Food Activities for Toddlers

Anyone who has young kids knows that they love to put everything in their mouths. There are several ways that parents can make this habit safe and fun for both of you. 

Here, we’ve put together a list of fun food activities for toddlers that will feed their imagination and their tummy! So, keep reading because we’ve also included some tips on taste-safe sensory activities you can use.

Toddler Activities for Kids in the Kitchen

Your toddler is probably watching you while you’re in the kitchen prepping meals. You can involve your child in the process by giving them some fun activities to do with various foods. This can help build a love of healthy foods and an understanding of how to prepare them. Helping out in the kitchen is a great activity for toddlers to help improve their motor skills and expand their range of favorite foods. 

Ants on a Log

This is probably the oldest trick in the book when it comes to food activities for kids. But it works, and it’s timeless! When you lack creativity, this is a great go-to food activity for you and your toddler.


  • Celery, cut into 3-4 inch sticks
  • Peanut butter
  • Raisins


Place the celery on a plate, raisins in a small bowl, and peanut butter in another small bowl. Set the items in front of your toddler, along with a spoon. Let your child use the spoon (or their fingers) to spread the peanut butter into the crevice on each celery stick. Have them place the raisins on top of the peanut butter.

BOOM! You now have ants on a log, and it’s time to eat!

Critter Toast

This is a fun activity for breakfast or a snack. With this one, your toddler can get creative with various ingredients and create their own animal. You can create an example first, so they understand what to do, or just let their imagination take over. In this example, we’re making a bunny.


  • A piece of toast
  • Cream cheese
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Raisins
  • A strawberry


Prep your ingredients by slicing one end off of the toast. It should be about an inch wide. Cut that slice in half, across it (not length-wise). These two pieces will be the bunny ears.

Remove the stem from the strawberry and cut it into thin slices. You need two slices that will be the inside of the bunny ears and one in a triangular shape for the nose.

If you want, you can make an example first. Do this by spreading the cream cheese on the toast and the bunny ear pieces. Use the raisins to make eyes, the strawberry slices for the ears and nose, and the pretzel sticks as whiskers.

Place all of the ingredients on a plate and the cream cheese in a small bowl. Give your toddler a spoon, and let them have a blast! If you made an example first, let your child look at your example and re-create it on their own toast. If not, let them play with everything and see what they come up with.

Apple Monsters

Apple monsters are another simple, fun way to get your child involved in the kitchen. There are a few different variations, depending on your child’s tastes. In this example, we’re going to use peanut butter and mini marshmallows.


  • Apple slices
  • Peanut butter
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips


Prep the ingredients by first coring and slicing the apples. Be sure the slice them length-wise, so you have apple wedges. Place the peanut butter in a small bowl for easy access.

Place all of the ingredients in front of your toddler and create the monsters together. You can each take an apple slice and spread peanut butter on it. Set the apple slice down on the plate with the skin facing toward you. Place mini marshmallows in a row on top of the peanut butter to represent the monster’s teeth.

Repeat the process with a second apple slice. Spread the peanut butter on it and place the mini marshmallows in a row. This time, take the second slice and place it upside down on top of the first one, with the skin facing towards you. Press down on the flesh-side of the slice just a little bit. This will open the monster’s “mouth.”

Last, put two dabs of peanut butter on top of the top slice where the eyes should be. Place the chocolate chips on the peanut butter dabs. Voila! You have an apple monster!

Taste-Safe Sensory Play for Toddlers

If you’re interested in doing some sensory play with your child, it makes sense to do it in a way that is taste-safe. Since children have an affinity for tasting things, it’s important to let them play with things that won’t harm them. A great way to do this is to use food items for play. 

For example, you can put together a sensory “bin” for your child to explore. A bin can be filled with all sorts of things to play with, much like a toy bin. For the purpose of sensory play and items that are safe for your child to put in their mouth, we like to use the following items.

  • Water (add food coloring for easy change) 
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Chocolate pudding
  • Dry oats
  • Dry rice
  • Dry cereals
  • Milk with food colouring
  • Wet or dry noodles
  • Tapioca beads

All of these items can be fun for your toddler to play with but also safe if they happen to ingest a little bit. Sensory play ideas are great for the entire family to get involved with. Getting kids excited about healthy eating can be challenging. However, if you include some of their favorite toys with the sensory play ideas it can help engage them. For example, a Tonka truck can be a blast with some dried oatmeal to push around! Noodles and rice can both be dyed different colors and used for all sorts of fun.

Children learn from sensory experiences, including taste, touch, sound, and more. Nurturing their ability to explore these senses is an important part of their development and will improve their food appreciation. However, you also want to do it in a safe way, which is why we recommend a taste-safe sensory bin or table. Try it out!

Final Thoughts

Spending time with your toddler in the kitchen is a great way to bond while developing an appetite for healthy foods. Allowing them to explore and play with various dry food items can also be a fun and safe way to let their imagination run wild. Try it out and watch your toddler blossom!

About the author
Piper is a seasoned parent who has been through the ups and downs of raising toddlers. As a writer, she shares her experiences and offers practical advice to help other parents navigate the challenges of parenthood.