Filipino Morning Snacks Every Preschooler Will Love

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For a long time, snacking between meals was widely frowned upon. But every parent knows that snacks are an integral part of child-rearing. Even with an authoritative voice, a hungry child deprived of their morning snacks will act out. After all, there is no better bargaining tool than a pack of cookies, yogurt drinks, or the occasional fruit. 

Since children have smaller stomachs and higher energy levels, they digest food faster. Therefore, eating snacks help manage hunger, maintain weight, and boost nutrition – if you do it right. To save you the trouble of searching, here are some snacks with Filipino flavors you can serve your preschooler.

Bibingka Pancakes

A plate of bibingka pancakes topped with shredded coconut

Fluffy pancakes are one of the easiest morning snacks for kids. Make them from scratch or with the help of boxed mixes. You can also cook up a bibingka version. Introduce kids to Filipino flavors by tweaking a fave pancake recipe. Replace the milk or water for gata and add a few pieces of salted egg yolks to the batter. Cook as you usually would and finish with grated coconut, a sprinkling of sugar, and margarine to round up its flavor profile.

Black Kutsinta

7 pieces of black kutsinta served with desiccated coconut and caramel dip

If your bulilits are already fans of this traditional kakanin, they will surely enjoy this flavor. Black kutsinta features the same ingredients but adds molasses for sweetness and color. Pair it with toasted coconut flakes and a dulce de leche sauce. Or, make it even more appealing by using cookie cutters to create cute shapes.

Cheese Pimiento

Closeup of pimiento cheese spread between slices of white bread

Parents want to ensure their kids eat morning snacks free from additives. So, if you can make something from scratch, why don’t you? Homemade cheese pimiento spread is quick and easy to make. Turn the process into a fun activity and have kids help.

Ingredients you will need for the spread include cheese, pimiento, and Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise. Slather pimiento spread over slices of white bread and make sandwiches. Cut into tiny squares or use animal-shaped sandwich molds.


A bowl of corn kernels with shredded coconut topping

Are you looking for healthy morning snacks to prepare for your children? Look no further because binatog is here to save the day. The snack contains boiled mature white corn, sugar, salt, and freshly grated coconuts. Once sold by vendors roaming the streets, enjoy the dish for breakfast, dessert, or merienda. Make snack time more fun by allowing kids to assemble their own bowls. 


Half a dozen empanadas served with dipping sauces

Introduced by the Spanish, empanadas or hand pies are pastries traditionally filled with minced meats and vegetables. These days, you can buy them frozen and ready-to-cook. Alternatively, you can make both pastry dough and filling from scratch. Ham, tuna flakes, cheese, or sausages are ingredients you can add to your homemade pastries. Since you are feeding preschool-aged children, consider making portion sizes smaller. 


A plate of golden-brown banana fritters served in bite-sized pieces

Coming up with a new menu for snacks is challenging for any mom. Apart from ingenuity, you must consider budget and nutritional content. A snack that ticks all these boxes is maruya, also known as banana fritters. Dip ripe bananas or plantains in batter and fry them until they’re golden brown. Use paper towels to soak up excess oil.

As an extra treat, sprinkle powdered sugar and cinnamon on top before serving them to your kids!

Kamote Fries

A plate of sweet potato fries with mayonnaise and ketchup dips

Kids of all ages (and most adults, too) love snacking on french fries. Give this beloved snack a health boost by swapping out the potatoes for kamote. Slice your sweet potatoes like you would for fries. Then, toss them into the air fryer until they’re crispy. Season your cooked kamote fries with salt, pepper, and spices before serving with ketchup mayo, pickle, mayo, or BBQ mayo dip.

Ginataang Mais at Monggo

A hearty bowl of mung beans and corn in coconut cream

Preschoolers have lots of energy to burn, so parents must ensure their morning snacks are extra filling. Porridge is delicious but it may be too heavy as an in-between meal. Offer something hearty but not as heavy, like ginataang mais at monggo. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this hearty dish combines two favorites and it tastes terrific hot or cold. This one-pot recipe keeps active chikitings full until the next meal.


Cheesy slices of nilupak slices covered with grated cheddar cheese

Teaching children to choose nutritious foods must be done at a young age. Nilupak is an example of a healthy merienda that not only fulfills your kids’ nutritional needs but also fuels their knowledge about Filipino cuisine.

A combo of sweet and savory, the delicacy uses pounded boiled cassava. It is sweetened with condensed milk and generously sprinkled with grated cheddar cheese on top. Mold the mixture into any shape you desire. Some recipes include ube, gabi, sweet potatoes, or saba bananas.

Pancit Habhab

Pancit Lucban topped with vegetables and meat pieces served in a banana leaf

Toddlers and preschool kids like to eat with their hands, which is okay so long as their hands are clean. It helps them explore food through the senses – the mess is part of the fun. Start them off with a dish that’s classically eaten a mano. Lucban’s pancit habhab has rice noodles, proteins, and veggies (snap peas, carrots, bok choy, and sayote), making it a complete meal.

Merienda before main meals is essential to a child’s growth and development. Without morning snacks, energetic kids become cranky and lethargic. Ensure they have eating schedules to get the right amount of calories throughout the day. Make it a habit to prepare nutrient-rich food for the entire family to share during snack time.

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