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  • Baby Snacks: Best Healthy and Nutritious Options

    by Agustina Fernandez March 04, 2024 14 min read

    Baby Snacks: Best Healthy and Nutritious Options

    We know that your baby is growing up in the blink of an eye. They once were a teeny tiny newborn, and now they begin the transition into an energetic, curious toddler. This stage marks the beginning of their exploration of solid foods.

    The good news is that shifting away from breast milk or formula doesn't mean compromising on nutrients or convenience. Finding tasty baby food that is nutritious and organic is easier than ever, and we're here to point you in the right direction.

    Here, you'll find our top 5 healthy baby snacks and learn why so many parents are nourishing their tiny tots with baby foods from top European brands!

    When Can Babies Start Eating Baby Snacks?

    Around the 4-6 months mark, you're probably noticing that your baby is trying to put just about everything in their mouth. This signals that they are nearing the exciting transition to solid food, where you'll be able to introduce your baby to a host of new flavours and textures.

    While each baby is different, the official recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children solely rely on breast milk or formula for the first 6 months. Around the 6 month mark, the AAP advises parents to introduce solid foods to their babies but before 4 months is not recommended.

    Interestingly, research conducted by experts in Pediatric health suggests that introducing solid food during the 4-6 month timeframe can set your child up for nutritional success by "increasing their willingness to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables later in life, decreasing their risk of having feeding problems later in life, and decreasing their risk of developing food allergies".

    Signs your baby is ready for solid foods | Organic's Best

    However, because developmental timeframes can differ between infants, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends introducing your child to solids once you've consistently observed the following behaviours:

    • Stays in a sitting position with minimal support 🪑
    • Can control and support head and neck 👶
    • Opens their mouth when food is offered 😄
    • Brings objects to the mouth 👄
    • Tries to grasp small objects 🤏
    • Transfers food from the front to the back of the tongue to swallow 👅
     

    Ranking The Best Healthy Baby Snacks

    We're here to help you find the best healthy snacks for your little one! To do so, we have spent hours researching baby food, scrutinizing scientific studies, and analyzing ingredient lists so that we can give trustworthy and reliable recommendations based on the latest scientific findings in infant nutrition. We encourage you to check out our "How We Review Page" for more info on our standards for rating each product.

    Why trust our ranking of the best healthy baby snacks | Organic's Best

    To make our ranking system as comprehensive as possible, we have evaluated each snack based on five key criteria: European organic certification, no added sugars or artificial sweeteners, no added salt, no artificial preservatives and the inclusion of healthy ingredients.

    We've also awarded bonus points for products that offer quick preparation and convenient packaging, are iron-fortified, include added vitamins, and finally, are free of common allergens. Each performance category is assigned 1 point for a maximum of 10 points in total.

    Ranking The Best Healthy Baby Snacks | Organic's Best 

    What are Good Snacks for Babies? Our Top 5 Picks!

    HiPP and Holle are two leading baby food brands in Europe that carry a wide selection of healthy snacks for babies based on organic ingredients. In our ranking today, we've determined that these organic snacks are the best!

     

    HiPP Fruit Pouches Mixpack - Snacks for 12-month-old

    HiPP Fruit Pouches Mixpack - Snacks for 12-month-old | Organic's Best

    These yummy little pouches are packed full of flavour and nourishment. The variety pack is extra beneficial because it gives your little one the opportunity to try a selection of different flavour combinations. This HiPPis Mixpack of fruit pouches is suitable as part of a mixed weaning diet beginning at 12 months.

    Pros ✔️

    • EU certified organic
    • Allergen-friendly vegan recipes
    • Enriched with zinc, acerola, or iron
    • Vegetable mix option

    Cons ❌

    • Not suitable for babies under 12 months

     

    Leading Qualities of The HiPP Fruit Pouches Mixpack

    Starting off strong, HiPP fruit pouches are free from added salt, sugar and artificial preservatives. In the mix pack, you will find that these pouches contain a mix of different fruits, veggies and additional vitamins and minerals in the form of acerola, iron or zinc. Our personal favorite pouch is Apple Mango Carrot Sweet Potato because of its nourishing vegetable medley! 

     

    Bonus Points Awarded to The HiPP Fruit Pouches Mixpack ☆

    We've awarded bonus points for the practical squeeze pouch that this product comes in, which can be frozen and served as a refreshing treat on hot summer days!

    In terms of added vitamins and minerals, we were pleased to see the following products contain added nutrients:

    • Apple Raspberry with Pomegranate Acerola
    • Red Fruits and Apple Pear with iron
    • Mango Pineapple and Apple Peach with zinc

    Additionally, all of the pouches that come in the variety pack are vegan and, therefore, free from egg and dairy, on top of being gluten-free. The product comes out on top with an unbeatable ranking of 10/10.

    What Parents Say 💬

    HiPP fruit pouches | Organic's Best

    Great for on the go when the little one needs a snack!

    - Ashley R.

     

    Holle Organic Oats Porridge - Snacks for 5-month-old

    Holle Organic Oats Porridge - Snacks for 5-month-old | Organic's Best

    Holle Organic Oats Porridge is a simple and gentle snack that is perfect for when you first start introducing your baby to solids, as it is suitable from 5 months. Made with a nourishing base of Demeter quality oat whole grains, this hearty and healthy snack is a favourite amongst parents and babies alike!

    Pros ✔️

    • EU Organic & Demeter certified
    • Gentle 100% whole grain oat flour
    • Enriched with vitamin B1

    Cons ❌

    • Not suitable for babies with gluten allergy due to possible cross-contamination

     

    Leading Qualities of Holle Organic Oats Porridge

    Taking a different direction, we are now looking at Holle infant snacks. We are immediately impressed that the oats, also the main ingredient in this formula, are sourced from organic cultivation. Holle Oat Porridge not only meets the rigorous standards of EU Organic certification but also proudly displays the Demeter logo, signifying its origin from biodynamic farming practices.

    Plus, the official recommendation of the AAP for first infant cereals is to introduce babies to grains like oatmeal, multigrain, and barely to help minimize the risk of your child's exposure to arsenic in foods. So we appreciate that this product meets the current recommendations.

    In alignment with other nutrition advice, you won't find any added sugar or salt in this Holle snack. This is of particular importance because dietary guidelines urge parents to include zero added sugars in their little one's diet for the first two years of life, as evidence suggests that early exposure to sugars in baby food plays a role in shaping an infant’s taste preferences and increases the risk of childhood obesity.

    We love that since Holle porridge is made with Demeter quality oats, the use of fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, artificial preservatives and GMOs are strictly prohibited. Additionally, this snack is clean and minimally made with 100% oats, the perfect balance of vitamin B1, and nothing else!

     

    Bonus Points Awarded to Holle Organic Oats Porridge ☆

    Holle baby oatmeal is conveniently packaged in a 250g cardboard box that is 100% recyclable. Parents note that while the package size may be small, it goes a long way and is super easy to prepare. Many babies enjoy this porridge paired with fruits and veggie pouches or other pureed/minced foods.

    When preparing this formula, you have flexibility in the choice of liquid. You can mix this baby oatmeal with breast milk, whole milk, water, or infant formula. However, it's important to consider your child's age when selecting an appropriate liquid.

    While this porridge is not iron-fortified since babies at 5 months should ideally receive an adequate iron intake from breast milk or formula, it is enriched with vitamin B1 (thiamin) to help support your little one's nerve, muscle and heart function.

    Finally, we appreciate that this porridge is free from eggs and dairy, making it allergen-friendly! If you've been keeping track, this product receives a solid ranking of 9/10. 

    What Parents Say 💬

    Holle Baby Oatmeal | Organic's Best

    The package may be small, but it goes such a long way with our 8 month old. Not only is it easy to prepare, it mixes so well with her fruit pouches or other puréed/minced foods; the best part being she absolutely loves it! I’d definitely recommend to keep a box on hand, it helps to nourish your little one and keeps them full!

    - Zachary C.

     

    Holle Spelt Biscuits - Snacks for 8-month-old

    Holle Spelt Biscuits - Snacks for 8-month-old | Organic's Best

    Holle Spelt Biscuits are a great finger food for complimentary feedings from 8 months. Babies love them for their naturally mild taste, and parents love the convenience of this ready-to-eat healthy snack for nourishment between meals.

    Pros ✔️

    • EU Organic & Demeter certified
    • Easy on-the-go packaging
    • Enriched with vitamin B1
    • Stimulates jaw & chewing muscles

    Cons ❌

    • Contains dairy and gluten

     

    Leading Qualities of Holle Spelt Biscuits

    We were equally impressed with these biscuits, as they also successfully meet both EU and Demeter organic standards. While you won't find any added sugars, artificial sweeteners or added salt, they do contain healthy naturally occurring sugars in the form of rice syrup and banana powder. This inclusion offers babies a gentle sweetness akin to that of a mild shortbread cookie.

    On top of that, these tasty treats contain all-natural healthy ingredients, which means that, unlike some other store-bought snacks, they are free from artificial flavourings, colouring and preservatives.

    Bonus Points Awarded to Holle Spelt Biscuits ☆

    We've awarded bonus points for the simple packaging and no prep requirement of this snack, simply remove the biscuits from the 100% recyclable folding box and serve them to your little one!

    Just like Holle Porridge, these mini meals are enriched with vitamin B1, which, according to experts in infant nutrition is important because "Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency in infancy has long‐term implications on gross and fine motor function and balance skills in childhood".

    Unlike the other snacks discussed today, these biscuits do contain some common allergens including gluten from spelt flour and dairy from butter. However, our research revealed that these biscuits are vegetarian-friendly which we appreciate. For these reasons, we have awarded Holle Spelt Biscuits with an impressive score of 8/10. 

    What Parents Say 💬

    Holle spelt biscuits | Organic's Best

    Nutritious and delicious! The biscuits taste like shortbread cookies, and are made with quality ingredients (real butter, spelt) that puts my mind at ease as a parent who is very picky about what I feed my baby. Thank you for this wonderful product!

    - Elizabeth M. 

     

    Holle Mango & Millet Crunchy Baby Puffs - Snacks for 8-month-old

    Holle Mango & Millet Crunchy Baby Puffs - Snacks for 8-month-old | Organic's Best

    These crispy, crunchy snacks are great for life on the go once your baby reaches the 8-month mark. They offer your child a chance to discover new textures, all while being light, airy, and quickly dissolvable in your baby's mouth.

    Pros ✔️

    • EU Organic certified
    • Clean and minimal ingredient list
    • Allergen friendly recipe

    Cons ❌

    • No added vitamins 

     

    Leading Qualities of Holle Mango & Millet Crunchy Baby Puffs

    We are happy to see that Holle offers such a large variety of quality snacks, including these Mango and Millet Crunchy Baby Puffs, which are made with EU organic ingredients. This snack is also free from added sugars, added salt and artificial preservatives.

    We appreciate simple, clean nutrition, which is why seeing a product with minimal ingredients is a green flag! These puffs contain a simple blend of millet, corn, sunflower oil, and mango powder.

    Depending on your child's age, you can serve these puffs alongside spreads like cream cheese, cottage cheese, hummus, avocado or peanut butter for extra nourishment.

     

    Bonus Points Awarded to Holle Mango & Millet Crunchy Puffs ☆

    Another reason that we, alongside many parents, enjoy this product is because of the simple, convenient packaging, which makes it perfect for on-the-go situations as a little snack between meals.

    To keep this product as simple as possible, you won't find any added vitamins. While we did remove a point for this, most of your child's nutrition is coming from either breast milk or formula and other healthy complementary foods at this stage, so relying on a single snack that contains a short list of wholesome ingredients is fine in our books.

    As another bonus, this product is gluten, egg and dairy-free. All in all, this nutritious snack gets an impressive score of 8/10.

    What Parents Say 💬


    - Jovhana

      

    Holle Veggie Bunny Pouches - Snacks for 6-month-old

    Holle Veggie Bunny Pouches - Snacks for 6-month-old | Organic's Best

    Holle Veggie Bunny Pouches feature a nourishing blend of 100% organic, Demeter-quality vegetables. Suitable for babies from 6 months onwards, this treat is an excellent introduction to new flavors and textures for your little one

    Pros ✔️

    • EU Organic & Demeter-certified
    • 100% vegetable blend
    • Convenient resealable cap
    • Allergen friendly recipe

    Cons ❌

    • No added vitamins 

     

    Leading Qualities of Holle Veggie Bunny Pouches

    By now, you know that Holle's top quality standards span across all of their organic snacks! So, just like the other snacks for babies, this gluten-free goody is both EU and Demeter-certified organic.

    While you won't find any added sugars, salts or artificial preservatives, you will find a short list of wholesome ingredients, including carrot, sweet potato, green peas, and a drop of lemon concentrate for optimal shelf life.

     

    Bonus Points Awarded to Holle Veggie Bunny Pouches ☆

    The packaging on this product is designed with busy parents in mind since it features a resealable cap that makes it ideal as a quick and convenient snack on the go or between meals. Additionally, the preparation couldn't be easier; simply remove the cap, squeeze it, and serve it to your baby with a spoon.

    Just like the previous baby snack, this one skips added vitamins for the same reason. Plus, it's gluten, egg, and lactose-free, making it a perfect option for those with dietary restrictions. Ultimately, we're giving this super handy treat a final ranking of 8/10.

     

    What Parents Say 💬

    I love Organic's Best and use them for all of my baby's food pouch needs. The cost is effective and the products are high quality. Even the shipping time can't be beat, given that it is international. I feel completely safe with my baby's food needs in Organic's Best's hands.

    - Janae Scott

     

    What are the Benefits of Eating Baby Snacks?

    Snacks for toddlers and babies can help meet their nutritional requirements. These mid-meals help to ‘top-up’ daily intake and as a result, meet the increasing nutritional needs of a child.

    Besides the nutritional reasons, they can be valuable teaching tools. Snacking is a great opportunity to practice basic eating skills and explore new textures and tastes (including a naturally sweet taste).

    Snack time can be a great learning experience for your child, as well as a bonding time with parents. Furthermore, nutritious baby snacks can help to cultivate healthy eating habits, and formative behaviours that can help reduce the risk of medical problems in the future.

     

    Tips for Making The Most out of Snack Time

    Now that you have some tasty snacks picked out, here's how to plan a successful snack time!

     

    When is the best time to offer your baby a snack?

    Depending on the age of your toddler and their eating routine, it can be a good idea to plan re-fueling pitstops in between structured meals. The best place for such a snack break is, of course, in the kitchen or dining room to help your child associate it with a place for eating. But to avoid confusion about structured meals vs snacks, we recommend making snack time short. 

     

    What’s the right serving size for baby snacks?

    It's important to understand that snacks are a kind of mini-meal and you should be conscious of the volume and amounts of foods given to your little one. It's good practice to start small and increase the snacks gradually.

    Nutritionists emphasize that each snack should be a source of nutrients from at least two different food groups, for example, a banana or an apple with yogurt as a good source of protein and carbs. 

     

    What is the best finger food for babies?

    When it comes to mid-meal finger foods, boiled or steamed veggies such as green beans are widely considered the best option, and divided plates created especially for baby snacks can help to provide variety and teach your little one how to make their own choices and appreciate food diversity.

    Additionally, prepackaged O-shaped cereal or puffs are some of the most popular types of baby lead weaning (BLW) snacks. These snacks give great opportunities to perfect the pincer grasp. They also mix well with the baby’s saliva which can improve safety and avoid choking hazards.

     

    Heads up, parents, avoid giving your baby these foods

    As a general rule of thumb, you should introduce only one new type of snack at a time. It can help identify if your baby is allergic to a particular food so that you can eliminate it from their diet and avoid any adverse reactions.

    Additionally, some foods can be dangerous to your baby’s health, depending on their age. According to the CDC, before 12 months, it is important to avoid the following foods and drinks in your infants' diet. 

    • Caffeinated beverages
    • 100% fruit juice
    • Sugar-sweetened drinks
    • Foods that are high in salt
    • Products with added sugar
    • Honey
    • Choking hazard (popcorn, hot dogs, whole nuts, etc...)

     

    Baby foods to avoid giving your little one | Organic's Best

       

      What Snacks Can You Give a 10-month-old?

      Nearing that one-year mark means that your baby can start expanding their palette. At this point, most foods are on the table as long as they can be served as soft, bite-sized pieces, but we still want to avoid plain cow's milk as well as the no-go foods listed above.

      Serving a variety of whole foods from the four food groups should be your main priority at this stage, which includes veggies, fruit, proteins, and grains. At this stage, you can also introduce dairy products such as pasteurized cheese and yogurt.

       

      Should I give my 9-month-old snacks?

      At around 9 months, your child's snack menu can usually be enlarged and diversified, assuming that they have done well on solid foods up until this point. So not only are snacks allowed at this age, but they are encouraged!

      Focusing on iron rich foods is especially beneficial to support neurological development, so foods like eggs, meats, low mercury fish, whole grain bread or pasta, beans and iron-fortified cereals are a great choice! 

       

      You may also be interested in checking out our: 

      TOP 7 Baby Food Recipes: Puree (Stage 1)

      5 Best Baby Food Recipes (6-8 Months)

      Stage 2 Baby Food: Best Combinations

      7 Easy Toddler Lunch Ideas

      Baby Cereal Pancakes Recipe

       

      Conclusion: The Best Baby Snacks

      Now that we have gone over some of the best baby snacks on the market today, we hope that you're getting excited to offer your little one some of these tasty treats! While we've awarded HiPP Fruit with the top spot, remember that all of these snacks are quick, easy and nutritious, making them a perfect part of this exploratory time with your tiny tot.

      We also encourage you to consult your pediatrician before starting your baby on solid foods. Once you get the go-ahead from your doctor, always supervise your toddler when offering snacks of any kind, and abide by the age recommendations of the product. Happy snacking!

       

      Scientific References

      1. Anderson, C., Whaley, S. E., & Goran, M. I. (2022). Lactose-reduced infant formula with corn syrup solids and obesity risk among participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 116(4), 1002–1009.
      2. Borowitz, S. M. (2021a). First Bites—Why, when, and what solid foods to feed infants. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 9.
      3. Dwyer, J. (2018). The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2016: Moving forward. The Journal of Nutrition, 148, 1575S-1580S.
      4. Harel, Y., Zuk, L., Guindy, M., Nakar, O., Lotan, D., & Fattal‐Valevski, A. (2017). The effect of subclinical infantile thiamine deficiency on motor function in preschool children. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 13(4).

       

        Disclaimer:

        Please be aware that this information is based on general trends in babies, and it is not medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child’s diet. Always consult your pediatrician before making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.

        Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.

        Agustina Fernandez
        Agustina Fernandez

        Dr. Agustina Fernandez earned her medical degree from the prestigious Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. With a deep-rooted passion for pediatrics, Dr. Fernandez is currently on the path to specializing in children's healthcare. Recently, she has delved into the vital field of infant nutrition. Her research interests include breastfeeding, infant formula, and baby food in little ones’ formative years. Dr. Fernandez's commitment to this area of study underscores her dedication to ensuring the health and well-being of children from their earliest days.

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