Looking for some nutritious snacks for little ones? Here we’ve got a variety of balanced healthy toddler snacks that are fun and easy to prepare. Many are make-ahead options as well so perfect for taking on the go!
Table of Contents
Healthy Toddlers Snacks
For those of us with little ones, we know how hard it can be to constantly come up with new, fun and creative ways to serve up different foods. Snacks can be especially challenging since we’re often on the go and so many of the convenient options available in the store are highly processed.
We want easy, but we also want healthy snacks, am I right?!
I strongly believe in limiting processed and packaged foods and instead sticking with wholesome and fresh foods and homemade goods wherever possible to control what’s actually going into our little ones’ meals and snacks.
But let’s face it. Some days, it can be SO hard to come up with ideas!
Today, we’ve got a whole slew of ideas for healthy toddler snack ideas, but first, let’s chat about some common snacking questions.
What should I serve my toddler at snack time?
At snack time, it’s best to offer a source of fibre and protein since these two components can keep little ones feeling full and satisfied in between meals.
As an added bonus, fibre can help prevent constipation and keep everything in their digestive tract running smoothly, while protein foods can help support growth and development!
Expert tip: I recommend trying to incorporate a fruit and/or vegetable during at least one snack throughout the day to help little ones meet their daily produce requirements.
Examples of protein-rich foods include:
- Nut or seed butter (i.e. peanut butter, almond butter, pumpkin seed butter or sunflower seed butter)
- Cottage Cheese
- Beans & legumes (counts as a source of fibre and protein)
- Cubed chicken
- Cubed turkey
Examples of fibre-rich foods would be:
- Whole grains (crackers, cereal, toast, quinoa, etc.)
- Beans & legumes (counts as fibre and protein)
Are there things toddlers should not eat?
It’s important not to serve toddlers anything that could pose as a potential choking hazard.
This can include:
- Slippery foods such as whole grapes, berries, cherries, or cherry/grape tomatoes (they should be quartered lengthwise)
- Large pieces of meat, poultry, hot dogs, and sausage (they should always be cut into smaller pieces)
- Hard or sticky candy, cough drops, and chewing gum
- Small, hard foods such as whole nuts, seeds, popcorn, chips, pretzels, whole raw carrots, and dried fruit such as raisins.
- Sticky foods such as large globs of peanut butter (it should be thinly spread) and marshmallows.
Additionally, certain foods may pose as a food safety risk for young children and should be avoided. These include:
- Raw or undercooked meat and poultry
- Raw and undercooked fish or shellfish
- Raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs
- All unpasteurized foods and beverages (i.e. raw milk, unpasteurized juice and ciders)
- Raw sprouts
- Honey, until after the age of one (due to the risk of botulism)
What are good toddler snacks for daycare?
The best types of snacks for daycare are those that are portable and not overly messy.
Some easy snacks include:
- Fresh fruit
- Raw veggies
- Whole grain crackers (i.e. low sodium triscuits)
- Whole wheat mini pitas
- Hard-boiled eggs
- String cheese or Babybel cheese
- Mini muffins
- Homemade energy bites
- Healthier homemade cookies
- Yogurt and berries
- Apple chips
How many snacks should I serve my toddler throughout the day?
The amount of snacks served totally depends on your toddler and their overall appetite, but as a general guideline, 2-3 snacks spread evenly throughout the day can be a good place to start.
Should toddlers snack between meals?
Yes, generally speaking, healthy balanced snacks can be a good idea as they offer another opportunity for toddlers to meet their daily nutrient requirements and try new foods. Plus, toddlers have relatively small stomachs and appetites so they can’t take in a lot of food at one time and therefore need to be provided regular fuel throughout the day.
That being said, it’s generally best to have a set schedule and serve meals and snacks at specific times throughout the day to establish a routine. Typically, as a good rule of thumb, a meal or snack should be served approximately every 2.5 to 3 hours.
For example, one snack could be served between breakfast and lunch, another between lunch and dinner and another right before bed, if your toddler seems hungry. Try to avoid serving a snack right before meal time so that it doesn’t disrupt their appetite.
Should I let my toddler graze?
No, grazing on food all day is generally not recommended when it comes to establishing healthy eating habits. If a child is grazing all throughout the day, they can fill up easily and will be less likely to eat their food at their main meal.
What is the best way to transport toddler snacks when on the go?
There are lots of different containers available, but one of my favorites are these snacking towers. It keeps food separate, is adjustable and allows you to pack multiple snacks at a time if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time!
How can I incorporate these snacks into healthy toddler meals?
Toddlers generally need to eat every 2-3 hours to stay properly fuelled since they have small stomachs and high nutrient and energy needs. It’s important to offer small quantities of nutritious food throughout the day.
When it comes to establishing an eating schedule, I recommend serving three main meals consisting of three to four food groups (check out these Healthy Kids’ Breakfast Ideas for inspiration) and two to three small snacks in between meals consisting of at least two food groups.
Offer the snack halfway between meals or about two hours before a meal to avoid decreasing your toddler’s appetite at mealtime. Use some of the snack ideas listed to incorporate variety into your toddler’s daily menu.
Now without further ado, let’s move on to some fun and healthy toddler snack ideas!
38 Healthy Toddler Snack Ideas
This mega list of healthy snack ideas for toddlers has 38 delicious from-scratch recipes your little ones will love to gobble up! There are both sweet and savory options to give you some fresh ideas.
The important thing is to keep it simple, so don’t feel like you need to make everything at home right away! Start with trying 1-2 recipes or ideas per week, then build on from there as you get more confident!
1. Rainbow Fruit Cups with Greek Yogurt Dip
How fun are these rainbow fruit cups?! Simply layer rainbow colored fruits in a clear plastic cup or mason jar. We’ve used diced strawberries, oranges, pineapple, green grapes and blueberries, but feel free to sub in other fruits that match those colours!
Serve along with this Honey Greek Yogurt Dip to add some protein and make this snack even more fun to eat!
These cute little muffins are packed with nutrients due to the addition of sweet potatoes! How many muffins are loaded up with vitamin A, C, fibre and potassium? Not many! These mini muffins are tough to beat. And they’re so tasty!
3. Nut Butter Hemp Seed Banana Bites
What goes together better than banana and nut butter? To make this healthy snack, slice a banana into 1/2 inch slices, top with a thin layer of peanut butter or almond butter and a sprinkle of Hemp hearts! If you want to make them nut-free, simply sub in sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter or Wow butter instead of the nut butter.
These energy bites pack a nutritious punch due to the addition of ground nuts, carrots and dates! The best part is, these little bites are naturally sweetened so no added sugar is required!
Quinoa can be a little bland on its own, but when you pack it together with broccoli and cheddar cheese and bake it in a mini muffin tin, it’s suddenly transformed into delicious little bites that are totally kid-friendly! These can be made in advance for a convenient savory snack that toddlers will love.
6. Yogurt & Frozen Blueberries
This snack is so simple, but so tasty! Simply add frozen blueberries to regular or Greek yogurt (or try cottage cheese) and allow it to thaw in there for a few minutes to release all of those juices. The yogurt adds a nice dose of protein and calcium, while the blueberries provide the fibre. Best snack EVER!
These veggie muffins are a great option for toddlers because they’re bite-sized and packed with moisture and flavor! There’s also no added sugar so you can feel good about serving them to your little one as a healthy little treat!
Veggies are so much more fun to eat when they’re packaged into the shape of a tot! These tater tots are especially unique since they also contain protein and iron from the lentils. But you’d never even guess they’re in there!
Energy bites serve as good snacks for toddlers on the go since they’re freezer-friendly and relatively mess-free. As a bonus, this recipe is simple enough that little ones can help prepare them. Get your toddler to help add the ingredients to the bowl, mix together the ingredients or roll the mixture into balls!
10. Yogurt Stuffed Raspberries
This is such a fun and creative way to serve up raspberries! Raspberries are amazing on their own, but filling them with some yogurt is just an added bonus and a great way to add in some extra protein and calcium. Stick to a plain yogurt or no sugar added yogurt for the healthiest option. The ultimate fun finger food for toddlers!
11. Pita Wedges with Hummus
If you’re looking for a more savory option, you can’t go wrong with pita wedges and hummus. We love this Sweet Potato Hummus, but feel free to sub in your favourite hummus flavor! To make the pita crispy, lightly brush with some olive oil, spruce up with desired seasonings and bake the wedges in the oven to dip into the hummus!
12. Leftover Pancakes
Who says pancakes can only be served at breakfast time? Leftover pancakes serve as a great snack option. Try out these mini Banana Egg Pancakes — they are so easy to make and are perfect for taking on the go!
13. Grapes & Cheese Cubes
Cheese is just one of those foods most toddlers love. And what goes better with cheese than some fresh juicy grapes? Be sure to cut the grapes in half if small or quarters if they’re larger in size to minimize any risk of choking.
So many of the store-bought fruity yogurts are loaded with sugar. With these homemade yogurt cups, you still get plenty of flavor, but can control how much sugar is going into each serving. Package it up in mason jars for an easy snack on the go!
Many packaged snacks and bars contain nuts or nut butters, so if you’re looking for a nut-free snack option, these energy balls are for you! They contain juicy little bits of apple for a dose of vitamin C and refreshing bite to eat!
Baked sweet potato fries make a great toddler food since they’re soft, easy to hold and chew, and are naturally sweet in flavor. Try out these easy cinnamon paprika sweet potato fries, or feel free to flavor them up with your desired seasonings.
Smoothies are a great way to pack in fruits and veggies and they taste delicious too! This smoothie recipe only contains four ingredients and is such a fun color that’s perfect for toddlers!
Blueberries and bananas form a delicious combo and naturally sweeten these tasty mini muffins. Try topping them with a thin layer of almond butter or peanut butter to add some extra protein and healthy fats!
19. Avocado Egg Salad on crackers
Most toddlers love foods that have a crunch factor. Rather than serving crackers by themselves, top them with some extra flavor, protein and healthy fats with a quick and easy avocado egg salad. Simply mix a hard-boiled egg with a quarter of a mashed avocado, squeeze of lemon juice, sprinkle of garlic powder and finely chopped chives or make up a batch of this 5-ingredient Avocado Egg Salad for the whole family to enjoy.
If you’ve been on a hunt for some healthier cookie recipes for toddlers, look no further. These banana oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy, but contain no added sugar since they’re naturally sweetened with banana. Plus, you can customize the toppings for the ultimate fun and healthy treat!
Although these “hulk muffins” are packed with green spinach, they have a sweet flavor young toddlers love. They’re one of the best secrets for picky eating because they taste great and you can make sure your toddler’s diet includes some healthy greens!
Made with real Parmesan cheese, whole wheat flour, and baked sweet potatoes, these sweet potato crackers are crunchy and full of flavor! You can easily cut them with fun cookie cutter shapes to make cute, healthy snacks you know your kids will enjoy.
These no-bake peanut butter oatmeal balls are incredibly easy to make and have a delicious flavor little kids love! Made with just oats, peanut butter, and honey, they also couldn’t be easier! I like to serve these instead of store-bought snacks, like granola bars since you can control the ingredients going into them.
My favorite healthy snack options are also incredibly easy. Who has time to spend hours making snacks their kids will devour in seconds? These 3-ingredient cookies are made with very simple ingredients so you can get back to everything else on your to-do list!
Bananas are one of the perfect foods to keep on hand if you have younger children, not just because they’re a great snack on their own. Overripe bananas are incredibly moist and flavorful, allowing you to sweeten baked goods with no added sugar! This healthy banana bread is a real game-changer for quick breakfasts and snacks, and your kids will love it!
These tender cookies are perfect for younger toddlers who are still learning to eat on their own. They’re easy to hold and are naturally sweetened to make them more palatable to young kids. They’re also easy to pack on the go, whether your family loves road trips or you need healthy options for lunch!
If your toddler is a little iffy about eating fresh fruits, add them to a smoothie! This is a great opportunity to add fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and even nuts or seeds! This snack recipe only has three ingredients (strawberries, bananas, and whole milk), so it couldn’t get much easier than this!
Trying to get your little one off those grocery store snacks? These mini chocolate chip muffins are a perfect option! They taste like the prepackaged mini muffins at the store, but are much healthier. You can even freeze extra for later to make it even easier to serve homemade snacks anytime!
Made with just bananas, oatmeal, and peanut butter, these delicious snack bars are a yummy way to introduce common allergens, like peanuts. Since they’re soft-baked, they can be served as part of a healthy breakfast or offered as a snack between meals.
Like bananas, applesauce is a key ingredient to keep on hand at all times. It’s great on its own but it’s also a fun way to sweeten and flavor a variety of recipes. Of course, you can buy store-bought unsweetened applesauce, but I love to make my own if I’ve got the time!
This homemade applesauce recipe doesn’t even require you to peel your apples, so it couldn’t be much easier!
31. Date Muffins
Trying to get your kids off all that added sugar? Natural sweeteners like dates add a rich, brown sugar-like flavor without the sugar crash. These date muffins are also filling and contain healthy fibre from the dates, whole wheat flour, nut butter, and applesauce. I like to keep these on hand all the time!
These mango popsicles only contain two ingredients, but make such a delicious and refreshing sweet treat! Make up a batch and store them in the freezer for easy access when the snack attack hits.
Is your toddler a chocolate lover? Give them that chocolate fix without all the added sugar using this easy banana brownie recipe. My kids absolutely love these special treats – they’re naturally sweet, fudgy, and absolutely delicious!
Instead of prepackaged snack foods, whip up a batch of this creamy hummus to serve with cut veggies, like bell peppers, snap peas, cucumbers, and more. This is a great way to sneak in enough protein without overdoing it on meat or eggs, and lots of kids love to dip crunchy foods for a little fun!
35. ABC Muffins
To keep your little one full without doling out fruit snacks all day long, whip up a batch of these apple banana carrot muffins! They’re tender, sweet, and full of healthy fruits and veggies. Your picky eater won’t even guess that they’re healthy!
For little ones still learning to feed themselves, I recommend cutting them into bite-sized pieces.
36. Blueberry Bliss Balls
For a healthy snack you can make with almost no effort, you’ve got to try these blueberry energy balls! Just toss your ingredients into the food processor, roll the filling into balls, then toss them in coconut shreds. They’re so flavorful and such a fun snack!
37. Mini Egg Bites
These quick mini egg bites are such a lifesaver on busy days! They’re a fantastic way to sneak in some protein, healthy fats, and veggies throughout the day. Plus, they’re easy to make ahead so you can microwave and go.
If your little ones are anything like mine, they probably love crispy fries or tater tots! Instead of serving the highly processed options, I prefer to make these homemade veggie tots with a whole bunch of fresh veggies. They still have that crispy, crunchy outside with a soft, fluffy interior. Plus, they’re so yummy to serve with your favorite dips!
Putting it All Together – Balanced Snack Ideas for Toddlers
- Half a banana + yogurt + cheerios
- Apple nachos – apple sticks drizzled with natural peanut butter, coconut flakes, hemp hearts, mini chocolate chips
- Mini muffins + smoothie
- Crackers + cheese + berries
- Energy balls + smoothie or glass of milk
- 3-ingredient protein waffle spread thinly with peanut butter + banana slices
- Hummus + pita wedges + carrot sticks
- Crackers + peanut butter + apple slices
- Fruit salad cups + yogurt dip
- Applesauce + cheese + crackers
- Roasted chickpeas + cucumber sticks + tzatziki
- Fruit popsicle
Did you make any of these snack ideas? Scroll down to leave a rating and review!
Looking for more healthy toddler snack ideas? Check out these:
- Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes
- Easy Zucchini Fritters
- Broccoli Cheese Tots
- Chicken Avocado Poppers
- Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Almond Butter Muffins
- Mini Turkey Apple Meatloaf Muffins
- Spinach Zucchini Frittata Fingers
These snack ideas were originally posted in March 2020 and were updated in July 2023 to include more helpful tips and photos.