Parenting Win of the Week: A Snack Tray for Every Meal

Make snack time healthy, fun, and aesthetic!

January 02, 2024

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Mother sharing healthy vegan dessert snacks with toddler child. Concept of healthy sweets for children. Protein granola bars, homemade raw energy balls, cashew butter, toasted coconut chips, fruits platter

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Mother sharing healthy vegan dessert snacks with toddler child. Concept of healthy sweets for children. Protein granola bars, homemade raw energy balls, cashew butter, toasted coconut chips, fruits platter

Photo by: sveta_zarzamora

sveta_zarzamora


Making eating fun for kids can be a small feat sometimes. Although I’ve been blessed with great eaters from the start, I’ve watched many friends struggle with getting their picky kids to try anything that isn’t plain noodles or PB & J.

So, when I came across the book Everyday Snack Tray by registered dietitian nutritionist, Frances Largeman-Roth, I knew I had to share. The book is filled with different boards or trays for every occasion, from the send off to summer camp and a pancake breakfast board to a snow day tray and an awesome report card platter.

She even pulls one together for a playdate snack tray, and we chatted with her about it.

Tell us about pulling together a playdate platter…

Even though the snack tray in the book is designed for four to five year olds. It can work for kids of all ages.

Ideally it’s ages where you don’t have to hover and worry about choking hazards.

When thinking of putting together a board you want to think of things that are:

  • Easy to pick up
  • Interactive: Think dipping veggies into homemade ranch. Even picky kids love to dip!)
  • Fun: Things like little animal shaped cookies.
  • Encourage play: No, not playing with our food, but maybe putting out some craft paper and crayons to help kids parallel play and break the ice.

What’s the best way to decide what’s on the tray?

The joy in a snack tray is providing a variety of foods and maybe even getting them to try something new whether it’s a fresh pomegranate or a dragon fruit smoothie.

You want this to be low stress, it should be less pressure than plating things and having them not eat it.

When you have things on a plate there’s an expectation that people will eat it. On a tray it’s a low stress way.

Go by what the kids are interested in.

We made a barbie themed snack tray this summer. If they are into Legos, you use blocks of cheese as legos.

Cookie cutter shapes out of watermelon. Tie into their interest.

In terms of products, you can’t go wrong with something like a GoGo Squeeze applesauce,

Specifically for a playdate I’d want to include a protein, a carb to keep energy levels up, and healthy fat.

How big should the tray be?

In terms of size I wouldn’t bring out a super large tray. I wouldn’t offer more than 5 diff items.

Line your tray with parchment paper, it’s easy for spills and cleaning the tray.

What else should I keep in mind?

Check in with the parents beforehand to make sure there aren’t allergies or dislikes (or even better find out their likes!).

You can always save things if you prepare individually. For example, cups of little veggies and dip so you know what has been touched.

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