Do you have a toddler in daycare? Are you looking for healthy snack ideas for your little one? We’ve got some great ideas that will keep your child full and happy. These daycare snack ideas for toddlers are easy to make, inexpensive, and delicious! They’ll be sure to love them.
You can also feel good about giving these snacks because they are all made with wholesome ingredients. Your kids will get the nutrients they need from these snacks while still enjoying their favorite flavors! Let’s get started with our list of 11 healthy snack ideas for toddlers in daycare!
How do I bring my toddler snacks to daycare?
If you need to provide your toddler snacks at daycare, you can pack them along in their lunch box if they bring one or a backpack. Use ice packs or a small thermos to keep the snacks cool if needed. Try to provide variety in their snacks and lunch to ensure they get a good range of foods throughout the day.
Best Snack Packing Supplies
- Lunch Bots Snack Box
- Stainless Steel Leakproof Containers
- Slim Ice Packs
- Freezable Lunch Box or Freezable Snack Bag(these are really cool!)
11 Best Snack Ideas for Toddlers in Daycare
These 11 ideas make great mix and match snacks for toddlers at daycare and can easily provide dozens of different snack combinations for your toddler. If you don’t see what you are looking for here, some of these prepackaged snacks for toddlers could also work for packing quick daycare snacks.
Yogurt is a great snack for toddlers because it has protein, carbs, and fat (I buy full-fat yogurt for toddlers.) You can buy it in a large container and portion it into small cups (like these stainless steel containers) using an ice pack to keep it cool. Or buy these Stonyfield kids yogurt tubes (they do contain 4g added sugar which is fairly minimal compared to many brands) to save time and freeze it – allowing it to thaw by snack time!
2. Cheese + Whole Grain Crackers
Pair cheese slices, sticks, or Babybel cheese and some whole-grain crackers (here are the healthiest crackers for toddlers.)
3. Nut Butter + Whole Grain Crackers
Spread some peanut, almond, or cashew butter on crackers to make little sandwiches. Again, here are some great cracker options for toddlers.
4. Veggie Sticks + Hummus
Cut some veggie sticks appropriately depending on the age of your toddler. My kids love pepper sticks, small matchstick carrots, and small cucumber slices best. Add some hummus for a healthy protein.
5. Frozen Peas
Did you know you don’t have to cook frozen peas? Simply thaw them and serve them as a snack alongside another item. My son loves them still cold so they make a great item to throw in your toddler’s lunchbox.
- Banana – Bananas are super convenient since they are naturally prepackaged and require no prep.
- Raisins – I try to choose fresh fruits for my kids when I can and simply limit raisins due to their sweetness, but they do make a great snack sometimes as they are easy.
- Apple – If your toddler is old enough to eat apples, either cut it into thin slices and mix it with lemon juice to keep from browning or serve whole (depending on age.)
- Small Oranges – Either pack it peeled or buy easy-peel oranges such as Cuties or Halos.
7. Energy Bars
There are several different energy bars you could send – I talk more about them in this list of best-packaged snacks for toddlers. My favorites to pack for a snack at daycare are:
- Dino Bars – Great for young toddlers as the texture is softer than Larabars.
- Scout Bar Kids
- Larabar – Depending on the age of your child, Larabars are great. However, you do need to be careful because some of the varieties have larger pieces of nuts. I have noticed this with the ones containing almonds in general.
8. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese makes a great snack. Pack it in a small container like this or buy individual packs if you are in a hurry. Try serving it with a fruit or veggie for the added benefits of produce.
9. Half Sandwich or Deli Meat Roll
Deli Meat – We occasionally give our kids nitrate-free deli meat. Make it simple by rolling ham or turkey and serve alongside produce or crackers. I prefer to limit the amount of deli meat I serve and only buy nitrate-free. Sometimes we make ham & cream cheese roll-ups as well and my kids enjoy them.
PB&J – I love Thrive Market’s just fruit spread best. Again, I don’t serve these most days due to added sugar, but I do send PB&J in my son’s preschool lunch occasionally or sometimes have it at home.
Tuna or Chicken Salad – Either make it into a sandwich or serve it in a bowl – my son enjoys eating a small portion of chicken salad for a snack sometimes.
10. Unsweetened Applesauce
Applesauce pouches can make a good snack especially served alongside some cheese or other protein.
11. Healthy Homemade Baked Goods
Keep your freezer stocked with healthy baked goods that you can send for snacks. I love to use these stasher bags to store baked goods or energy balls in my freezer.
Toddler Cookies – These toddler cookies are sweetened with dates and feature carrots, oats, and flax. They make a great healthy snack for your toddler at daycare.
Tips for Snacks for Toddlers at Daycare
- Mix and match the above snacks to create a balanced snack for your child. – In general, I recommend serving produce (fruit or veggie) along with a protein or fat for a snack.
- Ask caregivers how much your child ate. – Either ask the caregivers how your child ate or notice when you open the lunch box what is left. It’s always nice to have an idea of how much and what foods your child’s eating and it could be different in different settings (and of course is different on different days as well.)
- Follow any allergy or other guidelines of the school. – Be sure to read any guidelines your daycare has and follow them. For example, some facilities may be nut-free while others may recommend only sending water to drink (which I would recommend anyway.)
- Don’t send anything new…or at least not much of it. – For the most part, I would suggest trying new foods at home. However, if you do send something new show it to your child while packing the snack. For example, if you send a new or newish veggie or new fruit, show it to them and talk about it. Then make sure you send other foods they are comfortable with along with it.