There is a sweet little trick I discovered a few years ago. I don’t remember where I first learned it. Somewhere in internet land, I’m sure. It’s a brilliant idea that carries magical powers to increase the excitement over healthy snacks by at least 74.3 percent. Minimum. It’s true – I’ve tested it. The secret? It’s called a Snack Tray, and here is the complicated magical potion:
Step 1) Get a muffin tin out of your cupboard.
Step 2) Fill it with a variety of healthy snack foods.
Step 3) Present it to your children
Step 4) Go prepare your acceptance speech for your Mother-of-the-Year award.
Sounds tough, eh? Don’t worry, I have confidence in you. I have confidence in sunshine, I have confidence in rain. I have confidence that spring will come again! BESIDES WHAT YOU SEE I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN MEEEEEEE! (<—name that movie).
Whew, this idea really inspires me with excitement, can you tell?
Honestly though – I am not exaggerating when I say that my kids *literally* cheer when I mention A Snack Tray. They are 74.3 percent more likely to eat everything in it than if I served it on a regular ol’ plate. I don’t pretend to understand it. Sometimes you just gotta believe in the magic.
I’ve done a ginormous variety of Snack Tray fillers over the years. Here are our usual favourites:
- Banana, apple, orange, kiwi, grapes, melon…
- Nuts (cashews are the fave around here)
- Dried fruit
- Crackers & cheese
- Air-popped popcorn (with butter and sea salt, of course)
- Carrot sticks (my kids actually love raw carrots – they eat them every day)
- Cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas
- Ants on a log (PB & raisins on celery sticks)
- Small hunks of cold cooked meat
- Jerky (we made our own once before and it was amaaaaazing)
- Hummus (beside the crackers)
- Berries, frozen or fresh
- Frozen peas (my weird kids love ’em!)
- Hard-boiled eggs cut into halves
- Cut up bite size pieces of these healthy homemade granola bars
It can get pretty darn creative, but to be honest our snack trays most often consist of a quarter or a half filled with popcorn, and the rest with fruits and veggies. If I have cold cooked meat (meatballs, chicken breast, deli meat, etc), I’ll throw that in too, since I like to have lots of protein and healthy fats in our diet as much as possible.
PS. A decently filled snack tray TOTALLY can count as lunch. Just sayin’.
Find more tips and hacks like this one in my Quick Healthy Meals Ultimate Guide (101 Tips, Recipes, and Strategies)!