Got the game but need munchies to go with it? Here are some healthy snacks for game night that your family will love.
I admit it: My family can fall into an after-dinner rut of parking in front of the TV for Netflix–or worse, staring zombie-like into our own devices.
But on the nights when somebody suggests a game, and everyone eventually (yet often begrudgingly) agrees, the evening is transformed.
Suddenly we’re laughing and creating silly family in-jokes. Instead of scrolling.
What any transformative game night needs: good snacks.
Nothing too messy, since all those fingers will also be moving playing pieces and shuffling cards.
Nothing too elaborate, since part of the magic of staying home is not having to impress anyone.
And if these game night snack ideas can deliver the kind of nutrition your little competitors need, all the better.
Tips for Easy Game Night Snacks
- All of the healthy game night snacks listed below are finger foods. But if you’re serving anything that requires utensils, break out toothpicks or tiny cocktail forks instead (we have this fun set, which I also use for lunchboxes).
- This is the perfect time to dig out those random plates and napkins from birthday-parties-gone-by that you’ve collected over the years. You’ll create a festive vibe and finally use them up.
- To prevent spills on the game board, choose cups with lids for little ones.
- Keep a little trash bowl nearby for stems, peels, and other items to toss.
10 Healthy Snacks for Game Night
1. Veggie Jars: Eliminate the threat of the dreaded double-dip! Put veggie dip (I used my kids’ favorite ranch dressing) at the bottom of a cup or jar and arrange raw veggies on top so they’re easy to grab, dunk, and eat. Have rinsed, cut veggies on standby to refill.
2. Apple Nachos: Thinly slice an apple and arrange the slices on a plate. Heat a small dish of natural peanut or almond butter in the microwave for 10 seconds or until thin and smooth. Stir almond butter and drizzle it over the apple slices using a spoon. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and dried coconut.
3. Stove-Popped Popcorn: Popcorn is a natural whole grain food, and it’s rich in fiber. Here’s my fool-proof recipe for stovetop popcorn. We like sprinkling on nutritional yeast and Parmesan cheese. You can also toss in Goldfish crackers, mini pretzels, and M&Ms.
Another variation we like: Nacho Popcorn. Combine 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika, plus a pinch of cumin and chili powder. Toss spice mixture with one batch of my popcorn recipe. (Note: Popcorn is a choking hazard for kids under the age of 4.)
4. Personal Snack Platters: Pull out fruit, veggies, protein-rich foods, plus crunchy, carby things and let everyone in the family assemble the snack plate they like best. Park bowls of shared dips on the table, such as hummus, ranch dip for veggies, or nut butters.
5. Homemade Guacamole: Rich in satisfying, heart-healthy fats, guacamole can be made very simply (as with my No Fuss Guacamole recipe that always gets rave reviews) or you can stir in extras your family likes, such as red onion, chopped tomato, or cilantro. Serve with store-bought or homemade corn tortilla chips.
6. Frozen Grapes: Perfect for warm weather game nights! Rinse, de-stem, place them in a freezer-safe bag, and lay them flat in your freezer. They taste like little bites of sorbet! (Note: Whole grapes are a choking hazard for children under the age of 4. Cut grapes into halves or quarters for young kids before freezing, then defrost them a bit so they soften before serving.)
7. Edamame: Buy these soybeans in their pod, microwave for a minute to take the chill off, then sprinkle with kosher salt and let everyone pop the nutty, tasty beans into their mouths (keep that trash bowl on hand to toss in empty pods). Edamame is rich in protein and fiber.
8. Clean-Out-The-Cupboard Snack Mix: Pull out a stack of small bowls and all the odds and ends from your cabinets, then let everyone build their own snack mix. Ideas: cereal pieces, nuts and seeds, pretzels, small crackers, dehydrated veggies, dried fruit, chocolate chips, and random candy leftover from holidays (hello, candy corn and jelly beans!).
9. Roasted Chickpeas: These satisfy the crunch craving and deliver protein, iron, and fiber. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and favorite seasonings (such as 1/2 teaspoon each chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt for a taco-spiced version). Roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until crispy, stirring halfway through baking.
10. Pepperoni Rolls: If family game night overlaps with dinner, serve a batch of my homemade pizza rolls (so much better than the frozen kind) alongside some pizza sauce for dipping. Assemble veggie jars for all. Dinner is done.
Our Family’s Favorite Individual Games
- Uno Flip (7+): The same play as Uno, but with an entirely different deck on the back to throw instant curveballs into the game.
- Ticket to Ride (8+): Players build train tracks and routes across the country.
- Catan (10+): Trade, build, and settle on the island of Catan.
- Root (10+): Asymmetrical game play (everyone is a different animal character with different powers) to control the woodlands.
- Formula D (14+): Race around the track using strategic dice rolls.
Our Family’s Favorite Cooperative Games
- Castle Panic (10+): Defend your castle from orcs, goblins, and trolls.
- Forbidden Island (10+): Grab treasures and escape the island before it sinks.
- Flashpoint (10+): Work as a team to put out a fire and rescue people and pets inside.
30 More Game Recommendations
For more ideas, check out this mega-list of 30 kid- and parent-tested games for family game night from my friend Kelly of Happy You Happy Family. Her list includes categories for quick games (20 minutes!), brain-building games, and cooperative games.
Bonus Snack Inspiration
Want more snack ideas? Tap the links below for inspiration!
- 100+ Snacks for Teens Who Are Always Hungry
- 20 Cheap, Healthy Snacks For Kids
- Nutritious Sports Snacks For Kids
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