15+ High Protein Snacks for Toddlers- Kid Tested & Approved! (2024)

Nutrition, Recipes ·

Looking for high protein snacks for toddlers? Yes, we understand!

Getting picky toddlers to eat enough protein can be a daily struggle for parents. While it may be tempting to cave and just feed them crackers, sweets, or other carb-heavy snacks to avoid a meltdown, ensuring they get adequate protein is crucial during this rapid growth and development stage.

15+ High Protein Snacks for Toddlers- Kid Tested & Approved! (1)

The good news is there are many tasty, high protein snacks for toddlers that can help them meet the recommended 13 grams of protein per day.

And making sure that these snacks are also gut-healthy means that these snacks can be an immunity booster too.

In this article, we’ll explore 15+ delicious and gut-healthy snack ideas. From chia seed puddings to yogurt parfaits, that are not only packed with protein but also gut-friendly and fun.

With tips on how to boost nutrition and get creative with shapes and textures to make protein bites more exciting, this guide takes the guesswork out of snack time.

Plus, it also shares some of our favorite kid-friendly recipes too!

Parents can feel confident knowing their beloved picky eater is getting quality fuel to build healthy brains and bodies, even between meals.

Read on for plenty of ideas that have been kid-tested and approved to take the struggle out of high protein snacking.

This post is all about "High Protein Snacks for Toddlers."

Key Takeaways

  • Toddlers require about .55 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily, and snacks like Greek yogurt, nut butter, and hard-boiled eggs can help meet these needs, fueling growth and brain development.
  • Maintaining variety in snacks is crucial to cater to toddlers’ often picky eating habits, with options including yogurt with fruit, turkey roll-ups, and cheese sticks to provide both nutrition and appeal.
  • Offering high-protein snacks like overnight oats with chia, protein muffins, or creative snacks like ‘Ants on a Log’ keeps snacking gut-friendly, interesting, and can be made in advance for convenience, ensuring they’re also safe and appropriate for the toddler’s developmental stage.

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The Importance of Protein for Toddlers

Protein, a vital macronutrient, is involved in nearly all biological processes within a child’s body. It builds and repairs muscles and bones and also gives you energy.

But how much protein does a toddler needd? Well, it depends on their age, size, and activity level. But from all of the articles that I've read, it seems that toddlers require approximately .55 grams of protein per pound of their weight.

Therefore, their diet must include enough protein, a need that can be fulfilled with protein-rich snacks such as:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Nut butter
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Chickpeas
  • Tofu

15+ High Protein Snacks for Toddlers

Meeting your toddler’s protein needs doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. With a little creativity and planning, you can provide them with a variety of high-protein snacks that they’ll love.

From overnight oats with chia seeds and berries, and homemade mini pancakes with Greek yogurt and fruit, to protein muffins, there are plenty of options to choose from. And the best part? Most of these snacks are easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time.

Whether you’re in search of morning snacks, afternoon treats, or on-the-go nibbles, here are 15+ delicious, gut-friendly, high-protein snacks for toddlers, all kid-tested and approved.

Morning Snacks

Kickstart your toddler’s day with a healthy, high-protein morning snack that fills them up and fuels their morning playtime. Here are some delicious and nutritious snack ideas that are easy to make and sure to be a hit with your little one.

1. Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds and Berries

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Overnight oats with chia seeds and berries offer a fantastic start to your toddler’s day. This delicious and nutritious snack is packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. The chia seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants, while the berries add a sweet flavor and extra fiber.

Moreover, it presents an excellent way to kick-start your toddler’s morning with a substantial dose of protein.

Overnight Oats Recipes:

2. Homemade Mini Pancakes with Greek Yogurt and Fruit

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Kids invariably love pancakes; these homemade mini versions, made with Greek yogurt and fruit, certainly won’t disappoint. Packed with protein and topped with fresh fruit, they’re a breakfast that your toddler will look forward to. Greek yogurt adds a protein punch, and the added fruit provides essential vitamins and nutrients.

Plus, they’re easy to make and can be customized to suit your toddler’s taste buds.

Pancakes with Greek Yogurt Recipes:

3. Ants on a Log with Nut Butter and Raisins

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'Ants on a log’ is an entertaining and nutritious snack that your toddler is bound to enjoy. Crunchy celery is filled with protein-rich nut or seed butter, such as almond butter, and topped with raisins.

This snack not only provides a good mix of protein and healthy fats but also offers a variety of textures that toddlers will enjoy. Plus, the celery and raisins provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Ants on a Log Recipes:

4. Protein Muffins

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Muffins make for an excellent snack choice for toddlers, with these protein muffins being a hit. Made with kid-friendly protein powders, these muffins are a delicious and nutritious option for your toddler’s morning snack. You can make a few different varieties, like banana protein muffins or funfetti protein muffins, to keep things interesting.

Plus, they can be made ahead of time and stored for a quick and easy snack option.

Protein Muffins Recipes:

5. Hard-Boiled Egg and Avocado Salad

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Hard-boiled eggs coupled with avocado make a flawless duo for a nutritious toddler snack. The eggs provide a good source of protein and important nutrients like choline and B vitamins, while the avocado adds healthy fats and fiber.

Serve it mashed together for an easy-to-eat snack that’s packed with nutrition.

Egg and Avocado Salad Recipes:

6. Mini Whole Wheat Muffins with Berries

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These mini whole wheat muffins, complemented with berries, provide a tasty and wholesome snack option for your toddler. The whole wheat provides a good source of protein and fiber, while the berries add a sweet flavor and extra nutrition. Plus, these muffins are the perfect size for little hands to hold and eat.

Mini Muffins Recipes:

7. Chia Seed Pudding with Berries

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Chia seed pudding, adorned with berries, makes a delightful and nutritious snack for your toddler. The chia seeds provide a good source of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, while the berries add a sweet flavor and extra fiber. In addition, this snack can be easily prepared and made in advance. This makes it convenient for busy schedules.

Chia Seed Pudding Recipes:

Afternoon Snacks

Combat the afternoon slump by keeping your toddler energized and content with these high-protein snack options. From savory snacks like roasted chickpeas to sweet treats like yogurt parfait, these snacks are sure to keep your little one’s tummy happy until dinner time.

7. Carrot Cake Energy Bites

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Carrot cake energy bites make an ideal snack for your toddler. These bite-sized treats are packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making them a great choice for an afternoon snack.

Plus, they taste just like carrot cake, making them a hit with toddlers.

Carrot Cake Energy Bite Recipes:

8. Yogurt Parfait with Nuts and Granola

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Your toddler will love the delightful and nutritious yogurt parfait with pumpkin seeds (or nuts), granola, and sunflower seed butter. The yogurt provides a good source of protein and probiotics, while the pumpkin seeds, granola, and sunflower seed butter add a nice crunch and extra nutrition. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be customized to suit your toddler’s tastes.

Yogurt Parfait Recipes:

9. Roasted Chickpeas with Spices

Spiced roasted chickpeas and roasted pumpkin seeds make a delightful and wholesome snack for your toddler. Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber, and roasting them with spices makes them extra tasty.

Plus, this snack is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time for a quick and easy snack option.

Roasted Chickpeas Recipes:

10. Veggie "Boats" with Hummus and Cucumbers

Veggie boats filled with hummus and cucumbers make a playful and nutritious snack for your toddler. The nutrious snacks provide a good source of vitamins and fiber, while the hummus adds protein and healthy fats.

Plus, this snack is easy to make and can be customized to suit your toddler’s tastes.

Veggie Boat Recipes:

11. Cheese Sticks

Cheese sticks provide a straightforward and nutritious snack option for your toddler. They’re a good source of protein and calcium, making them a great choice for your toddler’s growing body.

Plus, they’re easy to grab and go, making them a perfect snack for busy days.

12. Frozen Yogurt Bark with Granola and Fruit

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Your toddler will adore the delightful and wholesome frozen yogurt bark with granola and fruit. The yogurt provides a good source of protein and probiotics, while the granola and fruit add a nice crunch and extra nutrition.

Plus, this snack is fun to eat and can be made ahead of time for a quick and easy snack option.

Frozen Yogurt Bark Recipes:

13. Baked Apples with Cinnamon and Walnuts

Cinnamon and walnut-baked apples make a delightful and wholesome snack for your toddler. The apples provide a good source of fiber and vitamins, while the cinnamon adds a delicious flavor and the walnuts add protein and healthy fats.

Plus, this snack is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time for a quick and easy snack option.

Baked Apples Recipe:

14. Quinoa Salad

Quinoa salad offers a nutritious and tasty snack option for your toddler. Quinoa is a superfood that’s packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. Plus, you can add a variety of veggies and proteins to the salad to make it even more nutritious and appealing to your toddler.

This salad is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time for a quick and easy snack option.

Quinoa Salad Recipes:

15. Smoothies with Protein Powder

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Protein powder smoothies make a delicious and nutritious snack for your toddler. They’re easy to make and can be customized to suit your toddler’s tastes. Plus, the protein powder adds an extra boost of protein to help support your toddler’s growth and development.

Smoothie Recipes:

Challenges of Healthy Snacking

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Discovering high-protein snacks that are both wholesome and attractive to your little ones can pose a challenge. Toddlers are known for their unpredictable and often picky eating habits. One day they might love creamy nut butter and the next, they push it away.

Maintaining a variety and novelty in their meals and snacks is KEY. Presenting them with a mix of textures, flavors, and food shapes can help keep their interest in protein snacks for kids.

Here are some high-protein snacks that toddlers might enjoy:

  • Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Cheese cubes or string cheese
  • Hummus with veggie sticks
  • Nut butter with apple slices
  • Cottage cheese with berries + honey
  • Turkey or chicken roll-ups
  • Tuna or salmon salad on whole grain crackers

Try offering these snacks to your toddler and see which ones they enjoy the most.

Moreover, an appealing plate can enhance their mealtime experience. And of course, the snacks should be easy and quick to prepare, considering the busy schedules of parents and caregivers.

Store-Bought Snacks and What to Look For

Although homemade snacks are a fantastic choice, at times, the convenience of store-bought healthy snacks is a necessity.

But not all store-bought snacks are created equal. When selecting pre-packaged snacks I generally try to look for the following:

  1. High protein content - Look for at least 3-5 grams of protein per serving
  2. Fiber- Try to get at least 3+ grams of fiber per serving
  3. Low added sugars - Make sure the added sugar content stays below ~6 grams per serving
  4. Whole food ingredients - Look for recognizable, nutrient-dense ingredients rather than artificial additives
  5. Age-appropriate textures - Avoid snacks with small, hard pieces that could pose a choking hazard
  6. Allergen-free - Check for common allergens like dairy, nuts, etc. based on your toddler's needs

Some examples of healthy store-bought toddler snacks that meet these guidelines include pouches of Greek yogurt and purees, nut-free trail mixes and granola, soft nutrition bars with hidden veggies, cheese sticks, and nut-butter-filled pretzels or crackers.

Checking the label is key to finding convenient snacks that offer nutrition along with convenience.

Here are some tips on what to look for when buying store-bought snacks for your toddler.

How to Keep Protein Snacks Exciting

The key to keeping protein snacks exciting for your toddler lies in variety. By offering a variety of textures and flavors, getting creative with food shapes and presentations, and involving them in snack preparation, you can make snack time something your toddler looks forward to.

Variety of Textures and Flavors

Offering a variety of textures and flavors is important for keeping protein snacks exciting for your toddler. This not only makes the snacks more appealing but also helps your toddler get used to different tastes and textures.

Try to incorporate different types of protein-rich foods into their protein-packed snacks to keep things varied and interesting, and consider a protein-rich snack box for a convenient option.

Get Creative with Food Shapes and Presentations

Another effective method to maintain the appeal of protein snacks for your toddler is to get creative with food shapes and presentations. You can use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of cheese and meat or make colorful kebab sticks with alternating cubes of cheese and fruit.

Also, giving playful names to dishes, like fruit skewers with yogurt dip or smiley faces made from sliced hard-boiled eggs and avocado, can add to the appeal.

Get Toddlers Involved in Snack Prep

Involving your toddler in snack preparation can also enhance the appeal of protein snacks. When toddlers help with snack prep, it makes them feel more connected to their food and can make them more likely to try new things.

Plus, it’s a great way to teach them about healthy eating and introduce them to different types of protein.

Safety Tips for Toddler Snacking

While maintaining fun and variety in snacks is essential, ensuring their safety for your toddler is equally crucial. This includes ensuring proper portion sizes, avoiding choking hazards, and being mindful of potential allergens.

It’s also important to ensure that the snacks are appropriate for your toddler’s age and developmental stage.

Summary

Ensuring your toddler gets enough protein is crucial for their growth, development, and overall health. Whether it’s through homemade snacks like overnight oats, mini pancakes, and protein muffins, or store-bought options, there are plenty of ways to incorporate protein into your toddler’s diet.

By keeping snacks varied and exciting, you can help encourage your toddler to try new things and develop a healthy relationship with food.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are high-protein foods for toddlers?

Some high-protein foods for toddlers include eggs, yogurt, cheese, and nut butter. These options can easily be incorporated into meals and snacks to ensure your toddler gets the protein they need.

How do I make sure my toddler gets enough protein?

You can ensure your toddler gets enough protein by including dairy and eggs in their diet, as they are good sources of animal protein. You can also consider offering foods like lean meat, milk, and cheese to meet their daily protein needs.

How to make protein snacks for kids?

You can make protein snacks for kids such as hard-boiled eggs, shredded wheat cereal with milk, soy nuts, and nut butter. These are easy to prepare and provide a good source of protein for active kids.

Do toddlers need snacks?

Yes, toddlers can benefit from snacks by providing them with important nutrients and filling the gap between meals. Most toddlers do well with three meals and two or three scheduled snacks a day, such as mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and after-dinner, if needed.

Are graham crackers healthy for toddlers?

Graham crackers can be a part of a toddler's diet in moderation, but they are not particularly nutritious. Consider adding healthier options like fruit or nut butter for added nutrients.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or beliefs, but I can provide you with information on high protein snacks for toddlers based on this article. Here's a breakdown of the concepts discussed in the article:

Importance of Protein for Toddlers

Protein is a vital macronutrient that plays a crucial role in a child's growth and development. It is involved in building and repairing muscles and bones, as well as providing energy. Toddlers require approximately 0.55 grams of protein per pound of their weight [[1]].

High Protein Snacks for Toddlers

The article suggests various high protein snacks for toddlers that are both nutritious and appealing. Some of these snacks include:

  1. Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds and Berries: Overnight oats with chia seeds and berries are a delicious and nutritious snack option. Chia seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants, while berries add flavor and extra fiber [[1]].

  2. Homemade Mini Pancakes with Greek Yogurt and Fruit: Mini pancakes made with Greek yogurt and fruit are a protein-packed breakfast option for toddlers. Greek yogurt provides protein, while the added fruit adds essential vitamins and nutrients [[1]].

  3. Ants on a Log with Nut Butter and Raisins: "Ants on a log" is a fun and nutritious snack where celery sticks are filled with protein-rich nut or seed butter and topped with raisins. This snack offers a mix of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals [[1]].

  4. Protein Muffins: Protein muffins made with kid-friendly protein powders are a tasty and nutritious snack option. They can be made in different varieties, such as banana protein muffins or funfetti protein muffins, to keep things interesting [[1]].

  5. Hard-Boiled Egg and Avocado Salad: Hard-boiled eggs combined with avocado make a nutritious and protein-rich snack. Eggs provide protein, choline, and B vitamins, while avocado adds healthy fats and fiber [[1]].

  6. Mini Whole Wheat Muffins with Berries: Mini whole wheat muffins with berries are a wholesome snack option for toddlers. Whole wheat provides protein and fiber, while berries add flavor and extra nutrition [[1]].

  7. Chia Seed Pudding with Berries: Chia seed pudding with berries is a delightful and nutritious snack. Chia seeds offer protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, while berries add sweetness and fiber [[1]].

These are just a few examples of high protein snacks for toddlers mentioned in the article. The article provides additional snack ideas and recipes, as well as tips on how to keep protein snacks exciting and involve toddlers in snack preparation.

Remember to always consider your toddler's individual dietary needs and consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice.

I hope this information helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

15+ High Protein Snacks for Toddlers- Kid Tested & Approved! (2024)

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