Cheap Toddler Snacks
Toddlers love to eat! They love to snack all day long. A little here, a little there. Few parents and caretakers leave the house without a diaper bag full of on-the-go snack options. If you have been down the toddler/infant aisle lately of any grocery store or target/Walmart-type store you will see there are tons of snack items marketed to on-the-go tots and their adults. I LOVE the fruit and veggie squeezes, the organic puffed snacks in a handy canister, the individual cheesits packs….until I reach the cash register and see my bill. These items don’t appear to cost a lot but like much in life, they so really add up. So in hopes that you don’t get ripped off by the siren call of toddler-friendly looking snacks, here is my list of my top ten on-the-go snacks that will not stretch your budget:
1. Cheese cubes. You will not believe the unit price savings if you buy a block of organic cheese and cut it up yourself. It only takes about three minutes to cut it up and stick it in Tupperware or snack bags. Don’t be tempted even by string cheese (I often am anyways but I buy it knowing the individual packaging is a rip off).
2. Cheerios or some other brand of whole grain cereal. So much cheaper than all those “puff” products. Not that exciting a snack to an adult palate but super exciting still for a tot.
3. Whole rice cakes. Cheaper than the mini ones!
4. Graham crackers. Even the store brands are whole grain these days.
5. Fruit of all kinds – berries, bananas, grapes, oranges, apples, etc. Just be sure to buy them whole and not in those snack packs.
6. Granola bars, Lara bars, bunny bars (or whatever you prefer) bought in bulk from places like Costco.
7. Whole grain baked goldfish. Also cheaper the larger the quantity you buy.
8. Tub of humus with whole grain crackers for dipping (my kiddo loves this snack.)
9. If you are freaked that your kid won’t eat many veggies (like I have been) go online and buy reusable pouches. Then microwave some fruits and veggies, fresh or frozen, whatever is cheapest. Put the cooked mixture in the blender and blend to the consistency your kid prefers. Add it to your reusable squeezie and taddah: forget those $1.50-$2.00 throwaway squeezies that are all the rage. Moms on the playground will totally be checking out your kids cool snack.
10. Take two ripe bananas, mash them with up with a quarter cup of walnuts and a cup of quick oats. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes. They are the healthiest “cookies” around! So tasty. Three ingredients! So frugal! For the adults I sometimes add in a few dark chocolate chips. (Recipe from skinnytaste website. )
Happy budget-minded snacking…