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Toddler

11 Healthy Snacks for Kids and On-the-go Families

Jill Castle, MS, RDN
January 3, 2019 . 3 min read

1. Snacks you can feel good about

Have you ever been out and about when your little one suddenly needed a snack? Or been delayed from getting home before a mealtime? Most parents know that healthy, portable snacks can be lifesavers. All snacks are not created equal, though, so here are a few healthy options you can take with you.

2. Fruit

Packed with vitamins and fiber, small berries, mandarin oranges, and other fruits (chopped into manageable pieces) are easily stored in small, sealable containers for quick snacks. Your little one will get a nutritious boost, while enjoying the natural sweetness of fruit.

3. Veggies

Add some variety, while maintaining the vitamin and fiber benefits of fruits, by packing matchstick carrots, red peppers, or celery. Other veggie options include snap peas, shelled edamame, raw green beans, and asparagus. All of these choices are easy for children to hold and munch by themselves.

 

 

4. Cheese

Cheese comes in many forms that are perfect for easy transport, including sticks, squares, or slices. It is also full of calcium, vitamin D, and protein, which makes it a healthy, on-the-go option.

5. Yogurt or kefir-based drinks

Yogurt is a great source of calcium, vitamin D, protein, and probiotics for children. Now days, it is also easily transported since it is available in drink form or in stick packages that are easy for children to grasp and feed to themselves. You can even freeze yogurt sticks as a special treat. Other, similarly beneficial options include kefir-based drinks.

6. Fruit sauces

Applesauce was once a snack that required a bowl and a spoon, but today there are numerous pouch and disposable cup forms of your favorite fruit sauces. Kids love their natural sweetness, and you’ll love that they are getting a boost of vitamin C. Try to stick with products that keep added sugar to a minimum (if they have any at all).

7. Dried fruits

Raisins and other dried fruits will give your little one crucial fiber and iron, all while tasting delicious. You can’t really beat how easy it is to take dried fruits with you on-the-go. Small boxes of raisins are perfect for tiny hands!

8. Juice boxes

Juice boxes, when offered in moderation, are also a good option for your child’s snack. You should make sure that they contain 100 percent fruit juice and that they are no more than 4 to 6 ounces. Juice boxes offer vitamins A and C, but you should limit your child to one each day to keep his or her sugar intake in check.

9. Cereals

Packing dry cereal as a snack is nothing new, but it can also be a healthy option when you monitor the sugar content. Try to choose cereals with less than 6 grams (and no more than 9 grams) of sugar. Many cereals are now fortified with calcium, folate, and vitamins A and D, making them a nutritious option for your child’s snack.

10. Graham crackers

If your child loves graham crackers, today’s your lucky day. They are a good source of fiber, and while they are sweet enough to attract children’s taste buds, they aren’t packed with too much sugar. To pump up the protein in your child’s diet, you might even try adding a swipe of peanut or almond butter.

11. Granola bars

Granola bars are another standard snack option, but you’ll have to make careful choices when purchasing them to be sure that they are healthy, too. They can be a great source of whole grains, but choose options with less than 8 grams of sugar per bar, at least a couple of grams of fiber, and only limited artificial ingredients. You’ll want to check the calorie count and try to stay away from bars that contain trans fats.

12. Low-sugar cookies

You may be surprised to see cookies on this list, but the occasional treat isn’t a bad thing. Low-sugar versions of cookies, like oatmeal cookies, ginger snaps, or animal crackers, can make a satisfying snack. You can also look for options that offer a little more nutrition, like Fig Newtons.

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