From finger foods to teething-friendly treats, explore delightful snack ideas perfect for babies and toddlers. Nourish your child's growing curiosity with our easy and healthy snack ideas, making snack time a joy for both baby and parent.
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Keep in mind that these are general suggestions, and it's essential to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies your baby may have. Always consult with a pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby's diet.
Note: The age ranges mentioned below are approximate, and individual babies may progress at different rates. Always consider your baby's specific development and consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
🧒 Healthy baby snacks by age group
Start the journey towards a balanced diet with these scrumptious and baby-led weaning friendly snacks. Find the perfect fit for your little explorer's taste buds
🍼 6-8 Months Snacks For Babies:
- Soft Fruits and Vegetables: Mash or puree the fruits and vegetables to a smooth baby food texture. Caution: Avoid small, hard pieces that could be a choking hazard, such as whole grapes or large chunks of uncooked vegetables.
- Mashed bananas (1-2 tbsp)
- Cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (1-2 tbsp)
- Steamed and mashed carrots (1-2 tbsp)
- Avocado slices (1-2 tbsp)
- Cooked and mashed peas (1-2 tbsp)
- Baby Cereals and Grains: Mix the cereals with breast milk or formula for a creamy and easily digestible consistency. Caution: Avoid adding honey to baby's cereal, as it may cause infant botulism.
- Rice cereal (1-2 tbsp)
- Oatmeal cereal (1-2 tbsp)
- Quinoa porridge (1-2 tbsp)
- Soft-cooked and mashed barley (1-2 tbsp)
- Dairy and Alternatives: Opt for full-fat plain yogurt without added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Caution: If there's a family history of dairy allergies, consult a pediatrician before introducing yogurt.
- Full-fat plain yogurt (1-2 tbsp)
- Unsweetened applesauce with a touch of plain yogurt (1-2 tbsp)
- Other Snacks: Cook lentils until they are soft and easy to mash. Caution: Avoid salt and spices when preparing lentils for your baby.
- Soft-cooked and mashed lentils (1-2 tbsp)
- Smooth nut butter (peanut, almond, etc.) on rice cakes or bread (spread thinly)
🧀 9-12 Months Healthy Snack Ideas:
- Soft Fruits and Vegetables: Offer soft fruits in small, manageable pieces. Caution: Remove any seeds or pits from the fruits to prevent choking.
- Steamed and diced apples (2-3 tbsp)
- Ripe pear slices (2-3 tbsp)
- Cooked and diced zucchini (2-3 tbsp)
- Steamed broccoli florets (2-3 tbsp)
- Baby Cereals and Grains: Toast the whole wheat bread lightly to make it easier for your baby to chew. Caution: Monitor your baby closely while eating toast to avoid choking.
- Soft-cooked and mashed brown rice (2-3 tbsp)
- Whole wheat toast strips (¼ slice)
- Mini muffins (½ muffin)
- Dairy and Alternatives: Offer small cheese cubes for a protein-rich snack. Caution: Watch for any signs of lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivity.
- Cottage cheese (2-3 tbsp)
- Soft cheese cubes (2-3 tbsp)
- Unsweetened almond milk (2-3 tbsp)
- Other Snacks : You can thin nut butter with a little water to make it easier to spread on bread or rice cakes. Caution: Avoid nuts if there's a family history of nut allergies, and introduce them cautiously.
- Soft-cooked and mashed black beans (2-3 tbsp)
- Mini rice crackers (2-3 pieces)
🍓 12-18 Months Balanced Snacks:
- Soft Fruits and Vegetables: Encourage your child to self-feed small fruit pieces, promoting their motor skills. Caution: Avoid raw vegetables that may be challenging for your child to chew and swallow.
- Sliced strawberries (2-3 tbsp)
- Sliced kiwi (2-3 tbsp)
- Steamed and sliced asparagus (2-3 tbsp)
- Baby Cereals and Grains: Make quinoa and vegetable bites in muffin tins for a fun and portable snack. Caution: Check the temperature before serving to avoid burns.
- Quinoa and vegetable bites (2-3 bites)
- Whole grain pita triangles (¼ pita)
- Dairy and Alternatives: Offer Greek yogurt with a variety of fruit toppings for added nutrition. Caution: Some children may experience mild lactose intolerance, so monitor their reaction.
- Greek yogurt with fruit (¼ cup)
- Cheese quesadilla (¼ tortilla)
- Other Snacks: Prepare with a smooth texture for easier dipping. Caution: Be cautious with store-bought due to potential allergens or excessive sodium content.
- Hummus with carrot sticks (2-3 tbsp)
- Baked sweet potato fries (2-3 fries)
🥨 18-24 Months Baby and Toddler Snacks
- Soft Fruits and Vegetables: Teach your child to chew halved grapes thoroughly before swallowing. Caution: Continue to avoid small, round fruits or vegetables that may pose hazards.
- Blueberries (¼ cup)
- Steamed and diced green beans (2-3 tbsp)
- Grape halves (2-3 tbsp)
- Baby Cereals and Grains: Allow your child to choose fillings for pita pockets for added engagement. Caution: Ensure fillings are age-appropriate and cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Quinoa and veggie muffins (1 muffin)
- Mini pancakes
- Whole grain crackers (2-3 pieces)
- Dairy and Alternatives: Offer cheese cubes as part of a balanced snack with other foods. Caution: Limit excessive dairy intake to maintain a balanced diet.
- Sliced cheese (2-3 slices)
- Yogurt-covered fruit (2-3 pieces)
- Other Snacks: Involve your child in preparing mini veggie frittata bites for a fun cooking activity. Caution: Check the frittata's internal temperature to ensure it's safe for your child to eat.
- Mini sandwiches with lean protein (e.g., turkey, chicken, etc.) (½ sandwich)
- Mini veggie frittata bites (1 frittata bite)
🍎 24+ Months Toddler Snacks
- Soft Fruits and Vegetables: Teach your child to bite and chew cherry tomatoes carefully. Caution: Continue to supervise snack time to prevent gagging incidents.
- Grapes (5-6 grapes)
- Sliced cucumber (2-3 slices)
- Cherry tomatoes (2-3 tomatoes)
- Baby Cereals and Grains: Involve your child in making a custom trail mix with their favorite nuts and dried fruits. Caution: Be mindful of allergies when choosing ingredients for the trail mix.
- Whole grain pita pockets with fillings (e.g., hummus, veggies) (½ pita)
- Multigrain crackers (4-5 pieces)
- Dairy and Alternatives: Blend a fruit and yogurt smoothie for a refreshing and nutritious snack. Caution: Watch for any signs of lactose intolerance or sensitivities.
- Fruit and yogurt smoothie (½ cup)
- Cheddar cheese cubes (4-5 cubes)
- Other Snacks: Help your child assemble vegetable and cheese skewers for a creative snack. Caution: Use blunt-tipped skewers for safety and monitor your child during snack time.
- Trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits (2-3 tbsp)
- Vegetable and cheese skewers (2-3 skewers)
Remember to adjust portion sizes based on your child's appetite and nutritional needs. Always supervise your baby during snack time and ensure they are seated safely while eating.
🦷 Top 10 Teething Snacks
Teething can be a challenging time for babies and toddlers, as they may experience discomfort and pain due to their emerging teeth. Offering the right snacks can provide some relief and help soothe their gums.
When choosing a snack for teething little ones, look for options that are soft, easy to chew, and gentle on their sensitive gums. Here are some teething snack ideas for your little one:
- Chilled Fruit Purees - think of snacks like applesauce, pear puree, or mashed bananas can be soothing on sore gums. The coolness can help reduce inflammation and provide relief.
- Chilled Cucumber or Carrot Sticks: Chilled cucumber or carrot sticks are firm enough to gnaw on, providing counter-pressure to relieve teething discomfort. Always monitor your baby to prevent any hazards.
- Teething Biscuits: There are specially designed teething biscuits available in stores that are soft and dissolve easily in the mouth. Make sure to choose ones without added sugars or artificial ingredients.
- Frozen Breast Milk or Formula Cubes: Freeze breast milk or formula in ice cube trays and offer these frozen cubes to your baby. The cold sensation can help numb the gums and provide relief.
- Chilled Watermelon Slices: Chilled watermelon slices are not only refreshing but can also offer relief to teething babies. Just make sure the pieces are large enough to prevent getting stuck in the wind pipe.
- Chilled Yogurt Drops: Freeze drops of plain yogurt on a baking sheet to create bite-sized, chilled yogurt drops that your baby can suck on for comfort.
- Soft Cooked Fruits and Vegetables: Soft-cooked and chilled fruits like pears or steamed and chilled vegetables like sweet potatoes can be soothing for teething babies.
- Rice Rusks: Rice rusks are designed for teething babies. They dissolve quickly in the mouth and provide a safe option for gnawing.
- Frozen Fruit in a Mesh Feeder: Place frozen fruit like berries or melon chunks in a mesh feeder, which allows your baby to enjoy the taste without the risk of choking.
- Chilled Oatmeal: Prepare oatmeal and let it cool in the refrigerator. The chilled oatmeal can provide a soothing effect on your baby's gums.
- Always supervise your baby while they are eating, especially when offering snacks.
- Avoid snacks with added sugars, as sugar can promote tooth decay.
- Never tie a teething biscuit or any snack to your baby's neck.
- Avoid hard foods, small pieces, or any snacks that might be a gagging risk.
- If your baby is showing severe teething symptoms or discomfort, consult with a pediatrician for additional advice and support.
Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Pay attention to your baby's cues and preferences when offering snacks, and prioritize their safety and comfort during this milestone period.
🛒 Store-Bought Snacks For Babies And Toddlers
Always check the product labels for age-appropriateness, allergens, and any other specific dietary considerations. Additionally, opt for snacks with minimal additives, preservatives, and added sweeteners whenever possible. Remember to always introduce new snacks gradually and observe your child's reaction to ensure they are suitable and well-tolerated. Make sure to consult with a pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions about your child's dietary needs.
- Baby Puffs: These are small, soft, and dissolvable snacks, often made from rice, corn, or oats. They come in various flavors and are easy for little ones to pick up and eat.
- Rice Cakes: Rice cakes are light and crunchy, making them a popular snack for little ones and toddlers. Look for plain or low-sodium options without added flavorings.
- Yogurt Melts: Freeze-dried yogurt melts are tasty and easy to eat for babies and toddlers. They come in different fruit flavors and provide a source of calcium.
- Teething Biscuits: As mentioned earlier, there are teething biscuits specially designed for teething babies that are soft and dissolve easily.
- Fruit Cups: Pre-packaged fruit cups with diced, soft fruits like peaches, pears, or mixed fruit can be convenient and nutritious snacks.
- Cheese Sticks: Mini cheese sticks or cheese cubes provide a good source of calcium and protein for toddlers.
- Veggie Straws or Chips: These snacks are often made from dehydrated vegetables and are a healthier alternative to regular potato chips.
- Whole Grain Crackers: Look for whole grain crackers with minimal added salt and sugar for a satisfying and crunchy snack.
- Applesauce Pouches: Unsweetened applesauce pouches are a convenient on-the-go snack option for babies and toddlers.
- Fruit Bars: Fruit bars made from real fruit and minimal extra sugars can be a tasty and portable snack.
- Whole Grain Cereal Bars: Look for cereal bars made with whole grains and natural ingredients for a quick and filling snack.
- Veggie Squeeze Pouches: Squeeze pouches with a blend of vegetables can be an easy way to introduce veggies to your little one.
- Dried Fruit: Choose unsweetened and preservative-free dried fruits like raisins, apricots, or apple slices.
- Mini Rice Crackers: Mini rice crackers are small and easy to eat, providing a crunchy snack.
- Nut Butter Squeeze Packs: For older toddlers, nut butter squeeze packs can be a source of healthy fats and protein.
- Hummus Cups: Pre-packaged hummus cups with veggie sticks offer a balanced and nutritious snack.
- Cheese Puffs: Look for cheese puffs made from real cheese and with minimal additives.
- Mini Oatmeal Cups: Some brands offer mini oatmeal cups with various flavors, which can be a warm and filling snack.
- Banana Chips: Banana chips are a crunchy and naturally sweet alternative to regular chips.
- Cereal O's: Some brands produce cereal O's made from whole grains, providing a fun and tasty snack.
The appropriate age to introduce snacks to your baby can vary, and it's essential to consider your baby's individual development and readiness for solid foods. In general, most babies can start trying solid foods, including snacks, when they are around 6 months old.
By this age, babies typically have developed the necessary motor skills to sit up with support and show interest in what others are eating. They may also have lost the tongue-thrust reflex, which helps prevent gagging.
When introducing snacks, start with soft, easy-to-digest foods and avoid any choking hazards. Offer small portions to prevent overeating, and pay attention to your baby's reactions to new foods. If you have any concerns or questions about introducing snacks to your baby, it's always best to consult with your pediatrician. They can provide personalized guidance based on your baby's specific needs and development.
Baby snacks are generally designed to meet the nutritional needs and safety requirements of infants and toddlers. They are usually made with simple, easily digestible ingredients suitable for young children's delicate digestive systems and developing taste preferences.
While baby snacks may not be harmful to adults, they may not provide the same level of satisfaction and taste experience that adult snacks do. Baby snacks are often less seasoned and may lack the complex flavors that adults enjoy in their snacks.
In terms of nutrition, some baby snacks can be healthy for adults as well, as they are typically made from natural ingredients without added preservatives or artificial flavors. However, they might not be as satisfying or filling for adults due to their small portion sizes and simplicity.
If you are an adult looking for healthy snacks, it's better to choose snacks specifically designed for adults that align with your taste preferences and nutritional needs. Options like whole fruits, nuts, yogurt, vegetable sticks with hummus, or whole-grain crackers with cheese can be great choices for adults seeking healthy and tasty snacks.
👩🏻🍳 Sarah Mock
Sarah Mock is a classically trained Chef and graduate of Johnson & Wales University. A culinary blogger for 14 years Sarah helps the home cook prepare her recipes with professional results.