Does anybody else have a Paleo toddler? I know plenty of people who have older kids who follow a Paleo diet, but sometimes I feel like I am the only one who has a 15-month-old Paleo eater. My husband and I did our first Whole 30 when our daughter, J, was just seven months old. It was a life-changing experience for us. Not to mention the fact that we practice baby-led weaning, and it felt so liberating to be able to virtually hand J anything off of our plate to eat. Now that our Whole 30 is officially over, we still prefer to eat that way and since J eats what we eat, she has, by extension, become Paleo. She has never had dairy or processed ingredients. She has only eaten a couple of bites of grain (by accident). And most importantly, she has never had sugar. Never. All of that is a pretty big departure from most prepackaged kid snacks: Baby puffs, baby melts, Cheerios, Goldfish, Oreos, etc., which are all chaulk full of chemicals, artificial ingredients, and who knows what else.
Most of the time, J eats meat, fruits, and vegetables that we have cooked at home, but periodically the real world strikes, and we need a ready-made snack. So if you are looking for healthy options for your toddler, all with the convenience of being prepackaged and ready to go, look no further. Here is a list of ten snacks perfect for a toddler. Each of them is Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and made from real food ingredients.
I am not even going to lie; these are probably my daughter’s favorite snack out of the whole list. Larabars are all made with dates, nuts, and whatever fruit and spices are appropriate for that flavor. They are very sweet, which is probably why my daughter loves them so much. She also loves the independence that comes from these. She can open the package and feed herself.
That’s It Bars
Each of these bars is made of two different types of fruit pressed together, and that’s it! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself). They come in combinations like Apple + Apricot or Apple + Pineapple. They are not as soft as Larabars but are thick and chewy like fruit leathers.
Please note: Kind also makes similar bars now called Pressed by Kind. We have tried them, but my daughter prefers That’s It bars over them. And, I’ve eaten both of them too, and I have to agree with her.
Zico Coconut Water
J only drinks two things: water and coconut water. I’ve tried to give her almond milk before, but she doesn’t particularly care for it. So water or coconut water it is then! These tiny little cartons by Zico are the perfect portion for a toddler, and I love how they contain coconut water only. Have you read the labels to various kinds of coconut water lately? So many of them have added sugar! Why?!?!
Rhythm Superfoods Beet Chips
Every time my husband or I feed these to J, we have to quote the line from Portlandia, “It’s always beets!” It’s a fantastic tv show. Anyway, I digress… do you want to know what the ingredients in these beet chips are? Beets. It doesn’t get simpler than that. These have a fantastic crunch to them so they make for a really satisfying snack and/or teething biscuit. And they taste awesome! I am not a beet person by any means, so that’s really saying something.
Artisana Raw Coconut Butter
Our daughter doesn’t eat desserts. Period. So Larabars and coconut butter are as close as it gets for her. And these single serving coconut butter packets are so decadent and creamy, they do feel like a dessert. Please know, though, that these are really pricey so we only buy them for special occasions and/or road trips. The rest of the time, eating a spoonful from a large jar of the stuff is way more economical.
To me, there is something just so satisfying about eating dried seaweed. It is super light and crunchy, and you can eat a ton of it and never feel full. The one downside is how incredibly messy it is with little bits of seaweed going everywhere. I have never successful eaten some without getting it everywhere, so imagine a toddler! In other words, this is a good pre-bathtime and a bad pre-church snack, if you get what I mean.
Wholly Guacamole Minis
Grab one of these and a small bag of baby carrots, and you’re all set. Or you can just eat straight from the carton with a spoon. What can I say? We’re Californians! We are able to find these mini containers at our local Costco all the time. Just keep in mind that there is the Original and the Spicy variety which I accidentally bought one time. J gives the spicy variety two thumbs down.
Justin’s Classic Almond Butter
My daughter loves, loves nuts. We waited until she was a year old before we gave them to her, and even then, I would “baby bird” them for her. You know,… chew a mouthful, pull it out, and put it in her mouth. I remember a couple of years ago when everyone flipped out over Alicia Silverstone doing the same thing. I said that it was completely disgusting and that I would never do that. Ha, ha! Anyway, we “baby birded” it for quite some time, but now we feel comfortable enough to give her one of these squeeze packets along with a sippy cup. Like all prepackaged food items, please take the time to read food labels. These Justin’s Classic Almond Butters are the only ones I have found that are not only Paleo but Whole 30 friendly. So many of them have sugar or nasty oils added to them.
Like with all prepackaged food items, please take the time to read food labels. Don’t assume that all almond butter packets are equal. These Justin’s Classic ones are the only I have found that are Whole 30 friendly. So many of them actually have sugar or nasty oils added.
Simple Mills Almond Crackers
Gluten-free crackers are a dime a dozen these days, but these crackers from Simple Mills are the only Paleo ones I know of that I don’t have to go out of my way to find (meaning that they are at my local grocery store). They are really, really good and come in a variety of flavors… Sea Salt, Rosemary, Cracked Black Pepper, etc. They have small ones that are the same size as Wheat Thins, and they just came out with larger, round crackers that are perfect for holding meats and other spreads. We always carry a box of these in the car to snack on.
Bubba’s Fine Foods ‘Nana Chips
Holy Toledo! When I first read about Bubba’s chips, I thought, “There is no way that is going to be good.” Boy, I am so glad I was wrong! ‘Nana Chips are dehydrated banana slices that are then covered in savory seasonings. Savory bananas? Yep! They come in varieties like Garlic Parm and Macho Nacho. Both of those flavors are J and Erik approved. There is also a spicy Buffalo variety, but I am the only one in my family who can handle it. In other words, guess who ended up eating all of the spicy guacamole?
So there you have it! Ten Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, real food snacks that are perfect for toddlers!
Now I want to hear from you! What real food snacks do your kids enjoy?
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