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Five Healthy and Fun Snacks for Toddlers

by Wendy Rose Gould of "Mamapedia"
Photo by: iStock

Looking for inventive snack ideas for your toddler that are as fun as they are healthy? We’ve got you and your little one covered. While toddlers aren’t exactly the easiest to please, if you keep things colorful, tasty, bite-sized, and finger-friendly, you’re already ahead of the curve! We reached out to two nutritionists for their favorite snack ideas for toddlers, so get ready to head into the kitchen to make some yummy treats your kids will love.

Nut-Free Snack Bites
“My toddler is a big fan of date-based snack balls, like my three-ingredient nut-free energy bites,” said Megan Gilmore, a certified nutritionist and founder of the Detoxinista blog.To recreate, combine 1-1/2 cup of medjool pitted dates, 1/3 cup of sunflower seed butter, ½ cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut or rolled oats, and ¼ teaspoon of salt, then roll into bite-sized balls. “They make a perfect packed snack on the go. They’re nut-free so you can take them to school, but feel free to swap any nut butter you like for a healthy treat at home that’s loaded with fiber and healthy fats.”

Dinosaur or Princess Smoothie
“I think smoothies are the ultimate healthy snack for kids,” said Gilmore. “You can call the green ones ‘dinosaur’ or ‘monster,’ or even ‘princess’ shakes to make them sound more fun.” She has an entire blog post dedicated to crafting the perfect, balanced smoothie for toddlers. The key is to combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup frozen fruit, a handful of leafy greens, and one serving of a healthy fat, such as ¼ avocado.

Bite-Sized Dippables
Dippable foods are fun snack idea that’s not only healthy, but also helps your toddler learn how to feed him or herself, explained Dr. David Friedman, a clinical nutritionist, naturopath doctor, and author of Food Sanity: How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction. “You can use some pita bread wedges to dip into hummus or spinach dip, or you can also use apples, strawberries and banana slices with creamy yogurt. Another option is pretzels. These can be dipped into nut butter, spinach or avocado dip. You can also try pretzels dipped in applesauce. This creates a salty and sweet mixture that children love.”    

Dr. Friedman added that young children are attracted to the array of color found in fruit and veggies, and recommended keeping bite-sized pieces on hand at all times. “Avocados, watermelons and apples can be cut into cubes, bananas and grapes into slices. When it comes to veggies, my top three recommendations are peas, steamed green beans and carrot sticks, and you can tell when the green beans and carrots are soft enough by using two fingers to squeeze them. If they turn to mush, they’re perfect and ready to serve.”

Baked Banana Oatmeal Cups
Make your life easier by prepping a nutritious morning snack that’s easy to grab on your way out the door. One of Gilmore’s favorites is her baked banana oatmeal cups, which are full of fiber, healthy fats, and vegan.

“They’re also gluten-free with no added sugar, and taste like baked oatmeal, but you can make a big batch ahead of time to save time,” said Gilmore. You’ll need chia seeds, water, bananas, rolled oats, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. The full recipe can be found here.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
“These Gluten-Free Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins are a fun twist on the traditional sandwich, made with fresh fruit and gluten-free buckwheat flour for a lower-sugar alternative,” said Gilmore. Because the peanut butter and fresh fruit are already integrated into the muffins, you can simply throw one in your child’s bag or keep them on hand for a super quick snack.

Wendy Rose Gould is a writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She covers women’s lifestyle topics for numerous digital publications, including InStyle, xoVain, Refinery29, Revelist, PopSugar and ModCloth. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram or at

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