Hey y’all! Happy Tuesday to YOU! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing weekend. Today I’m sharing with you our top 10 toddler snacks that are easy to pack and make our days on the go doable without *too* many meltdowns, because let’s just say that a hungry toddler is a cranky one!
We have been going all in on the weaning process this past week which means that I no longer pack bottles while we’re out and about during the day. James is now only drinking 8oz of milk/formula before his nap and another 8oz before bed. Other than that it’s real food, whole milk, and water for this little guy. Which means, the snack monster is in full force! Let’s take a look at what we’re loving in the snack department these days.
Classic? Yes. Toddler approved? Absolutely! I honestly forgot about this childhood snack until this past summer when it seemed like every kid on the playground was carrying around a container or small bag of goldfish. James included. Is it the healthiest snack option? Not necessarily, but I wouldn’t say it’s the worst choice either. I feel like goldfish are just one of those mess free, kid-friendly snacks you can count on time and time again. While the foodie in me always wants to try every flavor of goldfish on the market (and there’s a lot!), I usually try to stick with the classic cheddar flavor for James because I don’t want his taste buds to explode with all of the new and improved flavors out there. We do occasionally get the vanilla cupcake, or flavor blasted though 🙂
Kids these days. They are being raised in an era of food pouches. Pouches like this didn’t exist when I was a young child, but I remember my sister and I purchasing them in high school because they caught our eye at the grocery store. As a mom, I was a little skeptical of the pouch at first, but I have quickly realized the simplicity and ease of packing and serving James an applesauce pouch while we’re on the go. The thought of bringing a container of applesauce and a spoon sounds like a lot of work, not to mention a mess. Whereas with a pouch, James can happily sit in his stroller or run around on the playground while enjoying his applesauce. We’ve tried other flavors of pouches as well, there are so many on the market! The target brand has some unique flavor combinations and are some of the most affordable ones I’ve found, but they are hit or miss with James. Applesauce on the other hand is always a win!
CRACKERS AND PEANUT BUTTER
I like to make homemade crackers and peanut butter for a few reasons. First, it only takes less than a minute to smear some peanut butter on a cracker and sandwich it together with another cracker on top. By making the PB crackers homemade I get to control how many I pack rather than the standard 6 sandwiches that come in the packages. I know that James is only going to eat one or two at the most, so it saves me the stress of letting the others go stale. And I get to control how much peanut butter is in the middle, and it tastes so much creamier than the store bought versions. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good package of pre-made crackers and peanut butter but why spend the money when you’ve got a sleeve of Ritz on hand and a jar of peanut butter in the pantry?
A childhood favorite in my family, and now one of James’s as well. Nutritionally speaking, they’ve got a little bit of added sugar but I’m definitely not in the parenting category of limiting all sugar from James’s diet. And if his sugar intake is in the form of fruit strips, it can’t be all that bad…right? His dentist might disagree… But here we are, and they are an easy to pack, mess free snack that is always received with a smile.
A whole food makes the list! While this list is primarily packaged snacks, because #convenience, I consider the peel on a banana to be packaging more or less. It’s the easiest whole fruit to pack on the go for a toddler. Sometimes I’ll fill James’s snack container with blueberries or other cut up fruit, but when I’m looking for something to throw in the diaper bag in a flash, a banana it is! We’re almost to the point where he can eat apples, but as of now they get chewed up and spit out. Not exactly a mess I want to clean up all the time.
Animal crackers could share this spot too because I consider the two to be interchangeable. Simple, not too sweet, and usually not too messy. The crumbs though… that reminds me, I need to bring our vacuum out to the car to suck up the crumb collection James has building up in his car seat. Yikes!
I thought for sure this snack would be too crunchy for a toddler with only 9 teeth in his mouth, but James loves these things! He seems to eat them with little to no difficulty. They must break down easily even without a solid set of teeth.
A snack that won’t last long unless it’s in a cooler but if you know you’re going to be eating it soon, why not throw it in the diaper bag. Cheese sticks take up almost no space, and offer a boost of protein amongst the carb and fruit filled snack options on this list. To my dismay James is not a cheese stick lover, but as I have heard from parents before, don’t give up. Offering the same foods over and over may just be the key to convincing your picky eater to give them a try, and maybe even enjoy it?!
Did anyone else grow up in the Nutrigrain bar era? Is that still going because I fell off the train. Either way, these bars are perfectly toddler sized and look like mini Nutrigrain bars. The sugar content makes me cringe slightly, but it’s hard to find kid-approved snacks that don’t have a little bit of added sugar. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, right? Haha.
My mom was the one that first introduced James to these teeny tiny, flat fruit snacks designed specifically for babies. We were on vacation in South Carolina this summer and I put “baby snacks” on the grocery list, and one of the items she brought home were these. James immediately approved! Ok, so the real inside scoop on these fruit snacks, use them to your advantage. I quickly realized that these things are basically the equivalent of dog treats. When you want your child to behave, fruit snacks are the secret. When we were on the plane ride home from South Carolina and James was all kinds of fussy, I slowly handed him one flat fruit snack at a time, and he looked at me begging for more. It offered us a brief moment of peace on the plane as he was happily memorized, chewing down these tiny treats.
There’s the complete toddler list, now I just need to put together a list of grown-up snack options. I’ve been in a bit of a snack rut lately and I’d love to get out of it!
Question of the Day: What are you or your kids snacking on lately?