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!
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.
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.”
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!