Finger Food for Toddlers: 11 Ideas for Breakfast and Snacks

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Kara, here.  After last week’s series on Homemade Baby Food 101 by Christen, we had a few readers asking about the next step and feeding toddlers.  So, I decided to re-run Megan’s series on Toddler Finger Foods, which originally ran August 2009.  Don’t miss the great suggestions in the comments – and feel free to leave your own thoughts, too.  We’d love to hear what simple breakfasts and snacks are a hit with the toddlers at your house!

Last week’s post on toddler mealtimes elicited some great discussion in the comments.  Several of you asked for ideas on finger foods for your toddlers.  I decided to create a two-part series with some ideas that have worked well in our family, and I hope others will share their toddler favorites as well!

For today, let’s focus on breakfasts and snack time.

Breakfast Ideas for Toddlers

Fresh Fruit

I liked to roll pieces of fruit in dry baby cereal.  This makes it easier for little fingers to successfully pick up the fruit and get it into those sweet little mouths.

Scrambled Eggs

Break up the scrambled eggs into little bite-sized pieces.  I often top scrambled eggs with a little shredded cheese for an extra calcium boost.

Cinnamon Toast Strips

My kids are more open to whole wheat bread when I’ve sweetened the deal with some cinnamon sugar.

Waffles

I confess: we do a lot of store-bought freezer waffles around here.  I know waffles are easy to make from scratch, but this is one of just a few convenience food luxuries I indulge in.  We toast ours under the broiler, and they are ready in no time.

Mini-Muffins

These are so fun to make with older children and are always a big hit in our house.  Blueberry is the muffin of choice around here.  My biggest challenge is not eating the entire pan myself!

Snack Ideas for Toddlers

Bread Sticks

I personally like to use the Hillbilly Housewife recipe for buttery bread sticks, but recipes for this simple snack abound.  Toddlers love to gnaw on food – just make sure to keep a close eye on little ones who might gnaw off more than they can chew.

Graham Crackers and Cream Cheese

This is an all-time favorite in our home.  The kids like the sweet crunch of the crackers, and the cream cheese offers a little extra protein and calcium.

Steamed Vegetables

Pick up whatever is in season and soften it for little ones by steaming it for a few minutes.

Cheese Toast

Once again, a nice way to combine calcium and protein with the carbohydrates that seem to be a universal preference of toddlers.  I lightly butter a piece of bread, sprinkle with shredded cheddar, and pop it under the broiler for a minute or so.  Slice into strips and serve.

Sweet Potato Fries

Our family loves sweet potatoes, and when each of my girls had moved beyond pureed sweet potatoes, they loved sweet potato fries.  I often serve these with dinner, making sure to make extra to keep in the refrigerator as a snack.

Nori

Yes!  Nori – the dried sea vegetable you’ve probably experienced when eating sushi.  I got the idea to serve nori as a snack from Cynthia Lair’s Feeding the Whole Family.  Nori comes in paper-like sheets that nearly dissolve in the mouth – perfect for toddlers!  I use kitchen shears to cut it into fun shapes.  Nori is full of vitamins A, B1 and B2, C and iron.

Sometimes it just helps to hear what others are serving in their homes to get us out of our food ruts.  Next time, I’ll share some suggestions for toddler-friendly lunches and dinners!

Alright, let’s hear from you! What are some favorite finger foods served for breakfast and snacks in your home?

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Comments

  1. My favourite snacks for on the move have to be fruit (e.g. cut up grapes, satsumas), dried fruit (sultanas, raisins and dried apple go down well), no added sugar or savoury mini muffins and carrot sticks.

    My son’s getting wise though to the fact that if we go into a cafe, I might just get cake and cake is more fun than carrots…
    Mamacook´s latest post: Saute Potatoes for Babies and Toddlers

  2. I thought my toddler was the only one mooching nori from our seaweed wraps! Great to know! Thanks for sharing!
    eternitysojourner´s latest post: Montessori for Nomads: Birth to Six Months

  3. We’re lucky that our son will eat pretty much anything. Fruit and nut breads go over well – I’ll freeze banana bread into slices and cut it up into smaller pieces before we leave the house, it’s nice and thawed in time for his snack and easy to eat on the go. Graham or animal crackers with Nutella to dip, or toasted pita wedges with hummus don’t stay in our house very long. He also loves anything frozen – we get the frozen juice tubes with no added sugar, or make our own small popsicles using yogurt mixed with fruit or juice. And gingerbread – he loves gingerbread, even when it’s made with whole wheat flour!
    Christine´s latest post: Playing Chicken

  4. My son is 27 months but has been successfully eating the foods below for the last year or so. We don’t do much fresh fruit with breakfast – he just seems to gravitate other foods when it’s offered – so we normally do fruit as morning snack.
    Breakfast: oatmeal with applesauce (no sugar added) and cinnamon mixed in, homemade apple muffins or pumpkin muffins or banana muffins- from our freezer, scrambled egg with cheese on top, “breakfast burgers” – homemade biscuit with egg and cheese and sometimes a small sausage link, homemade apple oat pancakes – from our freezer.
    Snacks: plain whole milk yogurt, fruit (grapes, strawberries, banana, pear or apple slices, orange, peach,) homemade granola bar (dried fruit and sunflower seeds – no nuts,) green smoothies (spinach, 1/2 a cucumber and fresh peaches is a favorite so is spinach, 1/2 a cucumber, a small banana and frozen cherries,) – smoothie mix can be made into popsicles for summer, the same muffins from breakfast make good snacks, cream cheese toast
    I use white whole wheat flour as my go to all purpose flour so anything homemade has the added benefit of being whole wheat too.

  5. Great snacks , though I advice moms to be carefull with scrambled eggs for breakfast – you need really fresh eggs and do not exagerate . Once or twice per week is enough .
    Anca´s latest post: 5 easy healthy road trip snacks for your kids to enjoy

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  7. [...] are a few useful articles with some more ideas: Finger food for toddlers @ Simple Kids More ideas for Toddlers meals @ Simple Kids and for the rest of the family… [...]

  8. [...] ideas? Maryann has a great post on nutritious snack combinations for kids and I’m loving the finger food suggestions over at Simple Kids. Another good find is Cindy’s blog, Fix Me A Snack; I’m loving her [...]

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