If feeding your baby was quite easy — happy and contented with milk, purees, and mashed fruits and vegetables — you might find that feeding your now toddler is a whole new different world. We’re not saying that your toddler is picky, but they have developed their own preferences in taste.
When your child reaches toddlerhood, they begin to know what they want and don’t want. But when it comes to eating, you definitely can’t let them get away with cereal and candy all the time, can you? This is why we came up with a list of toddler-approved food that won’t compromise their health and wellness.
Let’s begin with snacks (since every toddler loves to snack). Here’s a list of 10 healthy snacks for toddlers!
Fruit is healthy for everyone, especially your toddler! The best part about fruit is that they are naturally delicious, without added sugar, and hard not to like. They aren’t called nature’s candy for no reason, after all. Plus, your toddler gets to stock up on fiber and essential vitamins. Opt for bananas, apple, mango, pears, and grapes. If you are not into baby-led weaning, cut them up into bite-sized pieces.
2. Vegetable slices and chips
Help your baby appreciate their veggies by giving veggies as snacks! Give them slices of crunchy vegetables like carrot and cucumber (you may also prepare a dip like hummus and guacamole). To switch things up, you may also bake leafy vegetables like kale and turn them into crispy chips!
It’s challenging to look for a child who doesn't love cheese! Take advantage of this by giving your toddler slices of hard cheese like cheddar or a bowl of soft cheese like cottage cheese. Cheese is a great part of your child’s diet as it is a fantastic source of calcium, protein, and fat as well as other nutrients.
Similar to cheese, there’s a great chance that your toddler will love snacking on a cup of yogurt, too! It belongs to any list of healthy snacks for toddlers because it’s yummy and a great source of calcium and protein. It also has live bacteria that helps with digestion. However, avoid sugar-laden flavored ones. Instead, go for plain yogurt and add fresh fruit for flavor.
5. Peanut butter
If your toddler is not allergic to peanuts, then peanut butter would be one of the best healthy snack ideas that give a boost of protein and fat. Spread it on wholewheat bread or wholewheat crackers. You may also use peanut butter as a dip for your veggie sticks. Don’t forget to choose organic peanut butter without added sugar.
Raisins are as delicious as their fresh counterpart, which are grapes, but are a lot more convenient, especially outside the house. When you travel, instead of candy, bring raisins (and any dried fruit, for that matter) for your toddler. They contain vitamins and minerals and contain a good amount of iron.
Hummus is another option for great and healthy snacks for kids. It’s delicious and can be served with almost anything. In fact, it’s a yummy addition to your child’s veggie snacks. And because it is made from chickpeas, it contains a good amount of fiber and nutrients like folate. It’s also been found to contain a lot of antioxidants!
Crackers are a convenience food, but they are a lot better than chips and candy! The best option is to make your own whole-grain crackers at home as you will be in control of the ingredients (and avoid preservatives). But if baking is not an option, you can get whole-grain crackers from the supermarket. Just avoid ones with too much sugar.
Warm afternoons call for smoothies, and no child can refuse one! Avoid adding ice cream and sugar-laden fruit juice into your smoothie. Instead, make one using fresh whole fruit (don’t skip the fiber) and add milk or yogurt. You can even add vegetables like carrots and spinach to your smoothies and your toddler will be none the wiser.
10. Fruit popsicles
If your toddler is getting tired of smoothies, fruit popsicles are a good alternative. Again, avoid buying store-bought popsicles that are filled with sugar. Also avoid making popsicles using fruit juice. Instead, make a smoothie as usual (with fruit, milk or yogurt, and veggies), pour them into popsicle molds, and freeze them.
Every toddler loves to snack, but that doesn’t mean you have to give into their requests of cookies and cake! These should be treated as treats and are to be given only occasionally. The rest of the time, always opt for healthy snacks for kids and toddlers.