19 Real Food Snacks for Babies and Toddlers

Snacks.  Babies and toddlers love them.  They need them.  Most little ones I know need 3 meals a day plus at least 2 snacks.  Let’s be honest, so do I!  I try to think of snacks as mini-meals and make them nutritious as possible.  Here are 19 snacks that are full of goodness, that are also allergy-friendly and do not contain any refined sugar, grains or dairy, so are suitable for primal and paleo diets.  They’re also good for older kids and adults too!

  1. Bananas – these are a baby superfood! Easy to digest and very nutrient rich.  Also comes in its own handy packaging.
  2. Avocados – again, a very nutrient dense food that is easy for babies to digest.  You can feed it on a spoon, mashed, or cut into wedges for baby-led weaners.  Remember to add a little lemon or lime juice to stop it going brown if you’re not eating it straight away.
  3. Cold cooked meat – you could use leftovers or deli meats, cut to suit your baby.  Both of my children also loved to gnaw on a chicken drumstick as babies.
  4. Cooked and peeled prawns – seafood is considered one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
  5. Paté – this may be a little bit controversial, but liver (and all organ meat) is extremely nutrient dense and is considered a sacred food for babies in many traditional cultures.  I would give a baby or toddler a small amount (about 1-2tsp) on a buckwheat crispbread once or twice a week.
  6. Hardboiled eggs – for young babies just the egg yolk, as the white can be more difficult to digest.
  7. Omelette wedges or fingers – add your baby’s favourite fillings.
  8. Tinned fish – tuna, sardines or salmon, for example.  Make sure any bones are well mashed, for a great source of calcium.
  9. Cold, cooked vegetables – for example steamed green beans, sweet potato wedges, carrot sticks, broccoli.
  10. Raw vegetables – cucumbers and red peppers are popular in my house but you can also give raw sugar snap peas, celery and carrot sticks, depending on your baby’s chewing skills
  11. Olives – be sure to get pitted olives and cut them to suit your baby.  Just be aware that they are high in sodium, so offer them in moderation and with a drink of water.
  12. Fresh fruit – so much variety: kiwis, plums, apples, grapes, peaches, melon, pears, raspberries, strawberries… and so delicious!
  13. Dried fruit – a good source of iron, and figs in particular are a good source of calcium.
  14. Homemade raw fruit snacks – bliss balls, snack balls, protein balls, energy balls, whatever you call them, they are a combination of dried fruit, nuts and seeds blended in a food processor and then formed into balls.  A delicious and nutritious treat and you can whip up a batch in minutes.   Here’s our favourite bliss ball recipe.
  15. Nut butter – spread your favourite nut butter on a sliced apple, or enjoy straight from the spoon!  We love this almond butter.
  16. Baby fruit bars – these are one pre-packaged snack that I’m happy to buy.  They are really convenient to keep in your bag.  They are just a mixture of dried fruit smooshed together into a bar.  We love these Organix Goodies ones.
  17. Fruit pouches – all the baby food manufacturers make these.  Again, they are really handy to put in your bag.  I tend to limit these to 1-2 a week as they can cause tooth decay.  We like Ella’s Kitchen White Ones because they also contain coconut milk.
  18. Coconut butter – delicious, full of protein, fibre and healthy fat.  I always keep a jar in my kitchen cupboard.
  19. Homemade gelatin snacks/gummy candies – a mixture of fruit juice, pureed fruit and gelatin.  You can also add other ingredients for extra goodness like probiotics, kefir, kombucha etc. and honey to sweeten if needed.  I’ve just started making these and I’ll be sharing my favourite recipes soon.

 

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