January 22, 2020


I don't know why I didn't think of fixing a snack plate after school before...but better late than never!

It must be all of the charcuterie inspiration floating around the internet that made me start thinking about putting together one snack, with a variety of foods, in one location everyday after school.  

Normally, when we get home we all "unpack".  In our house this means to unpack lunchboxes, put all of the dirty containers in the sink, the freezer packs back in the freezer and the lunchboxes on the counter.  My kids are also asked to unpack any folders that I need to see and then hang jackets and backpacks up in the laundry room.  These tasks, which they are expected to do everyday would sometimes take 20 minutes and would inevitably be reluctantly completed after yelling at them 2-3 times.  Not ideal.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, one of  the kiddos asked for graham crackers and Nutella for a snack.  It was a Friday and I thought, not the healthiest snack, but why not.  I began making the snack and put it on a 3 section plate.  I added a little fruit to make it seem a little better for them and then looked over at the table.  

Nothing had been put away and my kids were no where to be found.  After taking a deep breath I found them playing in the other room.  I "nicely" reminded them that they weren't unpacked yet and said, "As soon as you are unpacked you can have the snack plate." 

Banana Slices with Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Chips, Bagel and Cream Cheese Bites, Strawberries and Raspberries

Boom.  Game changer.  They were so excited about the Nutella I think everything was put away in 2 minutes without any moaning and groaning.  And that's when the "snack plate" was officially born.

I don't know about your kids, but mine are always hungry.  They are constantly asking for a snack, many times out of habit, sometimes out of boredom,  and of course they always want the things that aren't the best choice - granola bars, cheeze its, chips.  The more empty carbs the better in their eyes.  Since we have incorporated this into our daily routine, they haven't even asked for anything else - it's been amazing!

Carrot Sticks and Ranch, Seedless Grapes and Scooby Snacks (graham cracker "bones")

By incorporating this method, I know that they are eating a more balanced snack and they know that whatever is on the snack plate is their only option until dinner.  Now, I do always have to have a "hook" so to speak on there, something that they really enjoy eating, but for the most part they get excited to see what combinations are on there everyday.  Even if they don't looooove it, if they are hungry enough, they will at least try it.  

Pepperoni, Colby Jack Cheese, Clementine, Strawberry covered Pretzels

I found a really cute little round plate stand and I just put it in the middle our our breakfast room table and leave it there.  They usually snack for a few minutes, go play and then will come back and grab more a little while later.  We seem to always have neighborhood kids in and out and when they ask for a snack I just point to the table.  Whatever is left on the plate is usually Mike's snack when he walks in the door and then it's all finished by dinner time.

I have loved knowing that they are getting a more nutritious after school snack every day, and that they aren't asking for twelve snacks before dinner...not to mention that by holding the plate hostage there is an added bonus that they unpack very quickly after we walk in the door!

Hummus and Pretzel Sticks, Apple slices and White Cheddar Cheese Bites

I love having a variety of options for them to snack on - some of our plates this week have been:
  • hummus and pretzels, white cheddar cheese cubes, sliced apples
  • banana slices with peanut butter and chocolate chips, sliced strawberries and raspberries and bagel pieces with cream cheese
  • carrots and ranch, grapes, graham cracker "bones"
  • Nutella with grahams, cashews mixed with almonds, orange slices

Coming up with different combinations has been so fun and hopefully after a few weeks I will have an update post with a lot more snacking inspiration!

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