Have you met the Snack Platter? If you haven’t, it’s your new best friend–and secret weapon for encouraging healthy snacking. I sung the praises of the Snack Platter in this post: How a “Snack Platter” Can Transform Snack Time For Kids. In short, the Snack Platter is just regular healthy food, nicely arranged and branded as something a little bit more special than a regular snack. Not only does it help you offer a mix of nutrients and foods, but it also magically makes these foods look and sound extra appealing. It’s not just a snack. It’s a platter.
Because sometimes, it’s all about presentation.
You can put whatever you’d like on a Snack Platter, but here are some ideas to get you started. Each of these emphasizes a certain food or nutrient that may be missing from your child’s diet. (I designed each of these to feed roughly 2-3 kids, but adjust portions to suit your child’s needs!).
Snack Platter #1: If you think your kids need more veggies…
Just cutting veggies in interesting ways can spark interest, so I sliced orange peppers into big rings (feel free to call them “Pepper Flowers”). I also included dried snap peas that are seasoned and crunchy. (They seem more like a salty snack than a veggie, but snacks like this familiarize your child with veggies and may encourage her to try the real deal.) I also included kid-friendly baby carrots and ranch dressing, plus edamame that’s lightly salted. Be sure to also add foods that aren’t veggies at all, like whole grain crackers, pretzels, and strawberries. Having well-liked, already-accepted foods on your Snack Platter is important because it can help make those harder-sell foods a little more enticing.
Snack Platter #2: If you think your kids need more fruit…
If your kids aren’t big fans of fruit, here are some ideas. Freeze-dried fruit is sweet like candy and may be helpful for kids who have texture issues with fresh fruit (ditto for regular dried fruit). Apple slices are fun to dip into melted chocolate chips. Round it out with some familiar foods like pretzel, crackers, and cheese or nuts. You could also serve a fruit-based platter with a yogurt- or cream cheese-based fruit dip.
Snack Platter #3: If you think your kids need more protein…
If you have a starch-fiend on your hands who seems to exist on bread and Goldfish crackers, this one’s for you. Truth is, most kids get enough protein even if they’re not meat eaters. But protein-rich foods are helpful at snack time because they’re filling, which means your child won’t be asking for another snack an hour later. I included slices of rolled-up ham, protein-rich edamame, cheese cubes, plus nut butter for dunking crackers and apple slices.
The Snack Platter possibilities are truly endless, but I hope this inspires you to try your own combinations!
What do your kids like to snack on?