10 Healthy (and Cheap) Snacks To Prep For Picky Toddlers

Hands up if you’ve ever struggled to make snacks for a picky eater? Trust us, you’re not alone in your struggles! Picky eating is just a natural part of growing up for our toddlers. They’re experimenting with all those tastes, textures and smells, as well as learning how to chew and digest all that yummy food.

The parents at Team Happity have come up with some healthy (and cheap) snacks you can prep for your picky toddler. And if you end up munching them yourselves, you know you’ll benefit too (without breaking the bank).

Firstly, What Causes Picky Eating In Toddlers?

It’s often just a phase, as your toddler learns what foods they like (and dislike). One week they hate bananas; another week they love them. Or perhaps they’re always a bit sensitive to new things in their environment, so they stick to ‘safe’ foods they know they can eat and enjoy. Sometimes it can be they’re tired, or hangry, or just a bit overwhelmed by something that has happened that day. What goes into their mouths and tummies is an easy thing for them to feel they have control over.

There are so many websites out there and experts offering advice, it can cause more stress for us parents! Perhaps the best advice we’ve heard is try to stay relaxed when offering food. There’s never a ‘one size fits all’ approach for any individual child or family.

With that said, let’s jump into our list.

1. Raw Carrot / Cucumber / Pepper sticks

A great one for kids who love ‘crunchy’ food. You can prep them as batons, small bite-size chunks or even use a mini-cookie cutter on the cucumber to create some wacky shapes. If you want to go the extra mile and make a face out of all the raw veggie bits, that’s more fun for you and will look even more appealing for them! With carrots costing around 8p, this is an easy ingredient to keep to hand when you want to grab and go. Add hummus to dip in for extra flavour.

2. Banana Oat Muffins Or Banana Pancakes

There are loads of recipes out there online and in baby weaning books. Make a batch and you can be snacking on these for a few days! Banana oat muffins are such an easy recipe, while Banana pancakes are great for making fresh and then freezing. Pop a couple in your lunchbox or on defrost setting in the toaster and you’re good to go!

Banana pancakes- you can prep these in advance and freeze them. Pop one out in the morning to defrost.

Liz – Marketing Assistant For Team Happity

3. Flapjacks – Snacks For Picky Toddlers

There are tons of ‘healthy’ recipes for flapjacks out there. You can fill them with nuts, seeds, fruit – a winner for protein.

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4. Fruit Kebabs

Whatever fruit you have lying around can be prepped – try alternating different colours – banana, strawberry and orange for example. Use bamboo sticks or even straws – something that’s not sharp and is toddler-friendly. Fruit kebabs look so appealing with all those colours together – and most toddlers love eating food off a stick!

5. Rice Cakes With Spread

How about rice cakes with cheese spread or peanut butter? Current research suggests that children aged under five who regularly eat peanut butter are more likely to build up a tolerance as well as it being yummy! Remember to stick with smooth peanut butter for babies and really young children and follow NHS advice for trying it as a new food from 6 months in case of any allergies. Corn cakes are a great alternative to rice cakes and you can even try making your own nut butters.

My daughter loves a rice cake with some sort of spread on it like peanut butter. At the moment, she is really into yoghurt-coated raisins or dried fruits we get from the supermarket. Also cucumber or crackers with hummus. When she was was a smaller toddler and started to want more cake-type things, I used to make banana oat muffins.

Alex- Happity’s Customer Support Expert

6. Storytime Spaghetti

As many toddlers (and parents) know, Peppa Pig just loves eating spaghetti! More of a mini-meal than a snack, spaghetti and cheese can work wonders for those afternoon munchies.  If your toddler has a favourite book or TV character, you could name dishes after them – Hungry Caterpillar cracker, anyone? Telling a story about food can be a great way to get toddlers excited about trying it.

7. Smushed-Up Fruit Smoothies

You can get the children involved in this one. If you’ve got a blender, they can help throw the fruit in and see the colours mix together. For little artists out there, you could ask them what colour ‘banana yellow’ and ‘blueberry blue’ might make. And, voila! Rainbow smoothies.

8. Cereal

Not the high-sugar stuff, but think bran flakes or Weetabix. How to make Weetabix more appealing…? Try doing a little science experiment – does the Weetabix float or sink in the milk? How much liquid can it actually absorb like a sponge? Can you ‘rescue’ the Weetabix from the bowl by taking a few mouthfuls? This might be one for those toddlers who like to know how things work! Try adding dried fruits and yoghurt-coated raisins to your cereals if you like. Some parents also swear by overnight oats as being really quick and easy to throw together the night before.

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9. Foraged Fruit

If you’re lucky enough to have strawberries growing in your garden or if you’re in an area where wild blackberries grow, why not go fruit picking (for free)? It’s amazing how many strawberries and blackberries can get sneaked out of the bowl, or off the plant, by little ones when they think we’re not looking. Being outdoors is relaxing for so many of us, and it can just take the pressure off eating when it’s a casual (and fun) activity.

10. “The World”

This is a new one for us and a great alternative to beans on toast. Think small ketchup “core”, then scrambled egg around it (the mantle), then cut-up toast to make the outer layer – the crust. Bet this one looks good on a plate!

For a quick meal if not eating together, I’d make “The World”, which was a small ketchup “core”, then scrambled egg, then cut up toast for the outer layer. That was a great winner and different from beans on toast when needing to be super fast!

(Emily- Happity Co-Founder)

Do let us know if you have any more suggestions of what snacks work well for your toddler – or how to make food look appealing so they’ll try it in the first place!

Want To Get Out And About, Have Fun With Your Baby Or Toddler, And Meet Other Parents?

Search Happity to find everything that’s happening for the under-5’s in your local area – from music and singing classes, to messy play, arts and crafts, baby massage, gymnastics and more. Simply enter your postcode and child’s age to search, and then book your spot in a few taps. Enjoy dedicated fun time with your little one, watch their skills develop, and make friends at the same time. Mums, dads, grandparents and carers will all find something to love!

Find a class today!

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Liz Crossland

Liz Crossland