Want an easy and fun meal or snack idea that both parents and kids alike are guaranteed to love? Try making these nutritious snack boards!
This post was written in partnership with my friends at Made with Local! All opinions are my own.
We are ALL about snack boards these days because you really can’t go wrong! They’re easy, fun, colourful, and nutritious. What parent doesn’t love just throwing a bunch of snack items onto a board or into muffin tins and calling it a meal?! This dietitian mom is a HUGE fan!
Here’s why I’m such a huge fan of snack boards:
They are super fun for kids to eat: Kids love snacks (a lot – we all know this!), so why not make a meal out of snacks?! Kids love to pick and choose from platters and compartments, so using muffin tins, egg cartons, containers or a bento box, or even just a cutting board to organize a bunch of yummy snacks on is a super fun meal idea that can be nutritious too!
They’re nutritious and balanced:
You don’t have to compromise nutrition just because you’re serving snack items. Think nutritious finger foods: berries, cheese cubes, leftover cut-up meat, crackers, veggie sticks and dip, homemade mini muffins or energy bites… all nutritious (mind you, there’s no problem adding some treats in there too!). I’m not talking packages, processed snack foods here, I’m talking a variety of nutritious finger foods that you create a meal out of!
They’re great for picky eaters:
Have you ever noticed that you eat more at a buffet or when you’re at a potluck dinner? Most of us do! It’s because there’s more variety! The more variety and the more choices you have, the more you tend to eat. So if you’ve got a selective or picky eater on your hands, and you’re looking to entice them to eat more without pressuring them, this is a great way! Need more tips for picky eating? Check this out.
They help to decrease food waste:
I find that I make snack boards when I’m trying to use up foods from the fridge and pantry that may be wasted – the last of the berries or the ends of the cheese brick or leftover cooked meat that might spoil if not used up etc. – it’s a great excuse to clean out your fridge!
They’re simple, easy and fast:
These take a few minutes to throw together and don’t require much brain power at all. SO. EASY! When you’re busy juggling your kiddos, work and household tasks, this is simply the best meal idea.
You can eat them pretty much anywhere!
Is it a nice day outside? Serve a snack platter on a blanket and call it a picnic! On a road trip? Give each of your kids empty egg cartons filled with snack foods and watch their eyes light up when they open them up!
What to include in snack boards:
To make a snack board meal-worthy you need at least 6 items:
- 2 protein-rich choices
- 2 whole grains
- 2 fruits
- 2 veggies
This will give your kids enough variety nutrition-wise that they’ll have a balanced meal. Try to include at least one food that each child accepts and likes too, but don’t avoid serving new or previously rejected foods as well – you never know when kids will be brave and try something that they haven’t before!
Some of our fave snack board items are:
- trail mix
- whole grain crackers
- cut up veggies and dip
- roasted chickpeas or lentils
- nuts and seeds
- homemade cookies
- mini muffins and or energy balls (more on this later!)
- and sliced Made With Local Real food Bars (which brings me to some exciting news!)
Our friends at Made With Local are launching their new Peanut Butter Brownie bar NATIONALLY with Real Canadian Superstore at the end of June (until then, order online at madewithlocal.com and use the code Sarah20 to receive 20% off your order!). This is our favourite new bar (featured in our muffin tin snack board). As a dietitian I love that they’re packed full of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and as a mom I love that my kids devour them. Win win!
Here are some of our favourite muffin and energy ball recipes if you’re looking for some to add to your snack boards:
- One-Bowl Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Flourless Chocolate Lentil Protein Muffins
- No-Bake Coconut Almond Energy Bites
- Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
- Flourless Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Easy Gluten-Free Blueberry Lemon Muffins
Have you made snack board meals for your kids? If not, do you think you will now?!