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4 Tips for Making Easy, Nutritious Snacks for Moms and Toddlers
Read time: 3 minutes
What to know about choosing nutritious snacks for you and your child
Snacks can be a great way to add more nutrients into your diet
Learn 4 tips to help put together a nourishing, quick snack
Snack ideas for you and your toddler
Snacks often get a bad rap, with the assumption that they’re typically sweet or salty “filler foods” that don’t offer much nutrient density. But the fact is, snacks can play an important role in helping us meet our nutrient needs and stay satisfied between meals.1
And for busy, on-the-go moms and active, growing toddlers, that’s really important!
Here are four tips to help you choose satisfying, healthful snacks for you and your toddler.
*Be sure to only offer foods to your toddler in the size and texture you know they can eat safely. The below ideas include allergens such as milk, eggs, nuts, fish, crustaceans, shellfish, wheat, soy, and sesame; however, be sure to avoid any foods your child is allergic to. Chat with your child’s pediatrician if you have questions about allergens.
#1. Make it a combination snack
Having a combination of a complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains, along with a protein and/or healthy fat can help give you both immediate nutrient-packed energy as well as lasting fullness.56
Complex carbohydrates to choose include: Fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread, whole grain high fiber crackers, quinoa, or brown rice.
Proteins and/or healthy fats to choose include: nut butters*, nuts*, hummus, beans, avocado, yogurt, cheese stick, canned salmon, etc.
Read more: Preventing Choking in Infants and Toddlers
#2. Include Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and veggies not only provide energy but also lots of nutrients. Plus, many of us could benefit from including more fruits and vegetables in our daily diet, as most Americans are not meeting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.23
Snack time offers a great opportunity to include more produce in your and your child’s diet. Think apples, pears, cherry tomatoes, tangerines, and bananas – all portable “fast food” for mom and perfect if cut up for your toddler.
Cut your produce in advance or buy pre-cut versions, so you have it ready to grab and go in your fridge. Sliced green, red, and yellow peppers and cut up mango and melon are also nice to keep on a shelf in the fridge for an easy-to-grab snack.
#3. Think of a snack as a mini meal
No need to forego foods that you normally eat at meals in favor of more traditional packaged snacks.
Got some leftover roasted veggies from dinner? Those can be a great snack paired with a cheese stick or some nuts. Got leftover meatballs? Have a few with some veggies for a snack.
Read more: Nutritious Snack Ideas during Pregnancy
#4. Keep a variety of snacks on hand
Many packaged foods are nutrient-dense!
Keep yogurt cups, cheese sticks, kefir, no-sugar-added fruit cups, frozen fruit, mixed nuts (for adults), and fruit and nut bars on hand for when hunger strikes.
Simple snack ideas for you and your toddler
Remembering the combination of a complex carbohydrate plus a protein or healthy fat, here are some flavorful, satisfying snack examples:
Plain yogurt + blueberries (or other berries) + ground flax seeds
Whole grain pita bread + sliced cucumbers + hummus
Cheese stick + orange or apple
Almond butter + banana
½ whole grain English muffin pizza with shredded carrots
½ whole grain tortilla with smear of refried beans + chopped bell pepper
Hard-boiled egg + whole grain crackers + tomatoes
Edamame + corn + bell pepper with salad dressing
Cottage cheese + cut melon
Don't forget to avoid choking hazards
Nuts and seeds
Chunks of meat or cheese
Hard or sticky candy
Chunks of peanut butter
Chunks of raw vegetables
By planning ahead and stocking your kitchen and fridge with easy, delicious snack ideas you’ll always be ready when hunger hits.
We know parenting often means sleepless nights, stressful days, and countless questions and confusion, and we want to support you in your feeding journey and beyond.
Our Happy Experts are a team of lactation consultants and registered dietitian nutritionists certified in infant and maternal nutrition – and they’re all moms, too! They’re here to offer personalized support on our free, one-on-one, live chat platform Monday - Friday 8am-6pm (ET). No appointment needed, no email or sign-up required. Chat Now!
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