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3 Tips for Choosing the Best Baby Snacks

October 20, 2021 3 min read

Helping to pacify hungry babies and toddlers, ready-to-go baby snacks can be a lifesaver to parents everywhere.  

The best baby snacks should be a healthy addition to your child’s diet. To help you not sacrifice nutrition when it comes to snacking - here are some of our favorite tips for picking the smartest baby snack foods. 

1. Nutrient dense foods that encourage diet diversity

Nutrition plays a huge role in your child’s development. According to the newest USDA Guidelines, diet diversity is essential for babies and is a key early habit in lifelong, healthy eating.

When your little ones start reaching for something to munch on, the most meaningful baby snacks should include nutrient-dense complementary solids in addition to formula and breastmilk. These snacks help ensure that your child is getting exposure to adequate nutrition (like iron, protein, fiber, and healthy fats) and they also get to experience different flavors, textures, and types of foods.

2. Contains the most common food allergens

In the new guidelines, the USDA also suggests that “it is important to introduce potentially allergenic foods along with other complementary foods” within the first 4-6 months of life. New complementary foods and common food allergens should be introduced to help your little one’s tummy grow accustomed to foods and reduce the risk of your baby developing a food allergy later in life.

The best snacks aren’t just nutritious, but help introduce your baby to commonly allergenic foods like peanuts, egg, cow’s milk, tree nuts, wheat, crustacean shellfish, fish, sesame, and soy. 

3. Easy for on-the-go feeding

You’re already spending enough time in the kitchen. The best snacks should also be easy for on-the-go-feeding. No messy cleanups or time-consuming prep work. Just delicious and nutritious snacks that are easy for the whole family. 

Plus, easy-to-feed snacks will be a lifesaver for parents of hungry babies, whether at home or bustling out the door. 

Best Baby Snacks For All Ages

There’s no need to choose between nutrition and flavor. Here are some of our favorite healthy, delicious, and easy-to-feed baby snacks:

  • Fruit. Sliced apples, pears, or bananas - fruits are a great source of fiber for your growing little ones, as well as a delicious snack to munch on. For babies new to snacking and solids, you may want to steam or roast the fruits to make them easier to eat, while also removing any peels, stems, or pits. Toddlers can typically handle sliced fruit or soft whole fruits.
  • Cheese. Sliced cheese or cheese sticks are great snacks for your baby once they reach at least 6 months of age. Simple to serve without any time-consuming preparation, cheese is a great source of calcium, protein, and vitamins. While pasteurized full-fat cheeses (like mild cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, and cream cheese) are encouraged, avoid unpasteurized or mold-ripened cheeses (like brie or some goats' milk cheeses).
  • Nut butters. As well as introducing your child to food allergens, nut butters are delicious and simple to snack on. Peanut butter, cashew butter, or almond butter are flooded with healthy fats - the perfect fuel for your growing little one. Plus they can easily be paired with other foods, like crackers or carrots, to try fun and adventurous new foods. Nut butters can be given to children starting at 6 months, but if they are too thick in texture try thinning them with breast milk or water. 
  • Puffs. With vibrant shapes and delicious melt-in-your-mouth flavors, puffs are a common snack to introduce to your little one when they are transitioning to solid foods. Puff snacks are formatted to dissolve quickly in the mouth, making them perfect for new eaters, as well as helping them develop new skills, like the pincer grasp. Plus, the best puffs will contain a variety of nutrient-dense foods and common allergens. 
  • Sliced Meats. Add some slices of turkey or chicken to your child’s plate and help boost their iron intake. Plus, you can also pair this with cheese or crackers for a fun and easy meal. 
  • Eggs. Though these take a bit of preparation, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs are a great snack for growing children, and are a top source of protein. When serving, be sure to avoid raw eggs or uncooked eggs in desserts. 

Healthy, Allergen-Full Snacking With SpoonfulONE

When it comes to introducing allergens into your little one’s diet, once or twice is not enough. Once your child starts trying solids around 4-6 months, diet diversity and food allergens should continue to be a part of your baby’s daily snacking routine as they grow.