27 Trader Joe’s Favorites for Toddler Moms {2019 Update!}

My love affair with Trader Joe’s is no secret. I may even go so far as to say that I couldn’t live without it.

Without Trader Joe’s, how would I keep my hangry toddlers filled to the brim with snacks, lest they whine at me all day? How would I get dinner on the table when I’ve completely forgotten to take meat out of the freezer?

My family would fall apart without this grocery store. But I realize that not everyone has been able to experience the wonderment that is TJ’s. So, if you’re about to head to Trader Joe’s for the first time, take this list with you, to make sure you don’t miss out on any of their BEST items!

{Scroll to the end of the post for a printable version of the list!}

27 Trader Joe’s Favorites for Toddlers & Toddler Moms

I’ve done my best to split the list into sections based on the store layout, but of course every store is a little different, so bear with me if yours doesn’t totally match up.

Best Trader Joe’s Bakery Items:

1. Trader Joe’s ABC Bars

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: ABC Bars

These little snack bars are an awesome grab-and-go snack for both you AND your toddler. They’re a little bit sweet, without being a total sugar bomb, and have a bit of protein, so it’ll have some staying power in your toddler’s belly.

Anything that can fend off the perpetual begging for snack after snack after snack is a win in my book.

And as an added bonus, they’re even dairy-free for your dairy intolerant kiddos (or dairy-free nursing moms)!

2. Trader Joe’s Mini Chocolate Mousse Cakes

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Mini Chocolate Mousse Cakes

These Mini Chocolate Mousse Cakes come in many shapes and forms throughout the year – hearts for Valentine’s Day, flowers for spring, etc. – but they are always delicious.

I’ll be honest, TJ’s baked goods are kind of hit and miss. Some that I’ve tried are dry and flavorless, but these are the exact opposite. They’re perfectly light, yet rich; fluffy, yet creamy. Their only negative is that they’re small, so you have to eat the whole pack in one day – it’s the only option.

I’ve actually yet to share these mousse cakes with my toddler… he recently spotted some on the counter and asked if he could have one, so I told him they were mama’s cauliflower cakes. He hasn’t asked again since. #noshame

Best Trader Joe’s Refrigerated Items

3. Trader Joe’s Cilantro and Jalapeño Hummus with Naan Bread

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

This snack is all for you, mama (unless your toddler is a unicorn and actually enjoys food with flavor, in which case, PROPS to you, and tell me your secrets).

This hummus is perfect for when you finally get the kids down for their nap at 1:30 in the afternoon, and you realize you haven’t eaten all day, but you don’t want to waste any more of your precious quiet time actually making yourself a lunch. Scarf down some hummus with soft, fluffy naan bread (or maybe some carrots, if you want to be a nutritious show-off), and then proceed to veg out on the couch for an hour.

4. Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar Cheese

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Unexpected Cheddar

I don’t even know if I can do this cheese justice with words. It’s a sharp white cheddar blended with parmesan chunks. If cheese and crackers is your favorite snack, you MUST add this to your list. It’s a life-changer.

5. Trader Joe’s Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Cinnamon Rolls

Hand’s down, my favorite tube of cinnamon rolls. They’re even dairy-free – which you already know is a huge win in my house. The baby loves to nom on these and say “mmmmm” after every bite – that alone makes them worth buying!

Best Trader Joe’s Snacks

Okay, here’s where we to start to get in deep – the snacks and the frozen foods are where the real Trader Joe’s magic happens for us toddler mamas.

6. Trader Joe’s Banana Chips

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Freeze-dried Banana Slices

I don’t know what exactly makes these dried banana slices so special (the ingredients are literally just “bananas”), but my 3-year-old will eat an entire bag of them in one sitting if I let him. Meanwhile, if I hand him an actual banana, he’ll take three bites and tell me he’s full.

Toddler logic: if it crunches, it’s a snack, and therefore should be eaten in excess.

7. Trader Joe’s Almond, Chocolate, and Cashew Trek Mix

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Almond, Chocolate, and Cashew Trek Mix

This trail mix is one of my favorite things to bring new moms when visiting their new babies. It’s the perfect grab and go snack when you’re nursing and bouncing and rocking a newborn nonstop (or chasing, rough-housing, and piggy-backing a toddler).

It also makes for a great diaper bag snack – it’ll stop a whiney, hangry toddler in their tracks.

8. Trader Joe’s Cheddar Rockets

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Cheddar Rocket Crackers

Think: Goldfish, but more rich, real cheese flavor. You’ll be sneaking bites out of your toddler’s snack bowl every chance you get (don’t even pretend you don’t do it!).

9. Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies

The best toddler snack ever! They’re like animal crackers, except they don’t taste like cardboard. They’re not too overly sugary and your kid will love them. Plus, they’re educational, sooo that makes them a complete meal.

10. Trader Joe’s Pinks & Whites

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Pinks & Whites Cookies

These are the animal circus crackers of your childhood, but even better. I actually can’t even buy these anymore, because my 3-year-old and I just fight over them nonstop until the box is empty (which only takes a few hours, to be fair).

11. Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

This one’s for you, mama! These are another great grab-and-go snack to keep you running after your crazy toddlers.

12. Trader Joe’s Caramel + Cheddar Popcorn Mix

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Caramel Cheddar Popcorn Mix

Okay, this popcorn combo might sound weird, but when Trader Joe’s makes something that sounds a little odd, you can usually be confident that it means they’ve actually uncovered something delicious.

This mix is so. dang. good, you can (and will) eat the entire bag in one sitting. You’ve been warned.

13. Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Apple Snack Sticks

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Cinnamon Apple Snack Sticks

Another toddler snack, for the win! Both my kids love these snacks, and they’re a great change of pace from the usual crackers / goldfish / Cheerios snack rotation. Plus, I love that they’re hollow in the middle, so I don’t have to worry (as much) about choking with my 14-month-old (and my 3-year-old loves using them as a straw / whistle).

14. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies

Think: Oreos, but the outside cookies are chocolate chip cookies, and the inside creme is chocolate. And they’re coated in some sort of magic, I assume, because that’s the only explanation for how delicious they are.

Do not share these with your toddler, you will regret it. (These are also “cauliflower cookies,” as far as he’s concerned.)

15. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Snacks – ALL THE CHOCOLATE SNACKS

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Dark Chocolate Covered Honey Grahams

Don’t even make me choose amongst all the amazing chocolatey goodness Trader Joe’s has to offer. If you’re looking for a snack to binge while hiding from your kids in the closet, look no further than above the freezer compartments; that’s where all the best treats are stored.

They just casually place delectable chocolate & sea salt covered almonds right above the frozen vegetables, so as you’re picking out all the healthy nutrients you plan to feed your family, you just – oops! – knock a little treat for yourself into the cart. No big deal.

Seriously, there are too many amazing treats to even name – the Dark Chocolate Covered Honey Grahams, Dark Chocolate Mint Cremes, and the Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are just a few of our family’s favorites.

Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Foods

So far, we’ve mostly just gotten through snacks, but the frozen section is where you’ll find the best easy family meals at Trader Joe’s.

16. Trader Joe’s Bambino Pepperoni Pizza

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Bambino Pizzas

You know those days when your kids are whining at you that they’re hungry at 4:45, and you know they can either eat ALL the snacks in the house, or you can just give them dinner and call it a dang day?

That’s where these little pizzas come in. Just pop one in the oven and 15 minutes later, your kids will be fed and you can get on with your life. (I mean, they’re still gonna nag you for snacks all night, but at least you’ll know they ate a substantial dinner.)

17. Trader Joe’s Fish Sticks

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Frozen Fish Sticks

Fish sticks are basically a rite of passage for toddlers. They just inherently love them. And they have all those ~healthy fats~ so you don’t have to feel guilty about giving these to them every day… right?

We love to throw these in the air fryer for a few minutes, and they come out perfectly crisp and delicious. But when everyone’s hangry, 1 minute in the microwave does the trick, too.

18. Trader Joe’s Gone Bananas

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Frozen Gone Bananas

Are these for toddlers or for moms? Don’t ask questions, just eat them. They’re an ideal healthy little treat.

When you’re throwing out the negotiations with your 3-year-old to “take just three more bites of chicken and you can have dessert!” – these are the perfect follow-through. It’s basically just a frozen banana slice, dipped in a thin layer of chocolate. Win/win for everyone.

19. Trader Joe’s Frozen Hashbrowns

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Frozen Hashbrowns

If you love McDonald’s hash browns, you will love these. They’re identical. (And if you don’t love McDonald’s hash browns… go back to your home planet, because there’s no place for you here.)

20. Trader Joe’s Turkey Corndogs

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Frozen Turkey Corn Dogs

If you pick up only ONE THING off this list, let it be these frozen turkey corndogs.

You would never, ever be able to tell these are turkey dogs. I still wouldn’t call them a “healthy” toddler lunch, but I would say they’re a lunch you can feel less bad about.

And that’s all you really ask for when you’re parenting toddlers, right? Let’s set the bar low, mamas.

21. Trader Joe’s Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Frozen Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese

When you pair this absolutely to-die-for mac & cheese with the above turkey corndogs, it becomes a grown-ass adult meal, and you can feel good about that.

Seriously though, it’s one of my favorite weekend lunches to indulge in while the kids are napping! Minimal effort, no clean up – say no more.

22. Trader Joe’s Frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken

It wouldn’t be a proper “Trader Joe’s Favorites” list if it didn’t include their famous Mandarin Orange Chicken, would it?

This is commonly listed as the best item at TJ’s, and there’s no doubt why – it’s truly delicious, and so easy.

I always keep one stocked in my freezer to throw in the oven on days when I’ve completely forgotten about the concept of dinner until 5 pm. Which happens more often than you’d think.

23. Trader Joe’s Frozen Big Soft Pretzels

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Frozen Soft Pretzels

I bought these on a total whim a few months ago. They caught my eye at just the right time for a breastfeeding craving to strike, and I had to have them.

It turned out to be such a fun afternoon snack for my 3-year-old and I to share, and he felt like king of the world eating a massive pretzel.

24. Trader Joe’s Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Frozen Ice Cream Sandwiches

I saved these for last in the frozen section, because they are probably the best item at Trader Joe’s.

Yep. I’m throwing down the gauntlet: THESE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES ARE THE BEST ITEM AT TRADER JOE’S.

The outer chocolate chip cookies are inexplicably soft and chewy, despite being frozen, the ice cream is creamy and smooth, and it’s all just perfect.

My husband and I fight over these, and inevitably one of us ends up hiding the last one from the other to reserve it for ourselves. Because #marriage.

Best Trader Joe’s Health & Beauty Items

To be totally fair, I haven’t tried too many of the beauty items at Trader Joe’s, but the ones I have tried have been fantastic so I had to include them.

25. Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Rose Water Facial Toner

I’m not a beauty blogger (obviously), so I don’t even totally know what toner is meant for. But, I do know that this stuff makes my skin feel completely hydrated and soft with one quick spritz.

I use it after washing my face at the end of the day, after a workout or playing outside, really anytime I need a quick refresher.

26. Trader Joe’s Rose Oil Hand Lotion

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Rose Oil Moisturizing Cream

Toddler moms, YOU NEED THIS LOTION. We wash our hands approximately 579 times a day, out of sheer necessity, and that dries. you. out.

Let me start by saying, I hate the feeling of lotion on my hands. If I can feel the residue or grease on my hands after 20 seconds or so, I have to wash my hands, and the whole dry-out process starts right back over.

But this lotion is thick and creamy, and actually absorbs right into your skin. I’ve honestly never loved a hand lotion so much.

Downside: it’s a seasonal item – I haven’t seen it in stores for a couple months now. So if you see it at your Trader Joe’s – RUN, don’t walk, to the checkout counter with it!

27. Trader Joe’s Wine

The Best Trader Joe's Items for Toddler Moms: Shaw Organic Wine

What kind of toddler mom would I be if I didn’t include our most essential survival tool on the list?

Of COURSE, Trader Joe’s is the best place to pick-up your weekly wine stash. Their new “Shaw” wine even offers a ~fancy~ option, for when you want to shell out the big bucks for an organic wine. Ya know, for those special occasions that call for a $4 bottle, like Wednesdays.

And there you have it, your ultimate list of Trader Joe’s toddler essentials. I even made you a handy printable list to bring along with you to the store:

Download the printable shopping list, here.

27 Must-Haves for Toddler Moms at Trader Joe's - all the best items that all moms NEED at Trader Joe's – from snacks, to meals, to beauty, to WINE, this list of Trader Joe's favorites has it you covered and your family covered!

Mamas, what are your other Trader Joe’s must-haves? What do I need to add to my next shopping trip?

27 Must-Haves for Toddler Moms at Trader Joe's - all the best items that all moms NEED at Trader Joe's – from snacks, to meals, to beauty, to WINE, this list of Trader Joe's favorites has it you covered and your family covered!

5 Comments

  1. Okay. Full confession. I have never been to a Trader Joe’s before! But now I feel like I need to change that! You have inspired me to look up my nearest Trader Joe’s and pop in this weekend!

  2. Trader Joe’s is such a winner when it comes to snacks. I wish there was one just a little bit closer to my house.

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