We eat a primarily paleo diet in our home (with a few exceptions). And by we, I mean our toddler too! Because I have suffered from several gut health issues throughout my own life, it is incredibly important to me as his mother to get that little body of his off on the right foot from the start. Since he started consuming solids around 6 months old, we have worked to provide him with real, whole food options that serve to nourish his growing body. That said, the following is a list of some of our favorite paleo snacks we share with Asher on the daily (that admittedly we love indulging in too).
My goal for this list, particularly as a busy mom myself, is that these snacks can be a) be easily grabbed or b) can be prepared in advance to be easily grabbed when that time of day arises. I know how important this can be when you little one is attached to your leg, begging you for food, or you are running off to an errand or appointment.
Also, please note that these items are intended to be mixed and matched as you chose. I try to ensure that whatever snack I’m providing has some sort of protein in the mix as well as has a bit of variety to it. I like to consistently bring in new options as well to give Asher different tastes and textures, and find it often works well when I pair them with something he is already family with. You know your child best, so it ultimately comes down to what works for you!
So let’s dig into the snacks…
1) Steamed Veggies – Carrots and broccoli are Asher’s favorites, but you can honestly do just about anything. We got an Instant Pot awhile back, and it has made this process even easier than it already was. I’ll just throw in a whole bag of carrots, for instance, then once they are cooked throw them in the fridge and use them as a snack or even additional meal side over the course of the next few days. (If you have a toddler with a full set of teeth, you could certainly give them the option for some raw veggies as well.)
2) Fruit – Kind of an obvious one, right? Just a tip for making it more likely that you actually use it as a snack – buy easy to grab fruits, like blueberries, or take a few moments after your grocery run to cut up your fruit in advance.
3) Avocado – This was Asher’s first food, and honestly, he still can’t get enough. Cut it up into little sticks, and let them go to town or mash it into guacamole and pair it with some veggies.
4) Organic Turkey/Chicken Rollups – You can do them plain, or add some avocado, pickle or Paleo mayo inside.
5) Snack Bars – I say this with a caveat of “caution” as many of the typical snack bars on the market are far from Paleo friendly. We love baking our own, for this reason, and it’s a fun bonding activity to do together with your little one. However, if you want to snag something quick at the store, some of our favorite “clean” pre-packaged bars include LaraBar, RX Bar, Primal Kitchen and Perfect Bar (these contain milk so not fully Paleo).
6) Pickles & Olives – Because even as an adult I could snack on these all day.
7) Kale Chips – You can whip these up in less that 15 minutes, and it’s a great way to use any extra kale you have before it goes bad. They are also great for giving your toddler exposure to crunchy textures without being too hard. You can find my favorite recipe for crispy kale chips here.
8) _________ & Dip – Dips give toddlers opportunity to explore new tastes, while simultaneously making fruits, veggies and other foods a bit more interesting. Asher loves dunking apples in nut butter, bananas in dairy-free yogurt, carrots in hummus (which is one of our “Paleo” exceptions), cauliflower in pesto, etc.
9) Plantain Chips – I just started introducing these to Asher now that he has a few more teeth, and he is digging them so far. Our favorite ready made chips are from Trader Joes, but you could certainly make your own as well.
10) Hardboiled Eggs – Full of vitamins, folks. Add a little Himalayan pink salt – perfection.
11) Smoothies – As a mom, I have to admit this may be one of my favorite snacks as I can throw in a whole lot of goodness in one tasty treat. Plus, they are perfect for those weeks where new teeth are popping through.
12) Natural Popsicles – Speaking of new teeth popping through, I also love having popsicles on hand for such occasions or for those hot summer days. When Asher was smaller, I used to freeze breastmilk in ice cube trays and put them into mesh feeders for teething. Now, I freeze everything from apple sauce to coconut water to veggie-loaded smoothies in our trays, and they make for a perfect afternoon frozen treat.
13) Raisins – We don’t do these too much, but they are a classic and one of the easiest things to grab on the fly.
14) Nut or Sunflower Butter Tortillas – We love Siete’s Grain Free Tortillas which are made from either almond or coconut flour. I just fold it in half and then rip it in two, slap a little nut (almond, cashew, etc.) or sunflower butter inside, and you’ve got yourself a grain free sandwich. Don’t have any tortillas on hand? Pitted Dates are also one of our favorites to open up and place nut butter inside for a little added sweetness.
15) Muffins – These are great to add to a breakfast plate or for a quick morning snack. And the nice part is, when you make a batch, you can use them for days. My friend Taesha at The Natural Nurturer is the queen of making nutrient rich muffins packed with veggies that are a hit in our home time and again.
16. Protein Balls – While protein balls take a bit of prep, it is minimal compared to muffins. And they often require few ingredients, and no baking element at all. Sometimes I whip some together with whatever I can scrounge in our kitchen, other times, I do a quick Pinterest search, and find hundreds of options to help me build my shopping list for the week.
What are some of your toddler’s favorite snacks? Feel free to share some of your ideas in the comments as I am always looking for ways to keep it interesting. PS. Did you catch a glimpse of Asher’s darling little shirt. It’s from an awesome little organic baby and toddler apparel shop called Willow Co Design. I absolutely adore the unique designs and messages that Crystal, the shop owner, puts out there. Check her out, and use code FREESHIP to get free shipping on a tee for your favorite toddler.
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These are awesome suggestions! I too love the siete brand! What dairy-free yogurt do you buy? It’s challenging to find any without sugar.
I almost always buy “plain” yogurt to avoid that added sugar aspect. I try to spice it up with fruit, etc. We usually buy either Kite Hill, GTs Cocoyo, or Coyo is a new fave.
Such great ideas! I’ve been including a little dairy and gluten in my daughters diet so she can remain better at digesting it. I remember when I cut dairy completely after a few years it seemed much harder on my body then before. Do you ever purposefully give them dairy or gluten for that purpose? Just trying to figure out our path!
That’s a great question. And honestly, I am not sure of the answer. I have included high quality dairy a bit for Asher here and there and his body did not react great to it, so that is the main reason we don’t do it with him. As far as gluten is concerned, it is my own belief that it really doesn’t serve anyone’s body super well and isn’t necessary in a well balanced diet, so we all just kind of avoid it all together. Asher recently had food allergy/sensitivty testing and he didn’t react to gluten even though he hasn’t ever really had it, so I don’t know that it makes much of a difference. But that would be a great question for your provider!