Example: make broccoli into trees with little tomatoe flowers and let her dip them them into ranch dressing because not many kids don't like ranch(I make my own with the hidden valley packs and let her help she was more likely to eat it if she helped w/it) I would also make carrot catapillers with cucumber stripes and stick them to the carrots with ranch. When you really think about it you will be surprised of just how many creative things you can think of once you get started. With peas I let her eat them with her fingers and told her she could squish them into her mouth with her fingers and green beans see if she could count the little seeds inside with her togue. On the meat thing you can make a meatloaf but make it into an animal or bug or ask him what he would like and let him pick out some of the ingrediants. I found that when she helped me with dinner she was much more excited about eating it, it really was an amazing difference. Anyway I really hope that this will help you out!!


I know what you mean my 3 years old hardly eats anything it seems, we also do homemade pizzas and I let him put the toppings on it and I throw in some healthy stuff other than cheese and sauce, like some ham some pinapple and whatever else you think he might eat and not know it haha. My son loves graham crackers and regular crackers and you can top those with so many things. They like just plain white pop corn, and string cheese and yogurt. Just try introducing something new every week!

Hello. My daughter has always been a very picky eater. She is very thin. And "forcing" her to eat was not an option. Luckily she loves peanut butter. And providing that your son isn't allergic, peanut butter is high in protein. We added peanut butter to some of the snacks you mention. Just in a fun way. Her older brother was in school. She was jealous so we made snack time "school" time. We made "notebooks" with a peanut butter sandwhich held together with liquorice. "Pencils" were made with stick pretzels topped with Bugle chips and peanut butter to hold the Bugle on. We even made a chalk board with chocolate cake. Just dust with powdered sugar insted of icing. And fruit tootsie rolls act as chalk. Snack time usually came after coloring time. So her creativeness was high. Another idea is to have him help you make "pizzas". We used squished bread as the crust. Strawberry jam as sauce and fruit rollups as toppings. We also added raisins and other fruits as toppings. It does get messy but my children still make these on their own. And if he likes insects. There is always the spider that you make with canned peach halves and string liquorice. Raisins can be the eyes of most "insects". Raisins also work great as a pretend ant farm that you get to eat. On problem was that my daughter wanted to try eating real ants. Luckily she quickly outgrew this.
And you thought that you babbled. It seemed that as long as my children were able to be creative with the food, they were more willing to eat it. And I did put drop clothes under the children when they ate. Especially at the younger ages. It was worth cleaning up after them. Luckily they come up with their own ideas now and clean up after themselves.

P.S. If your son is alergic to peanut butter... Swiss cheese works on the "notebooks" and cheese spread works to hold the tops on the "pencils"

my guy is the same way now, he has grown into this pickyness. He'd eat only junk if we let him! He does love drinkable with a fun straw, cottage cheese with fruit like peaches or pineapple in it, peanut butter on celery, applesauce, grapes, pretzels, mandarin oranges, apple slices with peanut butter, mozzy cheese sticks, wheat thin crackers, and he LOVES granola bars(the soft chewy kind - doesn't matter what's in 'em). Oh, and he HATES canned peas, but loves the frozen (cooked of course) I think its a texture issue or something. So it could be the way it was prepared or packaged. Good luck - I know this is frustrating. My guy is so skinny and it seems like a battle to get him to eat good stuff!

We make homemade pizzas a lot and let the 2 and 4 year old boys choose the toppings, we just tell them no candy. We have had our own veggie pizza, fruit pizza, and a favorite is peanut butter and banana pizza. For snacks we do home made lunchables. You can do things with raisins (always a kid favorite) to help with the constipation. We do a lot of things like that. You can find cheap easy to prepare pizza crusts at walmart with the italian food. It doesn't have to sound good to you to be healthy. We all know from our childhood that boys are VERY inventive. Make it a "cooking contest". We also do the same thing with tortillas for burritos. I have finicky eaters also and read this on a website. The more they get to participate, the more willing they are to eat it. Like I said, it may look gross to us, but if its healthy and they like it.....let 'em at it. P.S. if you don't have as much time for that kind of preptime for snacks, homemade trail mix works. Chex mix, raisins, m and m's animal crackers, prunes, cheese squares......anything that you want.


You know you can eat just about any veggie raw. They don't have to be cooked. They can also be steamed. Sounds like your little man likes crunchy things. Try broccoli and green beans Uncooked. Also try zucchini and eggplant.

If he eats a variety of fruit and some veggies, he should be fine with the addition of a vitamin, milk and juices.
He’s young and try me (i.e. a small piece of fish, or baked chicken or turkey slice) First, can help to introduce his taste buds to something new.

Give it a try.

My son is the same way what i do is give him wheat bread and the fiber from that helps him not get so constipated. Snacks for my son I give him peanut butter on wheat bread or i toast it and put a little bit of butter on it. One thing he loves is his suger free jello. well i know it wasn't that much help but maybe you son will like wheat bread like mine.

My daughter is also 3 and has major texture issues! She won't swallow raw carrots, she just chews and chews and spits them out. I think she's getting out of that with age, because she will now consent to eating the peel of her apple. Anyway, if your son is big on doing things "HIS way" as is characteristic of this age, you might try making a healthy snack "His idea". I have vegetable issues with my daughter, so I took her to the produce section and told her she could pick any one thing she wanted to try (knowing her reaction, of course). When we were past the onions, lettuce, etc. I showed her the varieties of squash. I told her she might pick one of these three and she, of course, picked the one with the prettiest color. We made a big deal with the preparation and made several comments at dinner about the wonderful choice she had made and how we should definitely have this again. She ate more squash than anything that night and now loves it. If you have some things in mind before hand and turn it into his idea, it might work??

Also if you have time on your hands for prep, sweet potato fries (actually baked) are really yummy and healthy. There are many recipes for those on the net.

Good luck!

You might try sweet potato chips. Take a sweet potato and slice it pretty thin, but not transparent, maybe 1/4 inch or so. Beat an egg white and he can dip the potatoes in the egg to cover. Drip off the excess and bake on a sprayed cookie sheet in the oven. Sorry I forget the exact time and temp. I would say 300-325 until they get golden brown. 10 min maybe. My daughter loves them, and they aren't fried or have added sugar.

Have you considered cutting out snacks all together? I have a 2.5 and a 1 year old and have found that they are much better eaters when they don't have snacks. My oldest is really bad about not wanting to eat supper of any kind if he gets an afternoon snack. My doctor told my mother when I was little, "I have never seen a kid starve himself to death." Just a little something I try to remember when they won't eat what I cook. Which is another thing, they eat what I cook - there are no short order cooks that live at my house.

Hi, I'm L.. I hope all goes well with the snack dilemma. I can only offer these ideas because I always gave my kids only fruits or veggies as a snack at first to prevent them from wanting junk food too much. Snack is a priveledge in our house now that their older, and if their really hungry, they get a fruit first. I went with fruit cups when they were little. We made celery with peanut butter or apples with peanut butter. We would make trail mix with Chex or even Life and put in raisins, peanuts, pretzels. As they got older, I started putting M&M's in there for a treat. I would make fruit salads, jello with fruit in it, pudding with graham crackers, and even raw veggie platters with whatever veggie they wanted and whichever dip they chose, normally ranch, sour cream or italian dressings. I would throw in some pretzels, ritz crackers, or club crackers. There's lots of things out there to make, just be creative with whatever he likes, and start putting things in there little by little that you would like him to try. Again, good luck and take care...many bright blessings to you and yours...

My 3 yr old loves yogurt, sugar free jello w/ fruit in it, applesauce, pudding (we make sugar free chocolate and he dips bite size peices of bananas, grapes, apples and pineapple in like fondue and he thinks it is fun) and he likes to eat raw veggies like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers and all that in plain yogurt or ranch for a special treat. For mine it really is about the "sauce" on the side.


I make for my 4 yr old silly animals out of just about everything .. His favorites are Raindeer open face sandwiches - Bread with peanut butter, broken pieces of pretzels put on the corners of a triangle - near same size.. I use rasins for eyes ringed by a cherrios, and a small baby carrot for a nose - he pulls the pieces off anyway to eat them so its not that gross ..

And the other fav in our house is " Apple Bugs" I half an apple and core it - fill the inside with peanut butter, 4 stick pretzles pushed in the bottom for legs, 2 reg twist pretzels for wings in the peanut butter on top, I add rasins again to make lady bug dots and 2 more stick pretzels to make antenna's, raisins for eyes with a cherrio around them and one m&m for a nose.

Or make a regular sandwich but use a cookie cutter to cut out different shapes - my son enjoys doing this - but since he is the "cook" when he does he always needs to add the special ingredient " A kiss" blown on top .. I tell him to taste it to see if its right, and he always does!!

My son also loves to dip!! So I buy the individual ranch dressing packages - he will eat carrots and brocholi this way for hours .. they also have peanut butter and cheese in small containers or you can always make your own ..

Basically you can see we've tried a lot of things too!! Good luck to you! Just when you think they are going to follow along - they change course .. again!!! LOL!! Best of luck!


i have 3 children and 2 of them are very picky. but i really like giving them healthy snacks too. for my 2 1/2 yr old i give him things like dry cheerios with mandarin oranges. he loves that. also if your lil one likes apples use peanut butter or yogurt as a dip. that works really well too. mine eats the goldfish and animal crackers with a cup of 100% fruit juice. (usually just 4-5 ounces) and good old pb&j with 4-5 ounces of 100% fruit juice is good too. when you give something thats high in iron and protein try giving something with vitamin c so that all the vitamins and minerals are absorbed into their lil bodies. thats what i learned when my lil boy was iron defficient. try these ideas and see how it goes!

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