In their second year of life, toddlers are beginning to transition from breastfeeding to a diet of solid foods. Toddlers have little stomachs, so snacks are a good way to fit in extra nutrients between meals. Provide a variety of foods from all the food groups with pleasing flavors and textures so your child begins to develop her tastes for healthy foods at a young age.
Meat and Dairy Snacks
At the age of 1, your child should still be drinking whole milk and eating whole milk dairy foods, which are a good source of healthy fats, calcium and vitamin D. Offer her cottage cheese, cheese cubes or yogurt. Soft cubes of chicken or meat provide protein for growing muscles. Cut-up hard-boiled eggs, tuna chunks and mini sandwiches with slices of turkey meat on whole-grain bread are other nutritious ideas. A quarter-cup of large-curd cottage cheese has 50 calories, 44 milligrams of calcium and 2 international units of vitamin D. A quarter cup of chopped white-meat chicken breast without skin has 66 calories and 10 grams of protein.
Fruits, Veggies and Whole Grains
Soft fresh fruit and vegetable chunks, such as sliced bananas, lightly boiled carrots or sweet potato cubes, make fun and healthy finger foods. Fresh produce is an important source of fiber, vitamins and minerals for your growing toddler. One-quarter of a medium sweet potato with skin removed, boiled, cooled and cut up into chunks has 30 calories and almost 6,000 international units of vitamin A, important for supporting your toddler's vision. You can also make your own mini ice pops with fruit juice and chunks of fruit, or whip up a yogurt and fruit smoothie for your little one. Four ounces of whole-milk yogurt blended with a half cup of fresh blueberries has 111 calories, 141 milligrams of calcium, 2 grams of fiber and 7 milligrams of vitamin C, which aids the growth and repair of your toddler's body tissues. Whole-grain foods provide B vitamins and iron; serve a small whole-grain pita cut into triangles with a tablespoon of hummus for a snack that provides about 100 calories, 1 milligram of iron and 20 micrograms of folate, a B vitamin that aids tissue growth.