Coming up with yummy and healthy snack ideas for kids each day can be a big challenge. This master list of toddler snacks, which includes both fresh and store-bought, will make it easier to serve nutritious food that your kids will actually want to eat.
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of offering the same few foods…and having a toddler who wants to eat only a few foods! I hope this toddler snacks list helps to remind you of other options when you feel stuck or encourages you to try a few new foods with your little one.
You can try to pair up two items from different categories to keep things balanced and ensure the snack is filling. But if there are times when that doesn’t happen or a child isn’t hungry for more than one food, that is totally normal and OK, too.
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Healthy Snacks for Kids
I want to start by saying I think we often put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to snacks for kids. In reality, they don’t need to be perfect. And they can also be easy and include store-bought foods.
I always try to think of snacks as a way to offer foods we haven’t had a chance to enjoy at other meals, while also trying to avoid tracking nutrition too closely because that can quickly lead to anxiety.
I try to remember that most kids eat fairly balanced if you zoom out and look at their intake over the course of the week, so try that if each meal or a day seems less than balanced.
TIP: Here’s a downloadable and printable version of this post.
Healthy Fresh Fruit Snack Ideas for Kids
Here are some easy fresh fruit ideas to try with your kids. All are really fast, hydrating, and nutritious.
- Apples, thinly sliced into matchsticks or very, very thin slices
- Baked Apple Slices
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Citrus such as clementines, oranges, or mandarines, sliced
- Grapes, sliced in half vertically
- Fruit Cups: homemade or from the store in 100% juice
- Fruit Wands
- Peaches, sliced or stewed
TIP: Slice fresh fruit into small cubes or very thinly for little kids so the pieces are easy to bite.
Fresh Vegetable Toddler Snacks
Offering veggies at snack time is a helpful way to increase the odds that the kids will eat more throughout the day. Here are some easy ones. Use the visual above to know how to start offering raw veggies, working left to right as the kids improve their chewing skills.
- Avocado, cubed or mashed on bread or toast as avocado toast
- Snap peas, slivered as needed
- Cucumbers, sliced or diced
- Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- Roasted sweet potato
- Shredded carrots or carrot slices/sticks (raw carrots are very hard to chew, so make sure they are very thin to start)
- Thawed frozen peas
- Thawed frozen corn
- Thawed edamame
TIP: Offer a dip or sauce, such as ranch, guacamole, almond butter, salsa, sour cream, or hummus alongside any of these veggies to make them more flavorful and delicious.
Healthy Shelf-Stable Produce Ideas
These are some of the fruits and veggies I like to keep on hand in my pantry for additional options besides just fresh.
- Apple chips (homemade or Bare Snacks)
- Applesauce pouches
- Dried fruit (mango, apricots, cranberries, cherries, cut into small pieces as needed)
- Freeze-dried fruit and veggies
- Canned fruit in 100% juice
- Fruit leather (torn into little pieces as needed)
- Toddler pouches (like these Clearly Crafted ones or these yogurt pouches)
Product we love
These soft fruit and veggie bars are one of our very favorite toddler snacks. Use code yummy10 to save 10%.
Whole Grain Toddler Snacks
These are some of my favorite whole grain snacks for kids to give them lots of energy between meals.
- Cereal (low sugar): Cheerios, Kix, Chex
- Cubes of sandwich
- Homemade Cheesy Oat Crackers
- Honey Graham Energy Bites
- Soft-Baked Granola Bars
- Waffles (leftover)
- Whole grain crackers
- Whole grain graham crackers
TIP: These Oatmeal Muffins are a forever favorite of ours.
Crunchy Kids Snacks
Kids often like crunchy textures, which can be really helpful sensory input. Jus steer clear of foods like chips or tortilla chips since they can be hard to chew and potential choking hazards. Here are some safer ideas with crunch.
- Freeze-dried fruit
- Veggie Straws
- Cheese crackers
- Snap pea crisps
- Quinoa Chips (these are softer than regular chips, and high in protein)
- Mini rice cakes
- Chickpea Puffs
- Triscuits Thin Crisps (which are easier to chew than traditional ones)
TIP: Avoid whole nuts and popcorn until over age 4 to lessen the risk of choking.
Healthy Dairy Snack Ideas
Feel free to pair any of these with a fruit for an easy snack. Whole-milk dairy will help keep the kids fuller until the next meal (and often tastes better!).
- Cheese, sliced, cubed, or string cheese
- Cottage cheese (or Cottage Cheese Dip)
- Drinkable yogurt or Yogurt Drinks
- Milk (dairy or nondairy)
- Plain yogurt or a Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt
TIP: We love the Beets n’ Berries Smoothie Melts from Amara, which are a shelf-stable yogurt melt with organic fruits, veggies, and whole milk and are a quick-dissolve, safe snack for little kids. (sponsored)
Protein Toddler Snacks
Snacks can be a great time to offer protein from vegetarian or meat-based sources. Here are some of our favorite easy options.
- Beans, slightly mashed or as hummus
- Hummus (on crackers, bread, or as a veggie dip)
- Chickpeas (like these Soft-Baked Cinnamon Chickpeas)
- Chopped cashews and walnuts (2 or 3 and up)
- Cubed chicken
- Cubed turkey
- Deli meat (sliced turkey, ham, or salami, cut up as needed)
- Eggs, hard-cooked, scrambled, or as Egg Muffins
- Edamame, thawed and out of the pods
- Frozen peas, thawed
- Nut butter or sunflower seed butter (on toast, on apple slices, as a dip for pretzels, etc)
- Peanut Butter Muffins or Protein Muffins
Downloadable Snack List
You can download a condensed version of this post in my free Resource Library. Feel free to print it out and keep it close by for easy reference when you need it.
Best Tips for Toddler Snacks
- You can always serve leftovers as snacks or as a mini meal, especially if the kids are starting to refuse “regular” foods and only wanting snacks.
- Zoom out to look at what your child is eating over a whole week if you’re worried they aren’t eating much variety. That is a more accurate picture of their food intake.
- Remember that appetite can vary from meal to meal and day to day. It is very hard to accurately predict another person’s hunger, so let the kids show you how hungry they are.
- Learn about the Division of Responsibility as an approach to mealtimes that can alleviate stress.
- Find my favorite Easy Snacks to Make at Home, Oatmeal Bars, and Breakfast Bars to help offer more ideas for homemade snacks.
I’d love to hear about your favorite snacks for kids, so please chime in below in the comments!
This first was first published February 2018.
My grand baby loves your Italian chicken sausage meatballs. Finding the sausage is a challenge but so worth it.
I’m glad to hear that!
Thank you so much. Loved your healthy recipes and snacks ideas.
Sorry you have to deal with a couple snarky, snobby commenters. IMHO, those people are tone deaf in a way, and probably come from a middle/upper middle class background. Not everyone does, and these foods are acceptable options for those who can’t afford to spend an arm and a leg at a store like Trader Joe’s. Also, like Any already mentioned, there are organic/non GMO options if that is what you are willing and/or able to spend your money on. Please consider being open-minded and put yourself in another person’s shoes.
Edit: autocorrect wins again! Should be Amy, not “Any”. ? P.S. I’ve deferred to your lists for guidance on more than one occasion! Thanks!
I just found this site selling fruit snacks any ideas about the frutina bars?
You have shared a lot for us, but I like your healthy & tasty recipes of Snacks. Some of the recipes are outstanding which are most beneficial for the kids. Thank you for your participation.
Hi Amy, Thank you for sharing, such wonderful recipes, and snack items with us my sister has acute little toddler and she keeps asking me what all items she can make to eat him, now this post will surely help her know what all items she can share it with her little tod.
I look at this list at least once a week. Thank you so much for this. Question: I want to get my kiddo crackers and pretzels, but worry about them being to hard or choke-y. She did not like Triscuits. Do you think Wheat Thins would be ok? And is there a form of pretzel, or a brand, you like?
You could try Wheat Thins, the round whole grain crackers (they make little ones) from Trader Joes, the crackers from Bitsy’s Brainfood (usually available at Target or Whole Foods) or a whole grain Ritz type cracker. Mini pretzel sticks are usually less hard than larger ones and could be a good place to start. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Could you make this into a printable pdf? Great list!
That’s a good idea! I’ll add it to my to-do list!
Thank you for all your ideas Amy!
It can get overwhelming trying to be creative in planning meals and snacks for the family! I really appreciate your ideas and approach! As a Registered Dietitian myself, I was really pleased with your approach, ideas and enthusiasm! Their is a lot of information on the internet and it’s not always what I’m looking for. I found all of this very useful and plan to frequent your website!
Thank you for this list Amy. It’s a helpful place to refer to to get kids on the right track towards making healthy choices.
Thanks for the suggestions, but these are not all healthy options. Veggie straws are processed junk food and dried fruit is basically lots of unnecessary sugar. Deli meats are not healthy options for toddlers, as they have high levels of nitrates. Corn is so genetically modified and has zero nutritional value.
I appreciate your comment! I think it would depend on your definition of “healthy”. Most fruit leather doesn’t have added sugar and can be a good shelf stable option for on the go. Deli meats don’t necessarily have nitrates and corn isn’t necessarily GMO. I don’t aim for perfection, but moderation and being realistic. And then we each get to decide what to do with our own kids!
I thought some of the same. The other problem I had was the thawed veggies. On most of the frozen veggies packages it gives an indication that you shouldn’t eat it raw.
You could warm them and serve them at room temp if you prefer!
Thank You, that’s look so tasty !
What type/brand of lunchmeat do you recommend?
I like Applegate when I can find it!