It’s not unusual for parents to wonder if their toddler’s getting enough to eat. Most tots are so busy exploring that sitting down to a balanced plate of food is the last thing on their minds.
Well-timed healthy snacks are essential to balance out an uneven diet and to prevent blood sugar slumps.
Ideally, aim for three main meals and three snacks per day. But if your toddler prefers to graze, always have something healthy close by. Nutritious snacks don’t need to be a lot of work – but some do require planning. Try these easy recipes.
Easy energy balls
- ¼ cup finely grated carrots
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup wheat germ
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp sugar-free peanut butter
Mix the ingredients together and roll into balls.
Delicious chicken fingers
- 450g skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup almond meal
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp ground coriander seed
- ¼ tsp ground cumin seed
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine almond meal with spices on a plate or shallow dish. Place beaten egg in a separate shallow dish.
- Dry chicken with paper towel. Dip in egg; then dip in almond meal mixture, coating all sides. Place on baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken strips are coated.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, turning once in the middle of baking, until cooked completely.
Grain-free granola bars
*Makes 18 bars
- 1½ cups sliced almonds
- 2 cups unsweetened, desiccated coconut
- 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1½ tbsp water
- ¾ cup chopped dried fruit (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 22cm x 33cm baking pan with coconut oil.
- Mix ground flaxseed with water and let sit for 4 minutes.
- Pulse pumpkin seeds and a food processor until same size as sunflower seeds.
- Add coconut oil, almond butter, honey and vanilla to flax mixture and mix well.
- Add almond flour and baking soda. Stir to combine.
- Add almonds, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and dried fruit. Stir to combine.
- Spoon batter in baking pan. Spread out and flatten.
- Bake for 22 minutes, until golden brown. After removing from the oven, flatten the bars with the back of a spatula.
- Let cool completely before cutting into 18 bars and store in the fridge.
Click here for more healthy lunchbox treats.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals.