15 Best Snacks For Toddlers, Ranked

When it comes to being a parent, there is so much to worry about. Naturally, there are countless heartwarming and delightful moments as well, but the stress of the job can be pretty challenging. As you strive to ensure your child's health and happiness, you also create moments of wonder and joy that ignite imagination and creativity. Food may be only one aspect of the overall parenting experience, but its significance cannot be denied. After all, we eat multiple times throughout the day. Making informed decisions about how to nourish your children involves not only wise choices regarding nutrition but also fostering a healthy appreciation for the delectable foods they will encounter throughout their lives. 

In selecting the best snacks for toddlers, we've considered several criteria to ensure these foods cater to both you and your child. Our ranking takes into account the quick and easy nature of a snack, its portability for on-the-go moments, whether you would potentially enjoy eating it, and any health benefits a snack may provide. A simple snack may appear insignificant, but the foods toddlers consume often become the same snacks they provide for their own children. After all, many of our toddlers' favorites are actually ones we enjoyed.

15. Animal crackers

Shirly Temple may have attempted to convince us that animal crackers belong in soup, but we think they make a better snack for little toddler hands instead. These adorable beige treats ride the line between cracker and cookie. No matter their designation, one thing is for sure: They're cute and small enough for a toddler snack, so we love them.

We're pretty big fans of the Stauffer's brand, especially because you can find these in the original flavor, chocolate, or even iced. With three choices, you can have your little one pick which flavor they want, allowing them agency in snacking (something a toddler craves).

In addition to being a tasty snack, you can also use them to learn about animals and even make eating fun. Consider setting up a little matching or sorting game for your toddler while they eat to put like animals together. All that said, we recognize that an animal cracker may not be everyone's favorite. They have a little bit of a strange aftertaste, after all, and are quite old-fashioned.

14. Cheese sticks

Cheese sticks are certainly a mainstay in children's lunch boxes, but they also make fabulous toddler snacks. These delicious and interactive snacks actually have the popularity of pizza in the 1950s to thank for their beginnings. At the time, a small company in Wisconsin called Baker Cheese was producing primarily cheddar. When pizza skyrocketed in popularity, Baker Cheese began branching out into mozzarella. To provide cheese for the earliest pizza restaurants, it produced mozzarella in large quantities of 6-pound or even 20-pound blocks. However, some customers soon wanted the cheese in smaller quantities, so Baker Cheese set out to create a snackable version that would evolve into the stringy snack we enjoy today.

Cheese sticks are great for toddlers because it allows them to practice the small motor movement of pulling down the cheese. It is also a nice filling snack that could help hold an appetite until the next meal. Kiddos can also eat it without much adult assistance. In fact, the ease of this one is actually one of its downfalls. Little cheese sticks can quickly become a favorite of your toddler which may lead to too much milk consumption and impact their little tummies.

13. Danimals Smoothie

First things first: The name of this brand can't be beat. Danimals offers standard yogurt cups but we're particularly fond of its smoothies packaged in a convenient foil-topped bottle. While we love the flavor variety of drinkable Danimals (strawberry, banana, watermelon, and even cotton candy are among the options) and how convenient the beverage is to serve to older toddlers, it is rather challenging to serve to a kiddo that might not be comfortable drinking from the container. After all, when you open the petite Danimals container, you have an option of removing the foil cap entirely or leaving a small sippable area for your toddler. 

Either way, the child needs to be comfortable drinking out of something without a straw attached to it. For some, this may be a little difficult. However, on the flip side, your young one may feel very mature drinking out of a snack container like this one.

12. Cheerios

Toddlers have an incredible amount of energy. That could potentially be the understatement of the century, but any parent will tell you that this time period will make you wonder how a child half your size can have triple the amount of energy you do. As a result, breakfast can be difficult to achieve. That's why we like to work breakfast foods in as snacks throughout the day. Of course, you could attempt to sit your child down to eat a bowl of Cheerios in the morning, but you may find offering it as a snack mid-morning could work better for everyone.

We love Cheerios because they are very easy to eat for little ones. Between their size and shape, Cheerios are perfect for helping a toddler build independence in both eating and portion management. Now, there are plenty of different variations, but the cinnamon nut was the first of many.

11. Pretzels

If you're anything like us, ordering a giant Bavarian pretzel is one of our favorite appetizers. It turns out that toddlers love this one too, and thanks to smaller, snack-size pretzels, they can even enjoy the delicious taste of the baked snack regularly, but with more crunch, of course.

While we enjoy dipping our pretzels in port wine cheese or even hummus, there's a good chance your toddler will prefer them plain. Either way, they are delicious and sure to be a tasty addition to any meal or just for snacking solo. Plus, as your toddler's palate matures, you can introduce different pretzel flavors like cheddar cheese or honey and allow them to become a little bit more adventurous. The only real pitfall here is that pretzels tend to be fairly dry, so you'll want to ensure you have a water bottle or juice nearby for your favorite little snacker.

10. Cuties

While crunchy snacks for toddlers are an easy go-to, we love it when toddlers reach for fresh food. One of our favorite ways to incorporate fruits into a snacking session is to include Cuties mandarin oranges. They're healthy and super easy to prepare. We recommend taking a whole cutie and then slicing it through the center one or even two times to create different segments of the orange. This way, you can cut up the fruit to make it delicious and safe for your little one. As with all snacking, be sure to pay close attention to your toddler as they are enjoying their treat. With fruit, this is even more important because the pieces tend to be a little bit bigger and a little more difficult to eat.

Obviously, we love Cuties because of how tasty they are; our only real beef is that they can be on the very small side and this leads to a lot of cutting and peeling for parents. Plus, it isn't always clear from the outside of the mini citrus if it will be a good one or not. Oftentimes, the ones that are dried out and quite gross in the middle tend to be perfectly orange on the outside. Even still, we think it's worth the bet, and we love that Cuties offer your little one a delicious dose of folate and vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. 

9. Veggie Straws

If your toddler absolutely adores chips, we recommend giving Veggie Straws a try. They are lightly salted and come in a few different flavors, but we definitely prefer the original over the others. The long, easily snackable shape makes them perfect for little fingers to grab and hold on to.

Though you will find vegetables in the ingredients list of Veggie Straws, don't let the marketing fool you too much. Compared side by side, you'll see that a standard potato chip offers a little more in the way of protein and fiber. In other words, don't let these be a replacement for actual vegetables in your toddler's diet. We recommend going for these not for the added nutritional value but for their easily snackable shape. That said, by introducing more color to your child's diet, you may inspire them to eat veggies outside of their typical color palate.

8. Pirate's Booty

The '80s were something to behold. It was a decade rich in excess, extravagance, and unapologetic boldness. With the unforgettable combination of big hair, neon colors, and larger-than-life personalities, it's no wonder that many people look back on this era with fond nostalgia. Amidst the pop culture icons and fashion statements that emerged during this time, one gem that has endured the test of time is a popcorn-like treat known as Pirate's Booty. 

This whimsically named snack, with its undeniable appeal to both parents and children, has become a beloved favorite across generations. The company behind Pirates Booty aims to create snacks that are delicious and nutritious. They accomplish this by ensuring their recipes remain gluten-free and never frying these treats. This makes Pirate's Booty an ideal choice for parents looking to provide their toddlers with a tasty and somewhat healthy (at least relative to potato chips and the like) snacking option.

When it comes to this delightful blend of rice and corn, Pirate's Booty brings a few choices to hit that cheesy spot. The original aged white cheddar is a classic favorite, featuring a sharp and satisfying flavor that has delighted fans for decades. For those who prefer an even more intense cheese experience, the extra white cheddar flavor delivers a particularly potent punch of cheesy goodness. And if you're seeking an elevated flavor profile, the great white cheddar option adds a gourmet twist to this already scrumptious snack. 

7. Potato chips

Potato chips are an absolute classic when it comes to easy snacking. They come in a variety of different flavors and even textures, and you can even find chips now made from fruit or even other vegetables. We love these because they are a snack the whole family can enjoy. Sometimes, toddler snacks can be on the bland side, but potato chips are a pretty fabulous people-pleaser.

There's not too much to complain about when it comes to chips. Between delicious flavors and various ingredients, you can attune the snack to whatever you would like. That said, some flavors tend to get a little on the messier side. Cheddar and sour cream chips, for example, tend to leave behind an orange residue somewhat reminiscent of Cheetos residue, but less neon, of course. If you find yourself a little displeased with the nutritional value of a potato chip, try replacing them with root vegetable chips. They are so delicious that your toddler won't notice a lack of flavor, but they will see a different appearance in color.

6. Banana

Cuties are great for snacking, but they can be super juicy and, as a result, a little bit messy. Bananas make an even better delicious fruity snack for your little one. Plus, with the peel built right in, you can easily throw one in your diaper bag to offer your toddler on the go. Not to mention, they offer a number of nutrients and even help support your kiddo's digestion. 

Like other fruits, you'll definitely want to pay attention to your toddler as they enjoy their banana, but with such a soft texture, and encouragement to take small bites, your toddler will probably fall in love with the sweetness and mushiness of this one. Of course, if your toddler is like most, they may not finish their snack. If that's the case, you can pick up whatever remains of that banana and enjoy it as a quick, flavorful, and healthful snack. After all, after chasing a toddler all day, there's no way you're getting enough time to stop and grab a snack.

5. Cheese and peanut butter crackers

Occasionally, you want some snacks that are a little more substantive. If that's the case, some cheese and peanut butter crackers might be just the ticket. We like getting these in little packs and keeping them in the pantry for easy and satisfying snacking on the go.

The unlikely pairing with cheese crackers offers a really nice complement to the smoothness of peanut butter. You'll also tend to find this a little bit more satisfying than typical graham crackers because of the peanut butter. On the other hand, these crackers tend to be a little bit on the crumbly side, so be sure you bring a napkin with you even on those quick little snacking expeditions.

Do be warned that the packaging on these cheese and peanut butter crackers tends to be a little bit on the mundane side. They certainly don't have the most exciting of advertising, but that doesn't make them any less delicious.

4. Stroopwafels

When it comes to odd snacks that toddlers just love, stroopwafels have the market cornered. These hard and rather thin waffles have a sticky filling in the middle. We are big fans of the caramel ones, but there are different varieties you can get as well.

Very often, you will find stroopwafels packaged in their own wrapping, and this makes them very easy to take along with you and have ready to go at a moment's notice. This is certainly on the sweeter side when it comes to snacks, but we love them because they are great on coffee. Though your toddler won't enjoy them this way, we recommend placing the famous stroopwafel over a hot cup of coffee to allow it to warm up. Then, enjoy the stroopwafel as a complement to your morning cup. The warm coffee loosens the stroopwafel just enough so it becomes soft and a little bit gooey. Your toddler will most likely enjoy them perfectly fine outside of the wrapper, but with any extra they leave around, try out this coffee trick.

3. Apple

If you're looking for a healthy snack to feed your little one, we highly recommend apples. Of course, you can serve them however you are comfortable, but you would be surprised how well a toddler can do with a whole apple. Plus, when you leave the skin on, your toddler can get the most out of the fiber offered.

Of course, biting into an apple with the skin fully intact can be a little bit of a challenge. That's why we recommend washing the apple and then taking your own bite from the apple before handing it to your little one. This gives them a place to start and will make the process a little bit easier. Like bananas and Cuties, pay close attention to your toddler as they enjoy their apple. If this method isn't your preference, you could also cut up the apple and serve it on its own or even with peanut butter.

In terms of choosing the specific kind, you really can't go wrong with a Honeycrisp apple. Plus, if you keep a stockpile in your refrigerator, there's always an apple ready for you to cash in on your daily quota to keep the doctor away.

2. Graham crackers

To say that toddlers love crackers would be an understatement. Between animal crackers, peanut butter crackers, and even more adventurous options like Gardettos, there are crackers out there for every toddler. One of the most agreeable of the bunch has to be the humble graham cracker.

Though you may have grown out of using graham crackers for anything more than a s'more, your toddler would probably enjoy graham crackers as an easy snack. Plus, graham crackers have a built-in geometry lesson. Most graham crackers come as a rectangle, but when you break apart the pieces, you can form smaller rectangles and squares. Showing your child how to count squares and form rectangles makes even a single snacking moment educational.

Plus, since we are total suckers for snacks that serve multiple purposes, keeping a box or two of graham crackers on hand puts you one step closer to being ready at any time to make that beloved s'more.

1. Goldfish

Some snacks seem completely created for the purpose of treating a toddler. These little fishy snacks come with a smile and a delicious flavor, after all. They are hard for anyone to resist, and obvious truth since these crackers come in such large cartons. 

Goldfish crackers top our list for some of the best toddler snacks because of how small and perfect they are for little toddler fingers and mouths. They're easy to pop and eat on the go, and they also come in a variety of different flavors. We recommend starting your little one off with cheddar, but there are even more sweet flavors for a sweet treat. If your child absolutely adores heavily flavored items, consider showing them a Pizza Goldfish. This creative flavor may be a bit much for those young taste buds, but some kiddos love them. Plus, with any extra, they also make a tasty topping at your next chili cook-off.