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Vegan Toddler | On-The-Go

by Alie Peterson on October 5, 2013

Feeding my vegan toddler is easy – when I’m standing in a well-stocked vegan kitchen. Once strapped into his car seat the game changes. Grandma’s house, play dates, restaurants, and long car rides all get a bit dicey when my growing boy gets hungry.

In a perfect world I would carry with me a small cooler filled with fruits, vegetables, and homemade snacks. As it stands, I am 9 months pregnant and sometimes leave the house without a spare diaper. In order to avoid hungry toddler meltdowns and ward off well intentioned playmates looking to share their cheddar fish crackers, I have resorted to toting around some nonperishable vegan snacks that fulfill my kid’s snacking desire without completely shattering my nutritional standards.

Try running these past your little one’s taste buds to make your adventures outside the house a little more zen. It’s easy to be spontaneous when you have seaweed in your purse!

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1 | Organic Blueberry Fruit Strips by Whole Foods’ 365 Organic. My toddler loves blueberries and will eat an entire pint if I let him. Even though the main ingredient is apples, the blueberry fruit strip is our on-the-go solution to his ‘blueba’ cravings.

2 | Organic Pacific Sushi Nori by Emerald Cove. There are lots of seaweed snacks on the grocery shelves these days. We keep it simple with plain, pre-toasted sheets of nori torn into bite sized squares.

3 | Organic Pretzel Sticks by Newman’s Own. This shouldn’t shock you; kids love pretzels. I try to find the healthiest ones wherever I am shopping. Organic, spelt, whole grain, sticks, twists, or wheels – they all satisfy.

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4 | Nibbly Fingers by Ella’s Kitchen. I tried calling these ‘granola bars’ but my husband’s term ‘finger’ won with my son. When he asks for a ‘finger’, I reach for a Mangoes & Carrots Nibbly Finger. Ella’s Kitchen makes a couple other flavors, but I enjoy sneaking carrots into my son’s snacks.

5 | Dried Cranberries. Much softer than raisins, I introduced these pretty early in the solid-food stage, and they have remained a favorite.

6 | Snapea Crisps by Calbee. Just because something is healthier than potato chips doesn’t mean it’s healthy. But they are vegan and in a pinch serve to satiate my toddler. Barbara Streisand’s character in the movie Guilt Trip describes them well, “These are good. They don’t have too many chemicals.”

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7 | Heritage O’s by Nature’s Path Organic. An ancient grain cereal with the same shape and crunch as beloved Cheerios. To keep my kid interested, I like to mix them with #5 Dried Cranberries or a sweeter cereal.

8 | Organic Vegetable Puffs by Bearitos. These are definitely junk food leaning, but redeem themselves with ingredients like sweet potatoes and spinach powder. No surprise my son and his playmates go nuts for them. Sometimes I settle for the more readily available, non-organic, Veggie Pirate Booty.

9 | Sliced Almonds. Simple & healthy, we also dabble in walnuts and roasted peanuts.

What do you feed your vegan kids on the go? I’d love to hear your ideas below!

About Alie Peterson

Hi, I'm Alie - a former Atlantan turned North Carolina vegetable farmer, Green Acres style. (Anyone else watch Nick at Nite growing up?) Follow me as I attempt to raise two vegan boys to run free, think deeply, and act kindly.

  • { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    Bridgett October 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    lightly salted organic popcorn, annie’s organic cheddar bunnies, cascadian farm s organic granola bars, plain organic rice cakes, organic pureed fruit/veggie pouches, homemade organic dried apple slices, organic nuts, seeds, and dried fruits..(no salt,sugar or sulfites added), pretzels, graham crackers, organic fresh fruit. I would also love to hear other ideas as well!! My child has snack time at school and since he has food allergies, I send him his own snack and would love to think outside the box! At home, my sons favorite snack is no bake banana cookies..you slice up bananas….then crunch up graham crackers in a bag…add bananas to bag and shake (covering bananas in graham crackers)..take out and eat..they taste like banana pudding to me! lol

    Reply

    bohemianmatka October 6, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Usually for snacks, we stick to apple slices, bananas, grapes, celery, carrots. But it does get tricky when your out-and-about, on trips, etc. packing snacks that are vegan. I try to keep vegan Lara bars on hand, as well as to-go pouches of Justin’s almond butter, the mini packets of pistachios (my 2yo LOVES pistachios). If I have time, I’ll pack a baggy of said fruit/veggy to go, and maybe a baggy of pita chips. I usually fill my daughter’s sippy cup with iced water (here in Texas, its too hot to carry around a cup full of almond milk when out on the town) and refill with bottled water as we go (I know, plastic bottles, yuck for the environment! But hey, I have a 2yo and a 2 mos old, I have to do what I can to just survive these days!) As far as visiting the grandparents… forget about it. Its steak-and-potatoes land over there, so its an uphill struggle on that end.

    Reply

    Alie Peterson October 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I am a fan of Lara bars, too. They’ve been hit or miss with my 20 month old, but I will continue to offer them occasionally. Props to you for sticking to your fresh fruit & veggie snacks! I hadn’t considering trying celery yet. Do you offer it plain or with almond butter?

    Reply

    bohemianmatka October 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks :) Mine eats celery sticks and baby carrots with catalina dressing for dipping. I have to alternate snacks so she doesn’t get sick of eating one over and over (she won’t eat celery several days in a row). Toddlers are so tricky!

    Reply

    Michele October 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    We’re not vegan but always looking for healthy snacks. I look at them as a regular meal. She sometimes snacks so much that she won’t want as much lunch or dinner so food that I would serve for a meal is a snack too. She actually loves frozen peas, black beans (or pinto or most any beans), any type of nuts, carrots, celery, grapes, blueberries, apple, pears. We avoid processed food so I hate it when we’re OK n a play date or with a playgroup and all the kids have chips and those darn bunny or fish crackers. I would never eat that junk why would I give it to my kid!!! I almost died when she picked up a fruit loop off of a friends plate!!!! Fruit loops…OMG I was hoping she’d never experience that grossness!!!

    Reply

    Kortney Campbell October 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    hahaha Michele, I love the Fruit Loop shock!

    Reply

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