Healthy Baby Snacks on the Go

Healthy snacks on the goOnce your child enters the world of solid foods, snack time is markedly different than when he just a quick nursing session or bottle. When you’re on the road, whether it’s a quick trip to the park or a summer road trip, snacks can mean the difference between an enjoyable experience or one that makes you wince thinking about it even years later.

It’s pretty easy to pack nutritious snacks for your toddler; it just takes a little planning. You can take almost anything on the go if you have an insulated bag and an ice pack. For quick trips, a small bag is easy to tuck away in a diaper bag, and for longer trips you can bring a small cooler or larger insulated bag. Reusable ice packs are inexpensive, eco friendly, and won’t leak like ice will.

If your child is chewing, cut up fruits and vegetables make great snacks on the go. Reusable containers will keep softer foods from getting smashed. If you don’t have time for this (or your child isn’t chewing yet), you can purchase squeeze tubes of applesauce or other pureed fruits and vegetables. You can even make them yourself with reusable squeeze containers and bring along smoothies or yogurt. Bananas are like nature’s version of a convenience store snack–they’re totally grab-and-go.

If you want a diaper bag staple that’s shelf stable, dried fruit is often a hit with babies and toddlers. If your child doesn’t have teeth yet, this may be one to save for later. Also, you will want to watch the volume; too much and it could cause, um, gastrointestinal issues.

Great portable protein sources include string cheese, yogurt (particularly in the squeeze tubes I mentioned before), and hard-boiled eggs (watch the yolks–my sons delighted in grinding them into floors if I turned my back on them for a second).

For a quick carbohydrate snack on the go, consider making up a few onigiri, or rice balls. This video shows how to throw them together and different ideas to mix into the rice, but you can make them with just plain rice too.

Finally, if you’re planning a long outing where you are taking a cooler, consider freezing some of the beverages you plan on bringing. The frozen water or bottles will do double duty as ice packs and also as an ice-cold beverage to drink as they thaw, which is always amazing on a scorching summer day.

Meaghan Howard is a mom to two little boys, ages 3 and 6. She’s currently enjoying the expat life in Japan.

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