As a nutritionist and mother, I want to share with you my top healthy vegan toddler snacks. I try to feed my twins healthy wholesome and nourishing vegan toddler snacks that are mostly homemade. But I know sometimes life gets a bit too busy and kids go from not being hungry to being starving to death in about 1 second without any warning! I try to change them up often so they get a variety of foods and nutrients and keep it interesting for them. Diversity is key for a healthy vegan diet for children.
Fruits: fruits are nature’s best snacks! They are also the best when it comes to practical healthy and vegan snacks that kids love. Bananas even come in their own wrappers! My toddlers usually either have banana, strawberries, blueberries or apples. I limit their fruit intake to 2 servings a day so they don’ t just fill up on fruit! Most often during their morning or afternoon snack or in a smoothie for breakfast. They also like cut up watermelon, melon, mandarines, raspberries and pineapple. Pick fruits your children like and that are in season.
Seeds and Nuts: (Careful as nuts can be chocking hazards). Nuts are such a healthy nourishing snacks for toddlers. High in protein, minerals and fats. My twins don’t have nut allergies so they sometimes have raw almonds, cashews, brazil nuts (good in selenium for thyroid health), pepitas, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and more. If I don’t give them in their whole form I add them to bliss balls or as a spread/ nut butter on bread or rice cakes.
Bliss Balls: my kids love vegan bliss balls! I make them full of nuts, seeds, oats, a few dates or goji berries and chia seeds, cacao, nut-butters and they are a great nourishing snack for little ones. I have a few recipes in my Healthy Little Tummies Recipe cookbook including a nut-free recipe suitable for school lunchboxes.
Dried fruits: In moderation sultanas and other dried fruits like dried figs and dried apricots also make a great vegan toddler snack. They are nutritious and some are high in iron and other vitamins and fibre. I try to be mindful of the portion size when giving them dried fruits as they can pack up a lot of sugar. I usually limit it to 10 sultanas or 2 dried figs or 2 dried apricots each and something else with it such as seeds or veggie sticks.
Crackers: I give them puffed rice cakes or brown rice crackers with no nasties. They like them and it makes them happy and it makes my life as a mum a lot easier! I try to limit them to every few days as I feel like they would just eat crackers all day everyday! To make them more nutritious add avocado, hummus or nut butters on them.
Legumes: Chickpeas or edamame beans. This might be a very weird snack but my kiddies love plan cooked chickpeas and enjoy snacking on them straight from a can (drained and rinsed!) ! I offer them this when I don’t have time for anything else! Plus it means they are eating a high-fibre, protein packed plant-based snack. Try them with your kids next time and you can even add seasoning (paprika, cumin or roast them to make them crunchy!).
Baked goods: Since I do so much healthy vegan baking they have healthy vegan muffins or cookies here and there. I have so many recipes on my page but these mini lemon muffins and chocolate donuts are a bit hit!
Hummus and veggie sticks: We often share a savoury platter for our afternoon snack when we are home with hummus or beetroot hummus, veggies sticks and wholegrain rice crackers or homemade socca crackers (recipe in my cookbook). I prefer doing this snack at home as they get messy dipping in the hummus!
PB sandwich: when they are very hungry I sometimes give them a peanut butter sandwich on wholemeal bread. Sometimes having 1 bigger snack packed with carbs and protein/ good fats is helpful to avoid snacking every 10 minutes.
Smoothies: I am also a big fan of giving them smoothies as a snack to give them some calcium fortified plant milk, adding some vegetables (kale/spinach) and make a delicious healthy drink for them. Especially in summer.
If your child tend to snack more than 2-3 times per day and is not hungry at meal times it is possible that he or she over eats during snack time. Try limiting snacks 2-3 hours before a meal to make sure they are hungry again when it is meal time. Grazing can be unhealthy if they fill up on nutrient-poor snacks.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to let me know on Instagram @healthyfrenchwife
If you like this post on healthy vegan toddler snacks and are interested in children’s vegan nutrition check out these blogposts:
- what plant-based milk to give to children
- A day in the plate of my plant-based children
- Iodine for vegans
- Omega-3 on a vegan diet
- Nourishing Plant-based kids – my ecourse! This is my self paced online course for parents raising children on a vegan or plant-based diet.
Leave me a comment below if you have a question regarding vegan snacks for school or vegan snacks for kids.