Every mom needs an arsenal of snack and finger foods to have on hand when their little one is hungry. Toddlers are notoriously active, and they need to eat small meals every few hours to keep their energy high. Since kids are also known for being picky eaters, it’s a good idea to try different types of foods. Keep in mind however that when introducing new foods, into your little one’s diet, do so slowly and watch out for possible allergic reactions. Below are 9 ideas for natural finger foods for your active toddler.
Toasted bread with almond spread, natural jam, or date honey is a great finger food for toddlers. Cut the bread slice into small strips or squares so that your little ones can easily grab them to go.
2. Fruits and Veggies
Fresh or cooked fruits and vegetables are the healthiest choice of food parents can give their toddlers. Fruits such as strawberries, melons, bananas, and watermelons can be cut into smaller pieces. Grapes, apples, oranges, and pears should all be peeled and cut smaller as well. Vegetables like snap peas, green peppers, and avocados can be served raw by cutting them into bite sized pieces. Other vegetables like carrots, potatoes, green beans, and broccoli can be cooked until soft and also cut into small pieces.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables that are naturally small and round such as grapes and cherry tomatoes, err on the side of caution before serving them to your child. Peel and cut grapes and tomatoes in half so that they don’t present a choking hazard.
3. Cheese Cubes
Cheese, especially goat cheese, can be a good source of dairy for a growing child. You can cut any type of cheese into small cubes, and many baby’s especially enjoy mild cheeses like baby cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterrey jack.
4. Chickpea Patties
Chickpeas provide protein and can be really great for vegetarian or vegan families. For an easy chickpea patty recipe, simply mash one can of cooked chickpeas, add two and half tablespoons of flour and bread crumbs each, salt and pepper, and then shape into patties. You can also add finely chopped vegetables and herbs as well as other spices, but remember that a toddler’s taste buds are more sensitive to bold tastes, so don’t over do it.
5. Sticky Rice
Next time you cook rice for your meal keep a small bowl aside for your toddler to munch on. Sticky rice is especially good for small children, because it is moist and they are less likely to swallow it down the wrong way.
When choosing a cereal for your little one don’t pick the sugary candy laden cereals. Instead choose a whole wheat option in shapes easy for little fingers to grab.
Like chickpeas, beans are an excellent source of protein. Black beans, pinto beans, and white beans can be picked up by little hands. Cook them until they are soft and add salt as needed.
8. Firm tofu cubes
More protein for your growing baby! Pick a firm tofu and serve it plain, uncooked or baked in small cubes. Tofu is plain and although a lot of people do not like it, the lack of taste is what makes it perfect for a toddler’s sensitive palate. If your little one does not like the texuture of uncooked tofu, bake it and serve it to them cooked.
9. Hard boiled organic Eggs
Hard boiled organic eggs are easy food for a toddler because they are so easy to travel with. Boil your egg, pop it in a container, and go. You can peel it and cut it into pieces or you can bring it whole and peel it and cut it when your little one is ready to eat.
Natural finger foods for toddlers are perfect on-the-go snacks. Always keep an eye whenever feeding your little one any type of food and watch out for choking. Introduce new foods slowly, but do not be scared of letting them try new tastes.
Your toddler is growing and needs whole, natural foods to keep their energy up while running around, playing, and learning. It’s up to you as parents to choose the best foods for them. Choose any foods from this natural foods list and most importantly have fun!