Trendy “snack boards” (AKA grazing boards, cheese boards, appetizer boards) can do double duty as a snack or a dinner. A snack board can be fancy and elegant and served at a dinner party, or they can be made with simple, nourishing, and kid-friendly ingredients and served as a last-minute, toss-together supper.
When it comes to making your own snack boards at home, the ingredient possibilities are virtually endless. For a family-pleasing snack board, choose things like fruits and vegetables, chickpea hummus, whole grain crackers, nuts, olives, cheese, salami, turkey or other prepared deli meats.
To make a kid-friendly snack board for dinner, first collaborate with your family. Take a peek inside your fridge and pantry to see what’s already on hand. Chances are, you have half a bag of bay carrots, a small bunch of grapes, a hunk or two of cheese, a handful of dried fruit, chickpea hummus, and some whole grain crackers just screaming to be eaten! (They are a great way to use up leftovers and reduce food waste.)
Set out your favorite board — here’s a link to the one I always use — and a few small bowls, and build your board from there. My colleague, Katie Morford, MS, RDN, author of Prep: The Essential College Cookbook is a snack board super fan: “I think a snack board is a perfect place to get your kids involved in meal planning and prep. What could be more fun than letting them help you rummage through the fridge, assemble everything on a big board, and sit around to nosh? Give them little tasks, like piling almonds into a ramekin, arranging crackers on a plate, or deciding which fruits to include.”
Whether you call them snacks or “mini meals,” the secret to snacking success is to make sure they’re nutritious … versus filled with empty calories. Snack boards are all about variety, so choose wholesome and healthy foods, including fruits and veggies, whole grain crackers, lean meats, hard-boiled and low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, and family-pleasing dips like guacamole..
Serve my simple snack board at dinner or make it the star of your next after-school snack attack. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Carrot Sticks
- Chickpea Hummus
- Cheese Sticks
- Deli Turkey
- Sugar Snap Peas
- English Cucumber
- Whole Grain Crackers
- Dried Apricots
- Shelled Pistachios
- Sliced Salami
Other snack board ingredients your family may love include: hard-boiled eggs, guacamole, stuffed grape leaves, any toasted nut, dried cherries or cranberries, apple slices with peanut butter for dipping, bell pepper strips, and sliced roast beef.
What’s your favorite snack board combination? Have you tried one yet?