Riese started a morning preschool program recently, and as a result we’ve been packing a lot of snacks. I’ve been taking pictures of her snack boxes and thought it might be helpful to share them in case you need healthy toddler snack ideas, too, whether for home, school, or other adventures!
Riese’s school is peanut AND tree nut free, so I’ve had to get creative because most of our usual go-to snacks for her (like Larabars, homemade no bake energy bites, even our fave Blue Diamond crackers, etc.) include nuts or nut butter. So all the snacks pictured here are nut free, just FYI.
Feel free to add nuts as a side to any of these snack ideas if this doesn’t apply to you – nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats for kids (and adults!), provided allergies aren’t an issue of course!
When we are at home or otherwise on the go, nuts are still a big go-to for us – Riese loves pretty much all of them and I love that they are easy, portable, shelf stable and actually keep her full.
The only nut we don’t give her whole at this point (at 3.5 years old) is almonds, since they are so hard, but she loves sliced or slivered almonds.
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Tree Nut & Peanut Free Snacks for Toddlers
When packing a snack for Riese, I always ask myself: does this include a variety of macronutrients (carbs, protein, AND fat?).
It’s easy to send just carbs (fruit, crackers, etc.) but that just won’t keep her full for long, so especially without nuts in the mix I’ve had to get creative with fitting in protein and fat, too! Because hangry toddlers (similar to hangry me) are just not a good time. 🙂
Toddler Snack Containers
We have two snack containers that we use for Riese depending what we are sending. The first is this small stainless steel snack box with three compartments inside.
It’s nice for smaller snacks and also items that don’t need to be kept cold. (Sometimes I’ll send something in it that would normally be refrigerated as you’ll see in the pictures, but that’s because she eats snack shortly after she gets to school so I haven’t been too worried about it.)
Here it is – she decorated it with stickers. 🙂
We also have a bigger more traditional lunch box that’s insulated that we send her with when we need to include an ice pack, or if we are sending something larger.
This would work as a lunch box as well as a snack box since it’s bigger – the stainless one is really just best for finger food snacks/smaller meals.
I also recommend Stasher silicone bags, which you’ll see pictured in the snack images with the bigger lunchbox as well – I love having a reusable and washable option instead of constantly going through plastic bags. We stocked up on more of the snack size ones and they’ve been really useful for preschool!
Ideas for Healthy Snacks for Toddlers
And now, let’s get to those healthy snack ideas!
I always throw Riese’s snacks together right before we head out the door, so everything pictured here is pretty much grab and go.
Every once in awhile we’ve sent Riese with something homemade, but all the snacks pictured here are things that don’t require much prep or planning ahead of time besides maybe a quick slicing or peeling, because let’s be honest, life is busy and I’m not organized enough to plan her snacks the night before. 😉
I’ll link to anything that’s a packaged product/not a fresh fruit or veggie, in case you want to check them out.
Healthy Toddler Snack Ideas for Home & Preschool
And now, without further ado, here are a million pictures of snack boxes/bags. You’ll definitely see some repeat items because again, without nuts I run out of ideas, but I hope this will give you some inspiration and new foods/products to try!
First up: sharp cheddar cheese + triscuits crackers + blueberries + string beans (anytime you see string beans pictured it’s the microwave steam in a bag fresh (not frozen) string beans you can find in the bagged lettuce area of the grocery store – Riese LOVES them and so do we, they are totally unseasoned/plain) + Love Grown Power O’s cereal (like Cheerios but made with beans, so they have some protein!):
A clementine (she likes peeling them herself!) + sliced bell pepper + Power O’s cereal + dried chickpeas (I forget which brand this was, but lots of grocery stores have them in the same aisle as the nuts/seeds):
Sharp cheddar cheese + triscuits + sliced bell peppers and carrots + blueberries:
Apple slices + carrot slices + a medium boiled egg with a little salt and pepper:
Apple slices + black beans + freeze-dried peas:
Dried figs (Riese LOVES these) + string beans + Power O’s cereal:
Crackers + cheese + grapes (if the grapes are massive, we still cut them in half for her, but for smaller ones at 3.5 years old she’s been fine to eat them whole nowadays) + a hard boiled egg:
Blueberries + string beans + crackers + dried chickpeas:
Cheese + string beans + carrots + blueberries + popcorn (<- love BjornQorn brand because it’s super yummy and also it has nutritional yeast on it for an extra protein boost – you could also just make a big batch of popcorn and add your own nutritional yeast, you do you) – also, FYI that popcorn is a choking hazard for younger toddlers – we didn’t start giving Riese popcorn until recently:
Sliced strawberries, string beans, dried chickpeas, crackers:
String beans, dried chickpeas, an orange:
Another breakfast round, dried mango, freeze dried peas:
Dried figs, carrots, dried peas + chickpeas:
Yogurt + Power O’s cereal (at home, Riese and I usually have plain full fat Greek yogurt with lots of fresh fruit, but for school, I’ve found it’s obviously way easier to buy small yogurt containers – the key for me has been finding ones without mass quantities of sugar added. Our two faves are Wallaby brand, pictured here – some of theirs are sweetened only with fruit which I really like – and also Siggi’s brand yogurt which you’ll see pictured some later):
Dried figs, carrots, half a Bobo’s oat bar (one of the ones without nuts – I think this was lemon poppyseed), cheese:
String beans, dried figs, a whole Bobo’s bar (which she ate half of, hence sending less the other time):
Siggi’s 2% black cherry yogurt, nutritional yeast popcorn + dried chickpeas, carrots:
Siggi’s 4% mixed berries (I wish all their flavors came in 4%, I’m team full fat dairy and here’s why) + string beans and sliced bell pepper:
Clementine, dried peas + Annie’s organic cheddar squares (these are so yummy, half the time I eat them all before Riese has any…) + hard boiled egg:
Nutritional yeast popcorn + a clementine + dried peas + pumpkin seeds (she likes the sprouted pumpkin seeds better than the plain raw ones, but this was what we had that day):
Siggi’s 4% mixed berry yogurt+ triscuits, dried peas, and Brad’s raw veggie chips (<- these are great, so nutrient-dense):
Crackers + turkey + chickpeas (from a can, rinsed and drained) + some massive grapes we cut in half.
I just realized this is the only picture containing any meat! We don’t often sent her with meat because it’s a morning snack, but every once in awhile (especially if Matt’s the one packing snack) we will include some lunch meat.
Riese loves tortillas so we will sometimes slice them into spirals with cheese + ham or turkey deli meat inside, but usually we save the meat for lunch/dinner!
And that’s that – whew, that was a lot of pictures!
I hope these healthy toddler snack ideas come in handy for your family’s meal planning! If you have any questions, happy to answer them.
What are your go-to toddler snacks (bonus points if nut free)? I’m always looking for new ideas!
Looking for more blog posts about raising a toddler/parenting? Check these out: