Snacks to Keep Your Toddler Happy and Healthy

At some point in their lives, every parent wonders: How many snacks will it take to appease my child? It seems like their need for snacks is as vast as the ocean and as infinite as the sky.

But remember that what you might consider normal—eating three meals a day with limited snacks—doesn’t necessarily apply to kids. That’s because kids will typically eat five or six times in a day, making packing toddler snacks for daycare essential. Children have smaller tummies than adults, so they can’t consume as much in a sitting. But they’re still plenty hungry, as their developing bodies need energy.

That said, as a conscientious parent, you want to avoid the sugary junk food that populates so much of the snack market. Strategically offered snacks—not too close to meal time—are perfect to help your growing child. Here are some great nutritious toddler snacks if you’re looking for ideas.

Fruits and vegetables

There is, of course, that one toddler who refuses to eat anything other than chicken nuggets. But it’s still important to offer fruits and vegetables, no matter what your child’s predilections may be. Eventually, you’ll find something they like. Below are some fruit options:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Applesauce
  • Peaches
  • Kiwi
  • Melon
  • Raspberries
  • Grapes (cut in half to avoid choking hazard)
  • Oranges

Vegetables are an important part of a child’s diet as well, as they’re a crucial source of vitamins and minerals. Any of the following will make for a great snack:

  • Baby carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers
  • Spinach leaves
  • Edamame


This food group is necessary to provide protein and calcium. If you remember your mom frequently pushing milk on you, she wasn’t wrong!

  • Boiled eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Rolled-up cold cuts
  • Grilled chicken


These are great toddler snacks for daycare because they typically don’t need to be refrigerated—and kids love them. While you want to avoid too many of these snacks, a couple each day can provide some the fiber your child needs. Here are a few more options for nutritious toddler snacks:

  • Granola
  • Cereal
  • Goldfish
  • Rice cakes
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Veggie straws
  • Graham crackers
  • Healthy muffins

How and when to offer snacks

Just as important as what you offer to snack is how much and when you allow your child to snack. Coming up with a regular snack schedule—such as one mid-morning and another in the afternoon—will prevent your child from grazing all day long (and irritating you with constant snack requests). It also means that your child won’t be full when it comes time to have a meal.

We hope this guide to nutritious toddler snacks is helpful. If you’re looking for a supportive, nurturing childcare facility for your child, turn to Magical Star Preschool. We support children’s growth in all areas, from motor skills to cognitive development. So many milestones happen during these years, and that’s why we offer daily reports, photos and calls to families to share the joy of your child’s growth. Contact us today to find out if our programs are right for your child.

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