Grazing is Important for Toddlers

fruit snacks

Grazin’ is an important and even necessary part of your Toddler’s food repertoire!

Have you ever noticed that sometime around mid-morning, maybe between 10am and 11am, that your Toddler begins to enter “meltdown” mode?

Toddlers are prone to blood sugar swings and need refueling to maintain themselves more often than we may realize.  To help combat the “meltdowns” and keep your Toddler on an even keel, let him graze as needed.  The only caveat with grazing is that you should not let it interfere with regular meals!

Leave grazin’ favorites out around the same time that you suspect your Toddler needs refueling – the ideas below are safe to leave out for 1-2 hours in an average temperature home.  Grazin favorites may be used in place of or in conjunction with Snack time.

The Glorious Divided Dish (or the Mighty Muffin Tin)

1 divided dish, divided plastic storage container or muffin tin

diced fruits or diced veggies

yogurt dip

pita chips or toast points

Fill the compartments of your divided dish/container or muffin tin with the above ingredients and leave out on the table- ensure this is in easy reachable access to Toddlers.

Rice Cake Fiesta – Rice cakes are great grazin’ foods and they are available in whole grain, unsalted versions too!

Prepare rice cakes with your Toddler’s favorite spread or dip.  Grate an apple, carrot and/or other fruits and veggies over the rice cake.  Colour and taste to tempt the Toddler to slow down and refuel!

Cracker Smackers

Whole grain crackers – unsalted

Toddler’s favorite spread or dip (we like peanut butter for this one!)

1 grape or 2 raisins or 2 Cheerios or 1 cube of cheese

Spread dip or spread on the crackers and top a cracker with 1 grape, another cracker with 2 raisins, another cracker with 2 Cheerios and yet another cracker with 1 cube of cheese.  Make as many of these as you feel your Toddler will eat.  It’s the variety that will catch her eye and tempt her to at least nibble each cracker.

Cottage Cheese Dippers

Cottage Cheese

Fruit Dices

Whole Grain Bread Sticks or Toasted Pita Chips

Blend cottage cheese with dices of peaches, dices of pears or blueberries in a small dish.  Arrange cottage cheese blend on a larger dish and ring with bread sticks or pita chips.  Place the arrangement in a larger bowl that is filled 1/4 of the way with ice cubes.  Have your Toddler help with the ice cubes and tell him how the ice cubes will change when the Grazin snack is ready to be put away. This will keep outside the fridge for approx. 1 hour.

When you clean up, talk to your Toddler about how the ice has melted and turned back into water.  Science and grazing together!


Peanuts and Tree Nuts have varied age recommendations for introduction. Typical ages for introduction are:

  • After One (1) Year for the Non Food Sensitive/Non-Allergic Child;

  • After Two (2) or Three (3) Years for the Food Sensitive/Allergic Child.

Some Medical Authorities even suggest holding off Peanuts and Tree Nuts until after Seven (7) Years old!  You should introduce these items with the consultation and recommendation of your baby’s Pediatrician!

Please note:  It is important that you ensure your Toddler is sitting upright when eating any and all foods.  Do not let your Toddler run around while eating any food!  Pay close attention to size of the foods that you offer your Toddler and be cautious of any foods you feel might pose a choking hazard for your Toddler.  For example, there are some Toddlers that may be able to eat grapes cut into pieces while other Toddlers might not.  Only you know your Toddler and his/her abilities to handle different foods of differing sizes and proportions!