PBHP for Kids –
Snacks for toddlers and young children

Snacks are an important part of a young child’s diet. Young children need to eat more frequently than adults or older children. Their stomachs are still small and they cannot eat large meals. Snacks between main meals provide them with the energy and nutrients needed to meet their total daily requirements.

Depending on their age and needs, young children may have two or three snacks a day (e.g. mid-morning, mid-afternoon and before bedtime). Young children should eat whenever they are hungry, even if they have eaten shortly before or even if it is not the usual time.

Here are some examples of healthy and nutritious snacks for 1-5 year olds. We have divided them into two groups: those rich in iron and those rich in calcium. This way you can alternate snacks from each group throughout the day.

If your child is still breastfeeding, each feeding counts as a calcium-rich snack. Focus on the iron-rich group when they want a solid snack.

Remember that children under 5 years should not be offered any foods that they could choke on, such as popcorn, whole nuts, whole olives, sultanas, other dried fruits or pips or stones in fruit.

Iron-rich snacks

  • Brown chapatti + hummus + strawberries
  • Rice and lentil cake with peanut butter + sliced red and green pepper (GF)
  • Sliced mango + crackers + bean dip
  • Tomato and lentil spread sandwich + pitted black olives sliced into rings
  • Mandarin orange, peeled and cut + cooked tempeh, chopped into small chunks + breadsticks
  • Chickpea falafel + chopped pieces of steamed or roasted broccoli
  • Oat crackers with cashew nut butter + pineapple and raspberries (GF)

Calcium-rich snacks

  • Fortified soya yoghurt mixed with one teaspoon of almond butter + blueberries (GF)
  • Smoothie (100-150ml of fortified soya milk blended with apricot or peach) (GF)
  • Banana chia pudding (100-150ml of fortified soya or oat milk + 2 tablespoons of ground chia seeds + half a banana – all can be blended if child prefers smooth texture). (GF)
  • Puffed oats + fortified soya yoghurt + sliced or shredded pear (GF if using GFO puffed oats)
  • Brown pitta bread fingers + cucumber and carrot sticks (or grated carrot + cucumber for younger kids) + firm tofu* chopped into small chunks
  • Sliced apple (or grated for younger children) with fortified soya yoghurt and tahini dip (GF)
  • Scrambled tofu* on toast

*Use calcium-set tofu whenever possible