Kids and snacks, snacks and kids… some things just can’t *not* go together!
It’s no secret that as a family, we LOVE food. I’ve tried my best to nurture a love of REAL food in them by introducing and exposing them to alllll kinds of high quality foods (in a calm, easy, no pressure way hopefully). Everything from squash to sardines to hummus to pickles to ginger to steamed broccoli and salmon. Yes, these are all things my toddler eats (and baby June now too). I want my babies to know and appreciate a variety of tastes, flavors, textures, cuisines… you get the picture.
And I also want them to see food as JOYFUL and FUN. Because it is. As well as a power source in your life.
Food brings us together, creates a moment to slow down and savor something special with one another. It can be playful, creative and silly. But building an appreciation and openness to all kinds of food doesn’t happen by accident. It happens with thoughtful, intentional choices with what we put on their plates every day.
(Psst, hot tip: even if they don’t touch a certain food the first time you offer it, don’t count it as a loss! Many kids need to be exposed to a food 20+ times before wanting to try, and really enjoy, it. More on the process of feeding your little ones real food can be found in my famous “actually is a full book” Baby Food Guide!)
And their snacks can be a big part of introducing new flavors and foods (or getting them something healthy and tasty to hold them over until the next meal)! I loveeeee snack time with my babies. Now that Noah’s 3.5 years old, he helps me make a lot of our household snacks, which by the way, is a great way to encourage little ones to eat! Participation in cooking is a big motivator for them to try their yummy creations. If you haven’t seen mine #chefnoah and #tinychef series on instagramhe is LAPPING me on views lol.
I wanted to share some of our go-to snacks on rotation over here—ones that my littles absolutely LOVE (and secret… so do I)! A few of these are especially great for warm summer days, but TBH, I’d make and serve any of them year round personally. No shame in a mid-winter popsicle (probably in the bathtub).
I hope you enjoy trying some of these with your kids!
The 6 Best Healthy Homemade Snack Recipes for Kids
These are our snack staples on rotation all summer long!
Love these popsicle molds! So much less sugar (and chemicals) when you make them from scratch. Also a fun idea for any extra smoothies you’ve made. A great snack in the bathtub or kiddie pool for mess. 🙂
Recipe pulled from the Cooking Club
- 1 cup whole milk greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1 tsp maple syrup (or more if you have sweeter taste buds)
Add yogurt, berries and maple syrup to the blender. Puree until smooth. If the yogurt gets too thick, add a splash of coconut water or water to help it blend (but not too much!). Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.
I love these toddler smoothie cups with lids and straws! I have soooo many smoothie recipes on the blogin my cookbooks, in the Cooking Club. We LOVE a smoothie around here. I always aim to include veggies, a healthy fat and/or protein, and something sweet like a little fruit. Here’s a favorite, the Everyday Green Smoothie:
- 1/2 banana (frozen)
- 3-4 leafy green kale leaves or 1 cup spinach
- 8-10 blueberries (optional)
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/4 teaspoon organic spirulina
- 1 cup (or more) water
- 3 handfuls of ice
Add all ingredients (besides ice) to the blender and blend on high until smooth. Add ice. Pour into your favorite smoothie cup.
3. Noah’s “Cottonball” Snack Ball: Recipe in the Cooking Club. We make these and keep them in the freezer for a post-nap snack.
4. Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins- recipe in the Baby Food Files. Great for babies & toddlers of any age!
5. Turkey Zucchini Meatballs- recipe in the Baby Food Files. Great for babies & toddlers of any age!
The Best Store-Bought Snacks for Toddlers
I love these for quicker options or when we’re on the go!
- Thrive Market paleo snack packs
- Lesser Evil popcorn
- Beecher’s cheddar cheese sticks
- Mary’s Gone Crackers or Simple Mills Crackers
- Sliced apples/pears/grapes/apricots/plums (least messy ones for travel)
- Nut butter/sunflower butter rice cake sandwiches
- PB&J “tacos” (Siete Foods tortilla roll-ups with PB&J)
- Cucumbers/bell peppers dipped in pesto or hummus or white bean dip
- Pulp Chips (from Thrive Market)
The Best Baby Snacks
These are the snacks I feed June most often when we’re on the go (she’s almost 1). It’s a special combination of stuff that’s slightly easier to clean, or at least won’t stain.
- Steamed cauliflower or steamed zucchini (both of these are less messy on the go/don’t stain)
- Soft pears or peaches
- Cucumber insides
- Hard boiled egg yolk
- Muffins (see recipe above!)
- Turkey meatballs (see recipe above!)
Snacking on the Move?!
For anyone taking their baby or toddler snacks on the go, here are a few of my favorite packing essentials to make snacking out and about SO much easier!
Need to stock up on some yummy family snacks or pantry items?!
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Photos by Talitha Bullock.