Best Snack Crackers For Toddlers
- January 14, 2022
This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.Use this list of the best healthy snacks for kids that you can buy at the store and keep on hand in the pantry to keep the littles nourished in between meals.You’re not alone there—there are just SO many darn options and often, the ingredients lists and labels seem to make understanding what’s really in each snack so much harder.To help you cull through the vast choices, I’ve narrowed down my favorite shelf-stable snacks for little kids.When researching this post, I kept littler kids in mind to ensure that each item would be an appropriate toddler snack food.For a snack like a bar, I aim for no more than 5-8 grams simply because more than that often tastes incredibly sweet.If they’re things like whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, or another source of protein, that is a great sign.These will be more filling with their higher fiber content, which may help keep the kids more satisfied until their next eating opportunity.Look at the protein and fat content, which will give staying power to the snack so it helps keeps kids fuller longer.Add a drink like milk, drinkable yogurt, kefir, or a smoothie or another food such as avocado cubes, nut butter, or hard cooked egg that has protein and/or fat to ensure long lasting energy.Each is a great stand alone snack and has a texture that is easy for kids to eat at school, at home, or on the go.The flavors are soft—you may want to cut them into cubes for younger kids—and they have a nicely balanced mix of fruit and nuts for energy and protein.(My two favorite toddler crackers have recently been discontinued, sadly, but these are some nice options.).Many pretzels and chips can be too crunchy and sharp for younger eaters, but these crispy pea snacks are easy to crunch as they sort of dissolve in a child’s mouth after the initial bite.They are also high in protein and fiber, making them a healthy option when a salty snack is in order.This classic cracker is lower in sodium than the original and they contain just a handful of very straight forward ingredients.There are newer options packed in coconut water too, though they often have a little added sugar (which may or may not be important to you).In our house, fruit leather is a special snack and I’ve found that the Stretch Island variety is the least sticky.I tread lightly with pouches before 2 since my kids always had a tendency to squirt them all over the place, but otherwise, these are a good option.Whether mozzarella or Colby or cheddar, a cheese stick is a classic snack that’s a nice source of protein and calcium.Companies including Roth, Sargento, and Arla make these small rectangular snack cheeses that are perfect for kids.There are loads of yogurt tubes available for kids, though I’m partial to the Siggis strawberry and blueberry ones since they are so low in added sugars.Another high five to a Siggis product: Their small bottles of drinkable yogurt make for a portable smoothie snack that’s rich in protein and probiotics.Whether you need a snack to send with lunch or something to share with the class, these options are a great place to start.We love sharing clementines, applesauce pouches, and yogurt tubes with the class if we need to contribute a snack! .
14 Healthy Store-Bought Snacks for Toddlers
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.You showered and got dressed (in real clothes) only to have your lovely toddler spill your precious coffee down the front of you.They eat these snack bentos either at school, preschool, on a play date or at home.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;).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!You can also find them at almost any grocery store these days, which makes them super convenient to pick up when you are on the run.I like to make my own granola bars but that isn’t always a possibility when life gets hectic.You can also totally pack a big container of hummus and a bag of pretzels and get the same healthy snack.We love these cheddar sticks, Babybel cheese circles and this Tapas Sampler (this one is SO good).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.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.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.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.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.It takes less than 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 any time (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.Bottom Left – hard-boiled egg, gluten-free crackers, cheese sticks cut into cubes. .
Master List of Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids and Toddlers
This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.Coming up with yummy and healthy snack ideas for kids each day can be a big challenge.This master list of toddler snacks, which includes both fresh and store bought, will make it easier to serve nutritious food that your kids will actually want to eat.It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of offering the same few foods…and having a toddler who only wants to eat a few foods!I hope that this toddler snacks list helps to remind you of other options when you feel stuck, or that it encourages you to try a few new foods with your little one.TIP: You can try to pair up two items from different categories to keep things balanced—and make sure the kids have enough to fill up on at each snack time.I think that we often put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to snacks for kids and really, they don’t need to be perfect.I always try to think of snacks as a way to offer foods we haven’t had a chance to enjoy at other meals, while also trying to avoid tracking nutrition too closely.TIP: Slice fresh fruit into small cubes or very thinly for little kids so the pieces are easy to bite.Offering veggies at snack time is a helpful way to increase the odds that the kids will eat more throughout the day.Use the visual above to know how to start offering raw veggies, working left to right as the kids improve their chewing skills.Dried fruit (mango, apricots, cranberries, cherries, cut into small pieces as needed).Whole milk dairy will help keep the kids fuller until the next meal (and often tastes better!Snacks can be a great time to offer protein from vegetarian or meat-based sources.Deli meat (sliced turkey, ham, or salami, cut up as needed).Nut butter (on toast, on apple slices, as a dip for pretzels, etc).TIP: And of course, you can always serve leftovers as snacks as a mini meal! .
28 Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Love
Snack time is a great opportunity to sneak some extra nutrients into your child’s diet. .
25 Healthy Toddler Snacks to Take On the Go (Big Kids Will Like Too)
This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.It’s great if it includes all of these food groups, but having at least one item of produce and either a fat or a protein means that the snack will keep your toddler full longer.To avoid this, which can lead to more caloric intake than they really need, have snacks at regular times and sit down to enjoy them.Made without gluten, nuts, or dairy, these soft muffins get their flavor from two types of fruit and might be even tastier on the second (or third) day!Try topping them with a drizzle of honey or cream cheese or nut butter if allergies aren’t a concern.Try packing a little container of hummus with whole grain crackers or easy to eat veggies for a balanced toddler snack.Small apples, pears, and bananas, vertically cut grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and cubed melon are a few of our favorite fruits to take on the go.Pair with cheese, nut or seed butter, milk, or yogurt for a balanced snack.Pair with cheese, nut or seed butter, milk, or yogurt for a balanced snack.With natural sweetness and the flavors of a favorite dessert cookie dough, these little bites are yummy and nutritious.They hold up well, especially with an ice pack in your bag, and they offer a balanced snack with whole grains, protein, and fruit all in one convenient package.Like store-bought freeze-dried fruit for babies and toddlers, only less expensive, think of these strawberries as a sweet and super healthy chip.But I do love the lower sugar yogurt tubes from Siggi’s and Stonyfield, so if your toddler can reliable eat them without making a royal mess, pack them.A batch of these crackers never lasts long in our house—and they are a fun component to a packed toddler lunch box.And it’s nice because this homemade toddler snack packs whole grains, protein, and less salt than many store-bought cheese crackers.Breakfast cereals with low added sugars are always a nice option for toddler snack-time (and they can be a little more economical and nutritious than puffs…though we do love Puffs too!).We like plain Cheerios, Kix, puffed whole grains, and unsweetened Shredded Mini Wheats.Mini Larabars and Dino Bars are great since they are sized right for toddlers and have a nice mix of protein, fat, and fiber.They also have a balanced mix of ingredients—protein, whole grains, fat, and fruit—so they are an all-around great toddler snack free from the top food allergens.These are so perfect to make ahead and warm to serve (or pack for preschool in a little thermos if needed). .
Best Crackers for Babies & Toddlers
That’s why, for this age group especially, baby crackers are best to use as a vehicle for nutritious toppings.I also want to make a quick note that crackers can often be relied on a little too much by parents (since they’re so easy to throw alongside any meal or snack and we know our kids love them!).Crackers are of course a processed food, which doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t offer it.However, know that processing (often in the form of grinding, puffing, or flaking) always changes the way a food is metabolized in the body.The rate of breakdown of the nutrients is vastly different in each case which affects blood sugars, hunger levels, etc.That being said, you will still find many benefits from crackers when they’re made from high quality ingredients!We also know that rice based products, when eaten in abundance, significantly contribute to high arsenic levels in the body, as rice is a crop that absorbs arsenic and heavy metals very well. .
Choosing Healthier Crackers
In fact, a recent consumer survey found that we eat an average of 2.6 snacks everyday.Crackers can be a healthy snack, but it is important to read ingredient lists carefully.Foods and snacks rich in whole grains contain more fiber, which slows down the rate the body digests carbohydrates keeping you fuller longer.The American Heart Association states that eating foods containing “dietary fiber from whole grains, as part of an overall healthy diet, may help improve blood cholesterol levels, and lower risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes.”(2).This leads to a rapid increase blood glucose levels (these are known as high Glycemic Index (GI) foods).Artificial preservatives and colors are widely used in sodas, candy, and baked goods including crackers and other salty snacks.Bottom line: When selecting snacks for yourself and your family, look for foods that are rich in whole grains and fiber, do not contain excessive amounts of sodium, have minimal added sugar, and do not contain artificial preservatives or colors.Many snacks rich in whole grains could not be rated as “wise” simply because they contained too much sodium.It simply means that these are snacks that contain mostly, if not all, refined gains, excessive sodium, and often other junky ingredients.Additionally, these crackers often contain excessive amounts of sodium and sometimes even added sugar.Triscuit Crackers Ingredients: whole grain wheat, vegetable oil, sea salt.Though rich in whole grains, Wasa crackers contain barley malt extract, a type of added sugar.Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers Ingredients: almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, tapioca starch, cassava flour, sunflower oil, sea salt, onion, garlic, rosemary extract.Though rich in whole grains, Wheat Thins crackers contain multiple types of added sugar and starch.Dare’s Breton crackers contain refined flour and added sugar.Whole Grain Goldfish Ingredients: whole wheat flour, enriched wheat flour, cheddar cheese, canola and/or sunflower oil, salt, yeast extract, paprika, spices, celery, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate, onion powder.Goldfish crackers made with whole grains contain refined flour and higher amounts of sodium.Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies Ingredients: wheat flour, sunflower oil, salt, cheddar cheese, yeast, baking soda, paprika, monocalcium phosphate, cultured whole milk, nonfat milk, annatto (color), onion powder, celery seed powder, enzymes.Contains evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, and barley malt extract, all types of added sugar.Reasons to avoid Honey Maid Graham crackers: Refined flour is first ingredient.Keebler Club Crackers Keebler Club Crackers Original Ingredients: enriched flour, soybean oil, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, leavening, corn syrup, soy lecithin.Ritz Crackers Ritz Crackers Ingredients: enriched flour, soybean oil, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, salt, leavening, high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, malted barley flour, natural flavor.Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers Ritz Crackers Ingredients: enriched flour, whole grain wheat flour, soybean oil, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, leavening, salt, high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin.Reasons to avoid Whole Wheat Ritz crackers: Refined flour is first ingredient.Ritz Bits Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Ritz Bits Ingredients: enriched flour, peanut butter, soybean oil, vegetable oil, sugar, dextrose, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, high fructose corn syrup, salt, leavening, soy lecithin, malted barley flour, milk.Saltine Crackers Nabisco Saltine Crackers Ingredients: enriched wheat flour, canola oil, palm oil, sea salt, malted barley flour, baking soda, yeast.Toast Chee Crackers Toast Chee Ingredients: enriched flour, peanut butter, vegetable oil, dextrose, sugar, salt, leavening, corn syrup, deproteinized dairy whey, cheddar cheese, yellow 6, soy lecithin.Reasons to avoid Toast Chee crackers: Contains artificial food coloring.Healthy crackers are great for a quick snack or adding to a school lunch.Michael Moss, 2013 (link) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020, Eighth Ed.Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells & Lose Weight Permanently, David Ludwig, MD, PhD (link) Sales of the leading cracker brands of the United States in 2016, Statistica Website (link) as well as prominent snacks for sale at Costco, Target, and my local grocery store (Harris Teeter). .
Selecting Snacks for Toddlers
Toddlers use a lot of energy to grow and play, and their little stomachs can't hold enough food to keep them from getting hungry between meals.Children often come to think of a "snack" as a time to eat highly processed foods.You can help avoid this trap by serving freshly prepared foods to your children—even at snack time.Apples, bananas, peaches, nectarines, pears (thinly sliced for safety).Whole grain tortilla, pita, or bagels cut into small pieces.Edamame beans or chickpeas (steamed or mashed) or hummus spreads.Big chunks of any food are dangerous for children under than age 4 and pose serious choking hazards.For this reason, raw veggies and some fruits such as carrots, apples, whole cherry tomatoes, whole green beans, and celery should be cut into small pieces and/or cooked to minimize the choking risk.Heavily processed foods should also be avoided; they tend to be low in nutritional value and high in salt and added sugar. .
40+ Healthy Toddler Snacks, Ideas and Tips—Dietician-Appoved!
You'll want to print our this list of toddler snacks and hang it on your refrigerator.Whether your kiddos are at the park, home or preschool, there’s one thing you know for certain: your child is hungry!Monochromatic lunches can be boring, so try adding pops of color with blue blueberries, purple grapes or bright red strawberries.If your kids are really struggling to try new fruits and vegetables, use a cookie cutter ($12) to cut out a fun shape, or create an animal with the food to spark their interest.Think back to ants on a log (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins).Spread a thin layer of PB on crackers or check out Bamba, the peanut butter puffs at Trader Joe’s.I like using ½ cup yogurt + 1 tablespoon almond butter + 1 handful spinach leaves + ½ banana + 1 cup milk, it’s a green treat!Toddlers definitely need healthy fats as their brains continue to grow at a rapid pace.Both chia and flaxseeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are preferred for brain development.Find a healthy nut butter and spread a thin layer on a cracker or piece of toast for a simple high-fat snack.Sliced or mashed, they’re a tasty way to get extra nutrition and a dose of healthy fats.Try a variety of sliced or grated cheeses, on a sandwich, a cracker or melted into a quesadilla.Muffins can be a great way to sneak in vegetables, like pumpkin or zucchini.Avocado toast Quesadillas Crackers with cheese and meats (Skip the store-bought packages and make your own to keep costs low.).Homemade granola bars Egg salad and crackers Dried apple slices Apple sauce Dried fruit Fresh berries Sliced grapes (Cut lengthwise to prevent choking.).Pasta salad Hummus or bean dip Beans or lentils Kale or veggie chips Yogurt Cottage cheese with canned peaches Cucumber slices or sticks Grated carrots Savory or sweet muffins Crackers (Make your own fish-shaped crackers with this recipe for Homemade Crisp Crackers and a fish cookie cutter.).You can pack a variety of the snacks above into a bento box lunch like this for your toddler.If you’re struggling and finding yourself engaging in food battles, then check the Ellyn Satter Institute to guide table talk and find ways to raise intuitive eaters. .
11 Store-Bought Crackers That Are Actually Healthy — Eat This Not
You crumble them into soup, nibble on them with ginger ale when you're sick, or top 'em with cheese when sipping a little vino.But when it comes to wholesome ingredients and reasonable nutritional information, healthy crackers can seem nowhere in sight.The first ingredient should be 100% whole grain flour," says registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN , who serves on the advisory board for Smart Healthy Living.The first ingredient should be 100% whole grain flour," says registered dietitian , who serves on the advisory board for Smart Healthy Living.You want to make sure that savory crackers aren't taking on to your daily limit of added sugar."A little added honey is alright, but it's usually best to avoid high fructose corn syrup or crackers with more than one type of sugar.This list of healthy crackers will help you decipher which of the biggest players to choose from when you're at your grocery store."I recommend Triscuit crackers because they offer lots of different bold flavors," says Kostro Miller."Even their flavored crackers like the cracked pepper and olive oil only has 140 milligrams of sodium per serving.Dietitian Rachel Fine, MS, RD, CSSD, CDN, owner of To The Pointe Nutrition says these crackers "are another favorite high-fiber option with a mix of fibrous grains and seeds.".Best for Weight Loss: GG Scandinavian Fiber Crispbread, Oat Bran.When registered dietitian Brocha Soloff, BS, RD, CDN of iHeartHealth is looking for healthy crackers, she looks for the least ingredients, lowest net carb, and highest fiber: a triple threat for weight loss.Her favorite cracker for health and weight management is this one from Norwegian crispbread company, GG's.It's baked with brown rice flour, oat fiber, sesame seeds, quinoa, millet, and flaxseed.If you're on a low-carb or keto diet, these almond flour-based crackers are your best bet with just 3 grams of net carbs per serving.They're low in sodium and get their protein punch from almonds and egg whites and extra fiber from flaxseeds."These crackers are low in calories and pack in a good amount of dietary fiber to keep you feeling full.Due to the size and shape of these crackers, you can use them as an alternative to bread giving you a satisfying crunch!".The wheat germ, bran, and whole-grain rye in these crackers really amp up the fiber content here, while the sesame seeds add in healthy fat.says registered dietitian nutritionist Sandra Murray Gultry, MS, RDN, LDN, CSOWM, and owner of It's All About Choices.This wholesome Annie's pick packs in organic whole wheat flour, sunflower oil, and a bit of real cheddar for a subtle flavor.Although it doesn't meet our fiber requirements, Rustic Bakery is a dietitian-approved cracker when you're whipping up a fancy cheese plate.The sourdough option is my favorite because the baking involves fermentation, which attracts yeast and bacteria.The length of time that the dough ferments is directly related to the break-down of gluten in a process called hydrolysis," says Laura Lagano, MD, RDN, CDN, integrative & functional nutritionist with an in-person & virtual private practice.Lagano notes that fermented crackers like this can be helpful for people who are sensitive to gluten, but they're still not best for individuals with Celiac disease.Wheat Thins contain a decent fiber and protein content, but the five grams of sugar per serving is simply unnecessary.4 crackers, 14 g : 60 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 80 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein.These Keebler Club Crackers pack in sugar and salt without any fiber or protein.Plus, it packs in hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup, one of the unhealthiest foods on the planet.Soiled with sugar and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil—you can definitely find a better cracker to nosh on.Cheez-Its' lack of fiber won't prevent your hunger from soaring minutes after you nosh on these savory bits.While it's marketed as a plain, multi-grain cracker, you'll find more sugar than fiber in this deceitful pick.Worst: Keebler Town House Flatbread Crisps Sea Salt & Olive Oil.