After-school hunger is real! Be prepared to feed your crew with this easy and nutritious snack board. You can scale the board to your kiddos' appetite and preferences. The idea is to make healthy choices readily available and more appealing aesthetically. This snack board allows for a wide-variety of nutrients all from plants!
I'm in love with this easy-to-pull-together healthy after-school snack board for so many reasons, mainly because it is like one big multi-vitamin by Mother Nature. Beyond being super healthy, it just works. What do I mean by that? I mean it vanishes quickly and my kids just love it. The pops of color and variety of items are intriguing and attractive to kids. Plus, it is a great way to empty out your fridge if needed.
Last September, my oldest, Riley, started Kindergarten and we adjusted to a totally new morning and after-school routine. One of my go-to after-school snacks for her and her siblings was to put together a large snack board that they could all graze over while I heard about the school day and prepared dinner in peace. I found that when the choices were already out there and ready to go, my kids were much more likely to eat them. Whenever they start to rummage through the pantry and take the snack reins, I miss that opportunity to fill their bellies with nutritious fruits and veggies. Plus, I find they otherwise gravitate toward a box or bag of store-bought something that ruins their appetite for dinner. This way, they are comfortably full and get in all the good stuff that they need to refuel them until bedtime.
My kids demolished this board quickly last time I prepared it. All that was left was a couple carrots and cauliflower pieces which I then roasted up for dinner! I try and select items that I know won't go to waste if they don't finish it all.
Your snack board can be scaled up or down depending on how many kids you are serving. I always like to count myself in that equation because I, too, love a good pre-dinner snack. You can keep your snack board minimal or overflowing depending on your crowd and how soon dinner will be ready.
To build your healthy after-school snack board:
- Check out my post on Healthy Snacking Tips for Kids and Toddlers for ideas on what to select and how to prepare the items.
- Group together your star/larger items and then add a couple small bowls filled with tinier items that you don’t want to get lost or mixed up. Bowls also work well for dips.
- Fill in any holes with smaller items.
- Have fun with it and definitely don’t overthink it too much! This snack board concept is basically fail-proof.
Snack boards are always a success here and I have found kids in general totally go for them. Maybe this is because it creates a sense of competition too... like "I better grab it before my sister does!" Talk about good old fashioned healthy competition! Snack boards always end up having something for everyone and encourages kids to try new things.
I paired the homemade crackers on the snack board with Daiya Slices in American, Cheddar Style and Mozzarella Style flavors. Daiya improved the taste, texture and aroma of their plant-based sliced cheeses and my kids gobbled them up! They are not only delicious but a good source of calcium which I'm always trying to be cognizant of with my children.
Daiya is a leading plant-based brand that creates better-for-you comfort foods. They are an industry leader and one of the founding members of The Plant Based Foods Association. Daiya remains passionate about celebrating delicious food that is dairy, gluten and soy free. You can find Daiya products in more than 25,000 grocery stores in the U.S., including Sprouts, Kroger, Safeway and Publix, as well as most natural food retailers.
I included a loose recipe framework in the recipe card below. I find the more I enjoy the process of making it the better the spread turns out. I hope this post inspires you to make a killer after-school snack board this back-to-school season. If you do, please use #eatingbyelaine and tag @eatingbyelaine on Instagram and Facebook so I can see your epic creations!Print
This after-school healthy snack board is impressive and appetizing for your kids and couldn’t be easier for you to pull together this busy time of year. Scale the board and select items according to your crew! Opt for a variety of colors and textures if possible.
Make the hummus and crackers in advance (if not serving store-bought) so it is quick and easy to pull this board together.
- Fresh fruit (pictured above: cherries, berries, grapes, clementines)
- Raw vegetables (pictured above: English cucumbers, bell peppers cut into stars with vegetable cutters, sugar snap peas, carrots, radishes and purple cauliflower)
- Avocado (pictured above: an avocado rose sprinkled with flaky sea salt)
- Homemade Hummus
- Homemade Almond Flour Crackers (try my Super Seed Crackers if nut-free)
- Daiya Slices (here I used American, Cheddar Style and Mozzarella Style)*
- Other ideas: unsweetened dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit, banana chips, homemade granola bars, energy bites, popcorn, nuts and seeds.
- Select a couple items from each category above. Arrange the largest items first in groupings on a cutting board, platter, large plate or rimmed baking sheet.
- Add mini bowls and fill with dips or smaller items that you don’t want to get lost on the board.
- Fill in any gaps or holes you have leftover to complete the overall look.
- Serve immediately and bask in all the glory of your new super-parent status. Or, go make dinner.
For more ideas, be sure to check out my post on Healthy Snacking Tips for Kids and Toddlers.
*Daiya Slices are vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and nut-free.
This post is sponsored by Daiya. As always, all opinions are my own.