Yummy snack ideas for your 1-3 year old

By the time your little one completes one whole year around the sun, their body has gone through a variety of changes that directly impact their feeding habits. At this age, breastfeeding still provides the goodness of essential nutrients and immunity to fend off diseases, but the overall dependency on breastmilk is greatly reduced. At this stage, your little bunny has developed a growing set of milk teeth, allowing them to finally enjoy solid foods. And being a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure the baby eats right because every bite counts. 

UNICEF recommends that babies should be served four to five yummy meals a day along with two healthy snacks and one or two cups of milk. It is essential to plan the contents of these daily meals, ensuring all rich nutrients are included. A good combination of poultry (eggs, meat, fish) plus dairy (milk, butter), in addition to grains (rice, oatmeal, cornmeal) with nuts and a substantial proportion of fruits and green veggies make for an ideal baby diet. If your baby doesn’t have any poultry in their diet, ensure they get their protein through legumes (chickpea, lentil or peas). These nutrients ensure your little one never runs out of energy during playtime, which helps in developing the muscles.

Snacks for your little one to savour

Read below to find 3 yummy snack ideas for your 1-3 year old that are the best of both worlds: wholesome for your baby and fun to make. 

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites

These tiny broccoli cheddar quinoa bites are packed with nutrients, making them the perfect-sized snacks for little hands. Simply pair them with fruit to make a complete, well-balanced meal.

What will you need?

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

How to make it?

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray and add a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into each cup, gently pressing it down as you go.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bites are firm to touch and brownish on the top.
  5. Serve immediately!

Instant frozen berry yoghurt

Three ingredients and two quick minutes are all you need to whip up this low-fat, low-calorie yoghurt. In other words, it is the true rush-hour fix every parent must know how to make. 

What will you need?

  • 250g frozen mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries & blackberries)
  • 250g 0% fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 1/2 tbsp raisins
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed walnuts
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds

How to make it?

  1. Blend the berries, yoghurt and honey in a food processor for 20 seconds until it forms a smooth ice-cream consistency.
  2. Scoop it into a bowl, add nuts and chia seeds and tada, it’s ready!
  3. Serve cold.

Lemon & coriander hummus

Hummus is an easy peasy snack you can make at home, which beats shop-bought varieties every time. Serve it with carrot sticks, cucumber sticks or bell pepper strips and make your little picky eater fall in love with their lunch.

What will you need?

  • 4 cups chickpeas (soaked overnight, boiled and drained)
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp tahini paste
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  • 20g coriander

How to make it?

  1. Put all ingredients except coriander into a food processor.
  2. Whizz until it's a fairly smooth mix.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the processor if you need to.
  4. Add the coriander and pulse until roughly chopped.
  5. Spoon into a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, then serve.

Pro Tip: Heading out with your baby? The Dare-U-Go Bib will be the perfect travel companion. It’s not an ordinary bib, but a bib fused with a lunchbox that not only allows you to pack the food in three airtight compartments but lets you reheat it in a microwave. Being a bib, it naturally prevents spillage and you can secure it comfortably around your baby’s neck using the adjustable collar. In short, it’s an all-in-one feeding solution for your little one.

Few things to keep in mind

  1. Avoid carbonated soft drinks and factory-made snacks as they might contain excessive amounts of sugar, salt, fatty acids or chemical preservatives.
  2. Slippery whole grapes, chunky pieces of meat, raw veggies, or sticky foods like marshmallow and peanut butter are all choking hazards and must be served cautiously.
  3. It is advisable to cut foods that are hard to chew into small fine pieces and to supervise your little one as they eat.
  4. Your baby might have unidentified food allergies; the most common ones being from milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat and fish. If you suspect your child might have one, consult your paediatrician.
  5. Never force-feed your child; serve realistic portions and be flexible with food acceptance as toddlers are often reluctant to try new things. If your baby refuses, try again after an interval of a few days or weeks.
  6. Use a child-sized spoon or fork that has dull prongs, much like the spork provided with the Dare-U-Go Bib.
  7. To promote dining etiquette and routine at a young age, allow your baby to be seated at a comfortable height while eating. Provide them with a bib and let them eat from their own bowl regularly. Be patient as babies do take time with eating, as with everything else. Clap!

During the first couple of years, the day-to-day or meal-to-meal appetite of your toddler might vary and that is totally normal. So, you must introduce them to new foods then and again to make the meals exciting. This will over time reduce the reliance on breastmilk, help with their physical growth, strengthen bones and contribute essential nutrients for positive brain activity that is essential for mental growth. On top of this, don’t underestimate the need for everyday physical activity and ample water to complement their dietary plan.

The team at Vkaire have scoured through research papers, journals and baby care books, so that you don’t have to and instead, you can spend that time making memories with your baby. With your little munchkin at the centre of our concerns, we make sure that we serve you with the best advice to help you evolve into a better parent every day. Please feel free to share with other parents whose babies deserve the yummiest of snacks.