These 14 Healthy Store-Bought Snacks for Toddlers are ready-to-eat items for on-the-go snacking.
We all know that homemade granola bars, fresh out-of-the oven whole wheat muffins and cut fruits and veggies are always going to be healthier then any store bought snack you can purchase from a store.
But we also all know that ☝️ doesn't always happen.
You over sleep and realize you have 20 minutes before you have to get to a play-date or to work. You opened your fridge and (surprise!) there is nothing in there. You showered and got dressed (in real clothes) only to have your lovely toddler spill your precious coffee down the front of you.
Life is what happens.
Or maybe making homemade snacks for your toddler just isn't your jam. I get you! It can all get to be too much.
I love making and serving healthy food to my kids, but even I pack store bought snacks for my kids on a daily basis.
Wait, maybe I need to put that last sentence in bold - Even I (a baby and kid food blogger) pack store bought snacks for my kids on a daily basis.
Okay, that feels better. I wanted to make sure you got that last message that there should be no mom guilt around this topic because we all do it.
For the most part, I pack each of my girls a small bento filled with a variety of snack foods (you can see some examples of these at the bottom of the post) for their snack. They eat these snack bentos either at school, preschool, on a play date or at home. These bentos are sometimes packed with fresh fruit or veggies, a homemade treat or store bought snacks. But most likely, it's a little bit of all of those things. While I serve my kids a ton of homemade food, I will serve them store-bought foods as well. And, surprisingly, I have no mom guilt about this.
But before you pull out a box of goldfish, please pretty please never pull out a box of those, here are 14 super healthy snacks that are packaged and ready to roll with whatever life has in store for you and your toddler.
I got all of these snacks at Trader Joes because it is my go-to store for healthy snacks (and cheap wine;). But most of these snacks can be found at any major grocery store or online.
Energy Bars - more then granola bars, energy or protein bars are made to be more nutrient dense with less filler ingredients. My kids love Larabar, RXBar and ZBar brands but you can play around and see what your little one likes the most. For young toddlers, I just break or chop the bars into small pieces for them to eat. The downside of energy bars is that they can get expensive (especially if you have more then one kid and you yourself are enjoying one at the same time). You can usually find these bars at costco or use them as a special treat to keep the consumption down. When looking for a brand of energy bars I will always try to find a bar that is low in sugar and doesn't have a ton of ingredients in it.
Apples and Yogurt - you can totally serve these separately as well but I have found that most toddlers love to dip food (it's messier that way;). So I love to serve these quick foods together. Of course you can chop and pack your own apple slices but when life gets super crazy busy the pre-sliced apple slices can be a life saver. I also send this combo to my preschoolers school on her snack day and all of the little ones gobble it up. For yogurt, my kids love the greek style strawberry or blueberry variety but any yogurt will work. I like the greek style yogurt the best because it is loaded with more protein, has less sugar and because it is thicker it makes less of a mess!
Inner Peas or Snapeas - crunchy baked peas that don't at all taste like peas. Granted, fresh peas are going to be healthier but these baked peas are a fun crunchy treat for your toddler.
Applesauce Pouches - these applesauce pouches come in a so many different flavor combinations that my kids never get sick of them. You can also find them at almost any grocery store these day, which makes them super convenient to pick up when you are on the run. We usually buy the applesauce pouches from costco because we go through them so fast. When looking for an applesauce pouch, look to make sure there is no added sugar, they should be mostly apples and the added fruit, veggie or spices, that's all.
Granola Bars - these are a bit of a no brainer because granola bars are a staple in any littles ones diet. I like to make my own granola bars but that isn't always a possibility when life gets hectic. When shopping for granola bars, I like to get the organic variety that have the least amount of sugar as possible (8 grams or less per bar) because some granola bars can be loaded with sugar (up to 20 grams a bar! yikes!). I also skip all of the bars with added fiber, protein or coated in chocolate because when these ingredients are added the list of foods I don't recognize goes up. I like to keep them as simple as I can.
Hummus and Pretzels - This single serve pack is a great way to serve a healthy protein to your toddler. They love the independence of having to do it themselves and it's enough food for you to nibble on a couple pretzels as well. You can also totally pack a big container of hummus and a bag of pretzels and get the same healthy snack. If you want to get crazy, you can also pack some baby carrots or snap peas along with this snack.
Cheese - string cheese is a no-brainer for a toddler snack and trust me when I say that I love the ease of tossing a string cheese into my purse for a quick toddler snack and calling it a day. But there are also so many other amazing single serving cheeses out there that are just as easy to pack and serve. We love these cheddar sticks, Babybel cheese circles and this Tapas Sampler (this one is SO good). You can also cut off any cheese from a block, toss it into a reusable baggie and serve to your little one on-the-go if you want to expand their cheese palate.
Freeze Dried Fruit - absolutely one of my favorite packaged snacks for toddlers is freeze dried fruit. First of all, these are great for any age toddler and I have also served these to babies as an alternative to puffs crackers and because they disintegrate so easily they are not a choking hazard. There are also so many different options - mangos, strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, etc, my kids never get bored with them. I also use them as a topping for yogurt or on top of a cream cheese bagel for a fun twist.
Cracker with Cream Cheese Spread - I am always so surprised how crazy the little ones get when I bring these two items on a play date with us. So simple and easy it's a hands down win in my book. I usually just pack a tub of full-fat cream cheese and some crackers (we are loving these gluten free rice crackers lately) along with a couple of spoons for spreading the cream cheese into my bag. During snack time, I make the kids do all of the work.
Hard-Boiled Eggs - you can totally make these yourself (which we do in our Instant Pot all the time) but if you are short on time, these pre-made hard-boiled eggs are a good option for a healthy snack. I find that I have to cut the egg in half or quarters for my preschooler.
Dried Fruit - raisins, craisins, dried blueberries, apples, mango, etc, etc etc, all dried fruit is a winner in my book! Dried fruit does have a good amount of natural sugar in it so you may want to monitor how much your little eats of it in a serving. For younger toddlers you will want to cut some of the bigger dried fruits into smaller pieces.
Guacamole and Crackers - These single serve guacamole packets are a staple at my house. They are full of healthy avocados with only a little bit of spice in them, which is good for the toddlers. I like to serve them on some whole wheat crackers for a snack. You can also have your toddler help you squeeze the guacamole on top of the cracker if you are adventurous like that;)
Coconut Clusters - oh man, these little clusters are so good! The ingredients are clean and while these little clusters would make a great toddler snack, there is actually no way I am going to share these with them. They are all for me!
I have spilled way too many food related items into my purse over the last 5 years, so now I always pack small bento snack boxes for my girls. My older daughter takes her to school and my younger ones takes hers to preschool, a play-date or eats it right at home. Here are some more bento snack box ideas for you.
I am not kidding when I say this style of prepping snacks is life-changing! It takes less then 2 minutes to prep the boxes, cuts down on items you have to put into your purse and carry around and it is super portable and easy to give to your toddler anywhere at anytime (I serve this to my preschooler while she rides in the grocery cart all the time).
Top Left - energy bar cut into chunks, freeze dried strawberries and baked pea sticks
Top Right - coconut clusters, raisins, Babybel cheese
Bottom Left - hard-boiled egg, gluten free crackers, cheese sticks cut into cubes
Bottom Right - guacamole packet, whole wheat crackers and freeze dried mangos