25 Healthy Toddler Snacks to Take On the Go (Big Kids Will Like Too)

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Whether you’re heading out on vacation, a road trip, a day out of the house, a playdate, or packing a daycare or preschool lunch, these healthy toddler snacks will help keep your kiddo full and happy.

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Toddler Snacks

I know coming up with ideas for snacks that work well to pack and go can be a challenge, so this post is meant to offer some new ideas—as well as trusted ways to pack ideas you may already have!

I’ve included a nice mix of healthy homemade toddler snack recipes, preschool snack ideas, healthy store-bought toddler snacks, baby-led weaning snack ideas, and a few assembly-only ideas to give you a wide range of options for portable foods that are packed with nutrition.

There are sweet and savory ideas, ways to pack leftovers, and a few of our favorite store-bought products.

Plus, each idea is meant to be filling and nourishing—since I know those toddlers are often always on the go and need to refuel.

How to Pack Healthy Toddler Snacks, Step-by-Step

Here’s my general approach to packing snacks to take on the go.

  1. Invest in a set of durable containers to help keep the food from getting smushed. These are our favorite containers, whether you like glass, recycled plastic or stainless steel.
  2. Pack snacks, most of the time, that have more than one food group. Aim to include fruit or a veggie and a protein or a fat. (Having at least one item of produce and either a fat or a protein means that the snack will keep your toddler full longer.) But also remember that appetite can vary, so even if you pack a “balanced” snack, the kids may not eat all of it.
  3. Set dedicated snack times so you and the kids know when you plan to eat. This sort of predictable routine (i.e. afternoon snack is after we wake up from nap) can help the kids get a sense for what to expect in their day.
  4. Be flexible! While I always keep a snack or two in my bag for myself and my kids, there’s something to be said for going with the flow. If your toddler doesn’t want what you’ve packed or you happen to be somewhere that has delicious snack options, go for it!
  5. Adjust portion sizes as needed for your toddler’s appetite and age—and what they usually enjoy eating. Which is to say, try not to stress if the kids are hungrier (or less hungry) than you expect.
  6. Pack the snacks with an ice pack in a cooler bag if needed to keep foods safe and cool.

toddler snack of blueberries and muffin in containers

Blueberry Banana Muffins and Berries

Made without gluten, nuts, or dairy, these soft muffins get their flavor from two types of fruit and might be even tastier on the second (or third) day! Try topping them with a drizzle of honey or cream cheese or nut butter if allergies aren’t a concern. Half the blueberries for kids under about 14 months.

Blueberry Banana Muffins with Oats

Like a cross between a fluffy blueberry muffin and baked oatmeal, these muffins are moist and packed with yummy nutrition.

Get the recipe

blueberry banana muffins
granola bars in jar

Soft Granola Bars

These granola bars are a perfect make-ahead toddler snack. They are egg-free and have healthy fats and complex carbs—so they’ll provide balanced energy for your little ones. Try adding some snipped dried fruit to the batter!

Homemade Granola Bars (to Share with the Kids!)

We like to have these granola bars as a snack or toddler breakfast with milk or a smoothie—and they’re an excellent lunch box component too. You can make them plain or choose a flavor to add!

Get the recipe

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sandwich cubes in white bowl

Sandwich Cubes

Whether your little one likes nut butter and jam, cream cheese and apple butter, cheese, or lunch meat, a simple sandwich, diced up is easy to pack and really satisfying for little bellies.

TIP: Cut them with kitchen scissors to make that part a breeze.

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Banana Spinach Muffins

Serve up fruits and veggies in this bright, protein-packed muffin. Call it a “Hulk muffin” or some other silly name to entertain the kids! These muffins are a favorite homemade toddler snack since the batter comes together easily in the blender.

Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana

These healthy muffins taste like a delicious banana muffin, but with the added nutrition of a big handful of spinach. These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge or freezer to serve.

Get the recipe

spinach banana muffins on pink plate

Hummus and Crackers

Try packing a little container of hummus with whole grain crackers or easy to eat veggies for a balanced toddler snack.

toddler snack of applesauce and crackers

Cheese and Crackers

Crackers are almost always universally appealing to toddlers and there are many good options that have nutritious ingredients. We like Wheat Thins, Triscuits Thin Crisps, Breton Crackers, and any other whole grain option.

If your toddler can’t do dairy, add in protein from hummus, nut butter, beans, or a nondairy milk with protein like Ripple.

mango yogurt in pouch with crackers

Mango Yogurt and Crackers

Pair quick homemade flavored yogurt with a side of whole grain crackers for a snack that’s both satisfying and easy to pack. Pop the yogurt into a lunch bag with an ice pack to keep it cool as needed. (Yogurt is shown here in a reusable pouch.

Favorite Mango Yogurt

You can use fresh or frozen mango, or start with mango puree. All three options work similarly. This is an easy way to make flavored yogurt at home for breakfast or snack.

Get the recipe

mango yogurt in containers
banana and diced larabar in container

Banana and Diced Snack Bar

Pack a banana and some diced snack bar (like a Larabar, which is soft and packed with protein and healthy fats) for an easy toddler snack. If your kiddo isn’t hungry enough for both of these foods together, just do one of them!

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls

With natural sweetness and the flavors of a favorite dessert cookie dough, these little bites are yummy and nutritious. In the case of a peanut allergy, use sunflower seed butter. (These also work well with almond butter.)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls

These no-bake bites taste like a cross between oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookie dough. I use natural creamy peanut butter (like the kind from Smuckers) and it works really well. (Recipe updated slightly in June 2021 to ensure the best texture.)

Get the recipe

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oatmeal bar with grapes in white bowl

Baked Oatmeal Bars with Blueberries and Carrots

Moist, flavorful, and super yummy, these gluten-free snack bars are a nice on-the-go option for toddlers. Just wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap or tuck into a compartment of a lunchbox.

Easy Oatmeal Bars with Blueberry and Carrot

These oatmeal bars taste like an oatmeal cookie and are great for breakfast or snack. You can make them ahead, too! (You can add the egg or leave it out. Without egg, these are a crisp cookie bar texture. With it, they’re a little cakier.)

Get the recipe

oatmeal-bars-on-countertop

toddler snack of snap pea crisps and clementine

This crunchy snack is not too salty and not too crisp, so they are easy for toddlers to eat. They also have protein and fiber, making them a smart snack choice. Pair with an easy fruit like a banana, apple, or a pouch of applesauce.

diced strawberry banana bread

Strawberry Banana Bread

Dice up a slice of bread, pop it into a container, add a side of fruit (if you want) and head out for the day.

Strawberry Banana Bread (Healthy and Easy!)

Bursting with fruit and the moistness you expect from a classic loaf, this lower-sugar Strawberry Banana Bread is a seriously delicious breakfast or snack to share with the kids.

Get the recipe

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Freeze-Dried Fruit

You can buy these at most stores, or make them at home. Think of these strawberries as a sweet and super healthy chip. Pair with a form of protein, like yogurt, a cheese stick, or milk.

Oven-Dried Strawberries

You can do two baking sheets at once to get a slightly larger batch—definitely do this if you’re making these for more than one kiddo! Just be sure to swap the positions of the pans halfway through baking to ensure that they bake evenly.

Get the recipe

dried strawberries
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Pizza Muffins

These savory muffins have carrots and classic pizza flavors and are a filling (and yummy!) snack option. We usually have them room temperature with water.

Pizza Muffins (with Veggies!)

These work well to make ahead and warm up for an easy lunch or dinner. These taste best served warm.

Get the recipe

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Homemade Pouches

Because I’ve been squirted enough times and had to change enough shirts, I always vote for putting yogurt into this reusable pouch over store bought yogurt pouches. But I do love the lower sugar yogurt tubes from Siggi’s and Stonyfield, so if your toddler can reliable eat them without making a royal mess, pack them.

Best Baby Food Pouches (15 Easy Homemade Ideas!)

The amount of ingredients you use will depend on the size of your pouch, which usually ranges from 3-7 ounces. Nutrition will vary based on the ingredients you use.

Get the recipe

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leftover meatballs and sweet potatoes in container

Leftovers!

Whether it’s oatmeal, smoothie, or a bit of dinner—cubed meat or chicken, beans, pasta salad—snack time is an excellent time to get in a little extra nutrition, so using leftovers as mini meals is a smart toddler feeding strategy.

4-Ingredient Baked Chicken Meatballs

Serve with Marinara sauce, Pesto, Cheese Sauce, or with a side of ketchup or any other favorite dip. We like to have these on hand to use an easy lunch component or have them with pasta.

Get the recipe

baked-chicken-meatballs
mango-smoothie-in-reusable-pouch

Mango Smoothie

Super simple and super yummy, this is a great smoothie to make ahead (or in the moment). Pack in a reusable pouch if needed.

Favorite Mango Smoothie Recipe

This fresh Mango Smoothie is thin enough to drink through a straw and thick enough to eat with a spoon. And of course, it’s super creamy!

Get the recipe

mango smoothie in cups lined up on counter
cheese crackers on plate

Easy Cheese Crackers

A batch of these crackers never lasts long in our house—and they are a fun component to a packed toddler lunch box. And it’s nice because this homemade toddler snack packs whole grains, protein, and less salt than many store-bought cheese crackers.

Homemade Cheese Crackers

Try to get them about 1/4-inch thick so they bake uniformly. If your milk, cheese, and butter are cold the dough should be easy to roll out between parchment paper. (If the dough seems too sticky, stick it into the fridge for 5-10 minutes.)

Get the recipe

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mini chocolate chip muffins on counter

Copycat Little Bites

With that super tender texture and yummy flavor they expect, but a lower price and more nutrition, these are a go-to toddler snack muffin.

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins (Little Bites Copycat)

Moist tender Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins that taste as good as store bought, but have a little extra nutrition? Sign. Me. Up. These muffins are seriously delicious and are a must-make if you have fans of Little Bites in your house!

Get the recipe

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puffs and blueberries in containers

Dry Cereal or Puffs and Fruit

Breakfast cereals or puffs with low added sugars are always a nice option for toddler snack-time. We like plain Cheerios, Kix, puffed whole grains, and unsweetened Shredded Mini Wheats.

Add a side of fruit or some milk for an easy kids snack. (Halve the blueberries as needed for younger kids.)

toddler snack of milk and larabar

Snack Bar and Milk

Mini Larabars and Dino Bars are great since they are sized right for toddlers and have a nice mix of protein, fat, and fiber. (These Horizon milks are also nice to take on the go.)

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Mini Blueberry Muffins

These little muffins are big on flavor and they store really well either chilled or at room temperature. They also have a balanced mix of ingredients—protein, fat, and fruit—so they are an all-around great toddler snack.

Favorite Blueberry Mini Muffins

Fluffy and perfectly moist, these little muffins have protein and calcium—plus bursts of delicious blueberries. (Like Little Bites, but with more nutrients and for less $$.) See Notes for allergy variations.

Get the recipe

blueberry-mini-muffins-on-cooling-rack
egg muffins and cucumber sticks in containers

Mini Egg Cups with Cucumber Sticks

These are so perfect to make ahead and warm to serve (or pack for preschool in a little thermos if needed). Add some fruit or crackers to round things out.

Easy Egg Cups (with Zucchini and Cheese)

Feel free to double the recipe to make a full 24 mini muffins! We like to stash these in the fridge to eat all week, so having more is usually helpful in our house.

Get the recipe

zucchini egg cups with berries and crackers
crackers-cheese-and-fruit-cup

Whole Grain Crackers and Cheese

The 12 Grain Mini Round crackers from Trader Joe’s, Triscuits, Breton, or any soft Ritz-type crackers are great options to pair with cheese for a simple snack.

It’s shown here with a DIY Fruit Cup, though any fruit you prefer would work, too.

diced pancakes and apples sticks in containers

Leftover Pancakes

I’m not sure what it is, but so many toddlers love snacking on whole pancakes! (Or at least my kids have as one year olds.) Pack a few small ones leftover from weekend breakfast and let them snack to their hearts’ content. This is also a favorite preschool snack idea and baby-led weaning snack.

Healthy Carrot Pancakes (with Yogurt!)

These hearty Carrot Pancakes pack nice natural sweetness from the carrots and applesauce. This can be a thicker pancake batter, so know that you can thin it slightly, if desired, by adding a few tablespoons of milk.

Get the recipe

carrot-pancakes-in-stack-with-pear-slices

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This post was first published May 2018.


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