If you don’t know anything about toddlers you will realize that they love their snacks! Toddlers can be fickle eaters with their preferences changing by the day. However, a toddler will rarely turn down a snack.
Toddlers love snacks because of their mobility and small portion size. So, yes, it is possible for your toddler to not eat any of their meal, but eat a snack 20 minutes later.
As adults, we often associate snacks with mindless eating because we aren’t choosing healthy options. It is okay for your toddler to snack. In fact, on rare occasions, their first snack may substitute as their meal.
Snacks satisfy their hunger just fine. A toddler’s growth rate decreases after their first birthday; this repeats in year two. However, this is still an active period of growth just not at the same rate as the baby stage. I trust my son to be aware of himself and his needs. I don’t feel I must control him, but to provide options. Providing my toddler with opportunities to express himself cultivates problem-solving and ownership, builds respect, and strengthens his self-esteem.
In short, it’s not the end of the world if my son prefers snacks all day one day. However, if he is grazing consecutively, then I go through my checklist:
- Did something interrupt his feeding schedule?
- I try to make sure he eats a meal before I start my errands and any other tasks I have for the day.
- Am I offering him a variety of options at mealtime?
- I love to offer him different options (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc) at mealtime to nurture his palate and dietary curiosity.
- Is he preoccupied with something else as to why he won’t eat?
- At times, he may be distracted by electronics so I will limit TV time.
- Does he have access to an abundant amount of snacks around mealtime?
- I keep his snacks out of reach and limit the amount before mealtime. I like to give one snack before meal time.
Overall, I know there will be days when he will eat lunch, but not breakfast. So, I try to keep snacks handy. I am also aware that what I eat, when I eat, and how I eat is observed by him as well. I always check myself before I check him.
This list is store-bought plant-based pre-packaged snacks, so it won’t include our favorites, such as Granny Smith apples with peanut butter, pear slices, homemade whole-grain muffins, or watermelon, to name a few. Hell, it won’t include my indulgences either, like cookies and vegan chocolate candy bars. We eat for fun sometimes too!
Yum Earth Organic Fruit Snacks & Pops
I was introduced to this brand by my cousin. While we were living with her during our transition, she bought him Yum Earth Organic Pops and he loved them! I love this brand because it is vegan, gluten-free, and do not contain any high-fructose corn syrup or artificial dyes. The pops were a lifesaver when he was teething badly and the gummy snacks are a car favorite.
Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips
What is a snack pantry without chips? I love these because they are made of nutritious veggies. These chips are made with potatoes, spinach, broccoli, and peas. They have other flavors, but they contain milk. If I do not have these on hand, then I will have lime tortilla chips or another brand of plain ruffle chips.
Simple Truth Organic Roasted Seaweed
Of all his snacks, people are always the most shocked about the roasted seaweed. He loves it because I do. Your children will want to taste whatever you are eating and one day he took a piece from me. The rest is history. I love seaweed because it is high in iodine, iron, vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber, and vitamin K. I like to keep this packed in his bag as well. It’s a mess-free car snack.
Annie’s Bunny Grahams
I introduced these to him when he turned one. The first box was entirely eaten by me. No shame here! These bunny Grahams are delicious! I used to buy the bigger box that had individual mini-bags, but he never eats a full mini-bag on his own.
Fresh Bellies Two To Mango Snacks
I do not have a personal photo because I haven’t replenished them. He first started eating these when he turned one. He loved them. I tried the apple flavor first, but he wasn’t into it. They are freeze-dried and contain only three ingredients (mango, basil, and coconut oil). These are perfect at mealtime for a fruit option. I do not recommend these for the car because the pieces are typically small.
Back To Nature Crackers
These are fairly new to our stash. I learned about these plant-based crackers during Summer 2020. Honestly, I bought them for another purpose, but they are a great toddler snack. I usually pair these with another snack, like yogurt or fresh fruit. This is another brand where the product is free of high-fructose corn syrup.
Plum Organics Purée Packs
Plum Organics purée packs helped with the transition to table food. As you all know, I loved making my purées for my son. They were efficient and cost-effective to do. However, changes in our household conflicted with this, so I chose the next best option. I started buying these at about the beginning of 2020. This brand has plant-based options and he loves them. He rarely eats these now, but I love to keep them on hand for when he hasn’t been eating his vegetables/fruits or when he is in a mood where he isn’t eating any of his meals.
I prefer the So Delicious brand, but I only buy it from Publix when they have a sale because they are a tad expensive. The next option is Chobani. I purchase store-brand yogurt as my last option. He loves it because I do. I am on the hunt for a kids’ version of non-dairy yogurt (smaller portions), so that I can pack it with his lunch for his daycare. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
Hope French Onion Dip
I ran across this dip while browsing for hummus and guacamole; he loves both. You can never go wrong with a dip that can provide protein. Although we eat poultry occasionally, I like to have other sources of protein for him. This dip is dairy-free too! Honestly, this never lasts more than three days in our home. We eat it with ruffle chips. We love it!
Outshine Frozen Fruit Bars
I love these frozen popsicles because they are made with real fruit juice and have pieces of fruit. The bars are free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes. They have so many different flavors. I love the Creamy Coconut because of the coconut pieces. Yum!
Stretch Island Fruit Leather
I had no idea he loved these because it slipped my mind to give them a try. My best friend buys hers from Aldi and gave him one to try; he ate it up! I feel a bit ridiculous for not assuming that he would love it because it is a healthier version of a fruit roll-up. This brand has zero added sugar and is made from 100% fruit ingredients.
Cajun Trail Mix
We buss this bag down in a week! This is enjoyed so much in our home that I don’t even have a personal bag to show you. Unfortunately, they were out last week when we went on our weekly grocery trip.
Sound off! Please share with me your favorite pre-packaged snacks for your toddler in the comments.
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