20 Suggestions for Paleo Toddler Snacks, Guest Post by PaleoSitter

Today on the blog, we have a guest post by the newest and youngest member of The Paleo Parents Team, Sam of paleositter.com. We were so lucky Courtney was willing to share Sam, who she met at CrossFit earlier last year. Courtney raved about Sam being a great babysitter, and she was right! From the moment Sam texted Stacy and asked if she should bring her own (paleo) food or if there was enough in the house for her to cook for the children, we knew it was going to work out! When Stacy & Matt got home to find a clean kitchen as well as a house full of well-fed and happy boys we wondered how we could convince Sam to hang around more often. When she started PaleoSitter.com the opportunity for Sam to learn more about cooking, blogging, book writing and more came up and we’re thrilled to have her as our Local Assistant interning to learn more about how to turn your passion into a business!

So often we get the question, “If I can’t feed my paleo toddler Cheerios or rice puffs, what on earth can I feed them for a snack?” Who better to answer this question than a Paleo Baby Sitter? Sam has put together an awesome round-up with 20 ideas for how to feed a paleo toddler. Take it away Sam! 


Sam with baby

Hi guys! PaleoSitter here! Or my legal name Samantha. I have received questions on my blog about what I give the toddlers I babysit as snacks. These are things that have worked for me. I view toddlers as being 1-3 years old, but many of these things work for older kids as well.

NOTE: Not all kids I babysit eat paleo.

Apple Squeezes

1. Apple squeezes, they have apple sauce and apple juice in a pouch. I personally love these!


2. Grapes! If you are concerned about these being a choking hazard, just cut the grapes in half.

better hard boiled eggs

3. Eggs, hard-boiled eggs are an easy on the go snack. You can add sesame seed eyes and a carrot nose to turn them into fun chicks! Check out this post from Nom Nom Paleo for the perfect boiled egg.

Larabar_Blueberry_Muffin_Barsam-bars-squareNOT pbandj bars


Nutfree-Blueberry-Muffin-LaraBar-Wannabes-by-PaleoParents SQUAREColes-Mango-Snack-Balls-on-PaleoParents SQUAREBanana-Bread-Balls-Lara-Bar-Wannabes SQUARE

4. Lara Bars, I have found the blueberry muffin is popular, or my recipe for Sam Bars. Need an inexpensive nut-free version? Try Toasted (Not) PB & J Katybars. Paleo Parents also have recipes for Nut Free Blueberry Muffin LaraBar Wannabes, Mango Snack Balls, and Banana Bread Balls (vegan, paleo and AIP friendly!)



5. Fruit Kabobs: put different chunks of fruit on a Popsicle stick (no sharp points!), perfect for on the go.

Cinnamon Raisin (not) Rice Pudding by PaleoParents
6. Pudding! What kiddo doesn’t like pudding? I will be uploading a paleo friendly chocolate pudding recipe soon, but in the mean time, The Paleo Parents have a great recipe for Cinnamon Raisin (not) Rice Pudding by their oldest son, Cole!

cut avocado2
7. Avocados, remember once you cut them, put a little lime/lemon juice on them to prevent them from turning brown.

wraps collage

8. Pure Wraps, for sandwich replacement we use these. You can put almond butter with bananas, lunch meats, chicken salad with paleo mayo or whatever you like! They’re not terrific by themselves, but delicious when filled with things.

9. Apple Gate Farms  deli meat, they are a little expensive, but delicious! We buy them in bulk at BJ’s Whole Club but you can find them at Trader Joe’s too.

almond butter packs
10. Fruit with almond butter. These pouches work very well for car rides. They also come with different flavors, the honey and maple syrup flavors are my personal favorites.

11. Banana bread! We use the book Against All Grain for our recipe. Our last two loafs lasted a day. There is also a great recipe in Eat Like a Dinosaur.

paleo blueberry muffins
12. Blueberry muffins, I use this recipe. It has the consistency of a normal muffin. I add double the amount of blueberries.

pork rinds
13. Pork rinds. (Probably a bit controversial but my family loves them.) US Wellness Meats has great quality pork rinds that are made from pastured pork and fried in their own lard! Their seasonings also don’t have any yucky stuff (chemicals, sugar, MSG) – yay!

Paleo-Peanut-Butter-Patties-squaresamosas squarePaleo-Thin-Mints-square

14. Paleo Girl Scout cookies. I found multiple AMAZING recipes. Tagalongs, Samoas, and Thin Mints. (Elana Amsterdam from Elana’s Pantry is the bomb! She wrote the forward to Eat Like a Dinosaur for Matt and Stacy!)


On Thursday, we asked our Facebook followers for their favorite things to feed paleo toddlers, and we got some great responses! Our last six suggestions come straight from those paleo mommies who answered: 


15. TONS of you suggested OLIVES! We agree – Olives are packed with healthy fats, and great for little ones to practice their “pincer” skills. Just like grapes, you can cut these in half too! The best part about olives is that they are easily portable and mess free! Just make sure you get ones that are pitted, of course!

little green pouchgreen squeeze kid square

16. Tricia H. had a WONDERFUL suggestion: She buys these “Little Green Pouches” (which, by the way, are reusable, dishwasher/freezer safe AND BPA, PVC, and phythalate free!) – she makes her own blends of cooked veggies and fruits. Tricia says, ” I make 8 pouches at a time and freeze a few. His favorite is a sweet potato, apple, carrot with cinnamon!”  GREAT idea Tricia! Thanks for sharing this adorable picture of your son!


Paleo Parents Pantry 5

17. Pretty in Paleo commented and said, “Mine loves a mixture of Cashews, Raisins, Unsweetened Coconut Flakes and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips” – we love this idea too, and in fact we have an area in our pantry that has the different ingredients for paleo trail mix in jars where they can reach them so they can make their own mixes for themselves! (see more about Our Paleo Pantry here)


18. SUPERFOOD ideas: Canned wild caught Sardines, salmon, and tuna. While it may seem weird to you to feed a toddler a can of sardines, don’t let your preconceptions about these foods transfer to your little ones! Lots of our Facebook followers commented that their toddlers love sardines, and even The Paleo Mom has said many times before how her youngest daughter loves them! They are incredibly nutrient dense, and just what little ones need to grow strong. If you are worried about them choking on the bones, you can always buy them boneless and skinless. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! Your toddler may surprise you. Toddlers and babies are also known to LOVE liver, and a great easy option is US Wellness Meats liverwurst. It’s soft and delicious, and incredibly nutrient dense.


Gelatin gummie Roundup

19. Gelatin Snacks – lots of you suggested this one, and we TOTALLY agree! We love gelatin snacks – so much so that we did a MEGA round up with 60+ recipes using grassfed gelatin.

Photo by Against All Grain

Photo by Against All Grain

20. Last but not least, lots of you suggested organic fruit leathers! Danielle, from Against All Grain has a great recipe for Homemade Fruit by the Foot that her own toddler, Asher, just loves! Isn’t he adorable?

We hope these 20 ideas help with your toddler, and we are so glad that you got to meet our PaleoSitter, Sam. We are looking forward to working with her on the weekends as she interns for us, and also mentoring her in her blogging skills. Do you have any more great suggestions for Paleo Toddler Snacks? Leave a comment and let us know! 


All about Sam:

SamHello! I am Sam. I am the newest and youngest member of the Paleo Parents team. Before eating paleo, I had skin allergies, acid reflux, acne, frequent bronchitis, and I was overweight. My Stepmom and I are avid CrossFitters, and both hit a plateau with weight loss. When our family decided to switch to paleo, it changed our lives. We have collectively lost 99 pounds. Not only did I lose weight, all of my medical issues disappeared.

I am a full time college student, a government contractor, and trying to become an avid blogger. I love to cook and bake. Oh, yeah, and eat. I have been cooking ever since I can remember. What really encouraged me to cook more, was when my Dad sent me to a cooking boot camp. I have transformed my cooking to paleo, with an abundance of trial and error. I am very excited to be working with Paleo Parents and their team!

Connect with Sam on Facebook!

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  • bre

    I would never recommend number one. First off, processed fruit and fruit juice has very little nutritional value, and second, what a waste of packaging. Food packaged in plastic, especially acidic foods, causes the plastic to leach into the food. Make your own applesauce or buy it in a large glass jar that you can reuse or recycle.

    • Bre, I would you suggest you check out the linked post. Although probably filled with the best of intentions, your tone comes across very judgmental and harsh – which can turn off those people who are interested in making better choices for their families. Certainly homemade is best (see our recipe on the blog and our book Eat Like a Dinosaur for a recipe), the items linked are better alternatives for busy families who can’t always do so. Try to remember everyone is at different phases of their paleo journey and we were all just starting once… http://balancedbites.com/2012/06/paleo-perfectionism.html

    • Cheryl

      I get these types of things (#1) for my kids occasionally for those days when my fresh fruit/veggies have already been eaten for the week and(or) I need something quick and easy to send to school for a snack. We couldn’t afford to eat them every day/all the time but for snack 1-2 times a week its a lifesaver! I also buy applesauce in large jars at Costco but for an on the go snack it doesn’t work well.
      I love all the ideas posted here!!!! Sometimes I just need to be reminded of some other options!!!

    • Joe Walsh

      Yes I does not I so agree with you bre

  • Michelle

    These are really helpful suggestions! I will check out your blog!
    My three year old has multiple food sensitivities (gi and skin related). We did a very basic paleo diet with him for two weeks, and he was so much happier, more energetic, and problems started dismissing. As we added back in more food to see if he can handle some gluten free packaged snacks (concerned for the emotional aspect), he has really resisted real food.:(. He snacks a lot, he is borderline anemic. We are trying very hard to do mostly primal, slowly adding foods to check for sensitivities (although gi wise no symptoms with hard cheese/yogurt, skin is always flaring). He is often hungry within 15 min of a meal. We get frustrated…and for a solid hour before bed he eats and eats. :(. I want him mostly off grains, but my husband isn’t there yet although supportive. My big question is about getting kids to eat real meals–real food…do you use the no thank you portion concept??? Or do you just set out meals and not push..let them eat what he naturally goes for (with a good quality meal?). I am starting to give him a salad like ours at lunch, and let him pick out what he’ll eat, hoping he’ll eventually improve. He resists that so majorly, it can become a true battle. The old fashioned “clean your plate” my husband grew up with doesn’t work at all, and doesn’t fit us. I do not want food to become such a negative….Looking for any posts or ideas!

    I follow your work and Sarah’s, starting on AIP myself. God bless you both…and my son LOVES your kids story in eat like a dinosaur. Your podcasts I want him to hear your little jingle too! :). I am hoping to turn us both around in positive ways!

    • It sounds like you might need to focus on trying to add more healthy fats to your little one’s diet to help keep him full. Fats keep you satiated longer than any other food, and especially grains. Grains act like sugar in the body, and are metabolized quickly, leaving you hungry. We like to add coconut milk to our kids fruit smoothies (like this one: http://paleoparents.com/2011/blueberry-coconut-milk-smoothie/ and this one: http://paleoparents.com/featured/coles-mango-madness/ ) because it helps keep them full for longer. You can also make smoothies and add avocado to them like this one: http://againstallgrain.com/2012/07/24/creamy-chocolate-avocado-smoothie/ – usually if a child is continually hungry, the fat is what they are missing. When trying to get little ones to eat veggies, cook them in a healthy dose of fat too, like lard, grassfed ghee, or butter if he tolerates dairy ok. Keep presenting the foods and keep trying. It usually takes a person (child or adult) to have a food presented 10 times before they will even try it. It will happen over time, and get easier, but you just have to be patient. You might also want to check out our ebook, 3 Phase Paleo for tips on transitioning your family to a paleo lifestyle if they are hesitant at first. http://3phasepaleo.com – it took us two years to fully transition, and this is how we did it. <3 best of luck ~ The Paleo Parents

      • Michelle

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply Stacy, I think you hit a very key concept for his diet, and those are awesome suggestions. I’m excited to implement them and will check out your book when finances allow, keep up the awesome work, you and your husband are an inspiration!

  • Anne

    Thank you for this post! I have been Paleo for 3 years and trying to slowly (very slowly) transition my kids ( 5 and 3) to paleo (they are GF). I am going to give the wraps a try because my oldest loves his sandwiches and he hates roll up made with lettuce. Thanks for the ideas! Esp the “rice” pudding.

  • Joe Walsh

    I loved the blue berry muffins I ate them here with my 2 year old daughter

  • Sharon Oaks

    Our grandson is almost 6 and has been brought up with horrible eating habits. These snack ideas are wonderful and I can’t wait to begin trying many of them out on him!

  • Coby

    This is such a helpful post. I’m trying to move my family to a more whole foods lifestyle approach – fewer Goldfish and more, well, real fish! We’re expecting our second so anything that I can do to be proactive with our health is definitely welcome.

  • Grab me and kiss me

    I’m paleo but I don’t count nuts as paleo. I think they are just as bad as grains. If you feed nuts atleast make sure they’re soaked in water for a few hours first (like beans), then drain and rinse. Even so I’d still worry that it would cause too much inflammation in their delicate digestive system.

    Gelatin: what a great tip! So tasty and good for their digestion.

    For dairy-eating paleos, try custards. You could even freeze them in ice cube trays and pop a couple of them before going out. I use a lot more egg yolks than recipes usually ask for. Oh and cheesecake bites! It’s tasty even without sugar and you can freeze it too.

  • Danielle F

    I absolutely love these ideas! We are new to the paleo lifestyle and struggle with our children ages 4,3, and 1 and finding good snack variety. I like the idea of creating their own trail mix. I’m definitely going to stock up on ingredients and then give them little muffin liners to fill with their choice of ingredients!

  • Amanda

    Do you know of a place I can find some recipes for making my own food pouches? My 15 month old son is not a big eater but he will eat from the pouches occasionally. I have reusable ones with cute little animals on it, but I don’t really know what to put in them and how to maximize the calories (and I struggle to do much of anything without a recipe or instructions!)

    • Amanda

      Oh, and as a response to people who might say how terrible it is to serve a child something in plastic, until you have a child that literally will starve themselves, you have no idea. You will let your child eat anything they want.Ice cream for dinner? OK. Food in a pouch? Yes! It’s that or a feeding tube and we really don’t want to go down that road if it can be avoided.

      • While we have never personally tested, there are a number of sites that offer some suggestions (like this one http://www.littlegreenpouch.com/pages/paleo-food-pouch-recipes). If you son can tolerate coconut milk and/or yogurt, I am thinking that would be a good base for a number of creations, with broth making for an excellent base for other meals. Good luck!