Here are some easy and healthy snack tray ideas you can put together FAST with whatever you have on hand. These are especially perfect for toddlers and kids. Serve for after school snacks or as a snack lunch or dinner!
Thanks to Cabot Creamery for sponsoring this post. I only work with companies that I love and believe in. All opinions are my own.
Snack platter, charcuterie board, muffin tin snack tray, snacky lunch, snack dinner, or whatever you want to call it, the idea is the same - it's a clean-out-the-fridge or pantry meal that requires very minimal prep work and no cooking.
And you don't need to try and go all out preparing these elaborate, overflowing snack boards or snack trays that you may see online (unless you want to).
They also may not be ideal for toddlers, as seeing too much food can be very overwhelming for them.
BUT simply changing the way you plate your child's food can invite more fun and encourage your perhaps fussy or picky eater to try a greater variety of foods without much effort on your part!
Besides all the snacks, deciding where to place them is half the fun! Here are some of my favorites!
- A large cutting board - Can cut up all the foods and serve right there. Who can say no to less dishes?
- Muffin pan - This is a perfect toddler snack tray! I've found 6 cups to be most ideal, but you can use 12 cups if you wish. Just add small portions. This silicone one is really great. It also comes with a lid, allowing you to easily make ahead and store in the fridge or take it to go.
- A mini muffin tray - these are really great for babies and young toddlers. It also doubles as a popsicle mold!
- A large plate - any will do!
- Ice cube tray - Similar to the muffin pan but smaller, and again, it's a way of inviting fun to snack and mealtimes.
- Lunch box - It’s not just for school! Your child will love opening up their lunchbox at home and enjoying it with you. Here are the best lunch boxes for toddlers and kids.
In addition, if you have a picky eater, here are some eating utensils and tools that can really help spark their interest.
- Food cutters - These are what helped both of my kids to eat their raw vegetables. While you are at it, cut out a whole bunch at once and enjoy throughout the week!
- Food picks - Stick these into their foods and watch their face light up!
- Tongs - It may sound silly but they totally work!
- Spoons and forks - Try either going really small or big. My 5 year old loves it when I give him his 1 year old sister's spoon or a big spatula.
Healthy Snack Tray Components
Choose 1-2 from each of these categories for a well-rounded snack or meal.
- Eggs - Hard-boiled, scrambled
- Peanuts and peanut butter
Also try any these freezer-friendly recipes:
- Apples (and applesauce)
- Mandarin oranges
- Melons (honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon)
- Freeze-dried fruit and canned fruit in 100% juice
- Fruit and Veggie Yogurt Smoothie Melts - use the code MIN5 for $5 off your order
- Bell peppers
- Butternut Squash
- Snap peas
- Sweet potato
You may also be interested in these easy finger foods:
Not a must category but are great to include, especially if your child loves to dip and it encourages them to try more foods.
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Chocolate avocado pudding - this may sound strange but my kids love to dip their apples, waffles, pancakes, cereal...so fun!
Cheese is such a beloved and wonderful addition to snack trays. It's a great source of protein and calcium and can easily elevate any meal or snack. My family loves all cheese, but cheddar cheese is what we mostly gravitate towards.
I've been obsessed with award-winning Cabot Creamery cheese from the very first bite, and here I am 7 years later enjoying it with my preschooler and 1 year old.
They both love all the varying degrees of sharp cheddar cheese that Cabot has to offer but if you want to err on the side of caution, start with their mild and medium cheddar cheeses.
They also have Monterrey jack, Colby jack, Swiss, and Mozzarella!
How to serve cheese to babies and toddlers
Cutting into thin slices is the safest way to offer cheese as cubed cheese is a choking hazard. For 12+ month old, you can start cutting the thin slices into bite-sized pieces.
And depending on your child's chewing and swallowing abilities, you can start offering cubed cheese, usually around 18 months.
How to Build a Snack Tray
It's truly so simple and that's the beauty of this concept!
- Open your refrigerator, freezer, pantry, and grab 1-2 items from each of the food categories.
- Choose your snack tray.
- Arrange all the foods and dig in!
Tips for Making the Perfect Snack Board
- Don't overthink it. Our best ones were a random hodgepodge of snacks that surprisingly tasted really good together.
- Keep it to no more than 6-8 different items. This is such a fun and easy way to incorporate more variety into your child's snacks or meals. But don't go overboard. It's not just the amount - Having too many choices can be overwhelming for your child, also.
- Consider your child's appetite. You can always offer more food so don't be tempted to fill up their trays too much.
Dinner times can feel so exhausting and stressful. They’re usually when the kids are overtired, whiny, and less interested in eating.
Enter Snack dinner! We do this a lot on Friday nights, and it is totally a form of self care for me.
There is no need to cook anything and you can get a well-balanced meal on the table in 5 minutes!
You can place a bunch of favorite snacks onto your child's plate or on a big platter (like a wooden board, food tray, baking sheet pan) for the whole family to share.
Just be sure to cut up the foods according to your child's chewing ability. It's also a great way to use up any leftovers, thereby reducing food waste.
Related: 30+ Easy Dinner Ideas for Toddlers
Themed Snack Trays
Like I said, you don't need to put too much thought into this. But if you want to invite a certain theme, here are some easy ideas for inspiration.
Hummus, yogurt, chickpeas, cucumber slices, diced tomatoes, quartered tomatoes, and naan.
As mentioned earlier, serving the board with fun tools, like tongs, can really spark your child's interest and encourage them to try new/disliked foods. Give it a try!
Seaweed sheets, Asian pear, chicken bulgogi, zucchini, rice crackers, roasted chestnuts
Pinto beans, corn, cheese and crackers, salsa, mangoes
I hope all the ideas I shared in this post inspires you to enjoy more snack trays with your family! They are sure to save you time, energy, and your sanity! Your kid(s) will love it too ;).
I'm really enjoying your emails & love this idea of food snacks. We've been blessed with 3 grandchildren, 14mths, 11mths & 3mths old. 3 all within 1yr 😇.
How things have changed from when my 3 were babies. So I've been doing lots of researching. We're also doing childcare for all 3 when our youngest mama returns to work. It's a joy and delight.
I'v made a few of your recipes in advance on childcare days which have been superb. Thank you xx
Hi Sarah! I'm so happy to connect with you and my goodness! You most certainly have your hands full! So glad to hear that my recipes are helping ease your load!!