Just call me “Queen of the Snack Plate”… What is a snack plate for kids? And why is it my go-to healthy dinner for kids? Learn about my genius dinner hack for kids, perfect for when you feel like a short-order cook. Plus, get a FREE Printable of snack plate ideas for kids to hang on your fridge for when you’re too tired to even think about dinner.
As you may already know, my husband is the one and only cook in our house. Yes, I know I’m super lucky. He was an Executive Chef at a high-end steakhouse for years, and before that he managed a kitchen that was responsible for serving 3,000 US Navy sailors three meals a day.
I, on the other hand, could probably cause a pot of boiling water to catch on fire.
Pretty much the only things that I “cook” either:
- Come out of a box, like boxed Mac ‘n Cheese or Duncan Hines brownies
- Can be cooked completely in a microwave
- Are Salad
- Involve eating breakfast foods for dinner, like these easy Mini Chocolate Chip Pancakes using packaged muffin mix
I did actually try once to cook my husband (who at the time was my boyfriend) a fancy meal of sea scallops, but that ended with him throwing up in a bathtub a few hours later. No joke. I gave him food poisoning.
So now I leave the culinary duties to him. He’s the professional, after all. 🙂
But, when he wants to whip up something that isn’t exactly picky kid-friendly, then the responsibility for the kids’ dinners falls on me. He prepares us amazing, restaurant-quality meals at home…
And I use this easy dinner hack for kids…
Snack Plate Dinners!
Our snack plate ideas actually started because my husband started feeling like a short-order cook. He actually used to joke that I needed to check the mailbox for his W-2 from Waffle House.
Our two daughters have different palettes, and they usually won’t eat what we’re eating, so that would leave my husband to prepare two or three different dinners each night.
He got tired of that pretty quickly, so I started to prepare dinners for the kids while he cooked dinner for us. Now his only complaint is that he can prepare a full three-course meal from scratch in the time that it takes me to cut a few strawberries, peel a carrot, and roll up some lunchmeat. Haha.
Snack Plate Ideas for Kids that Require Little to No Prep
To make your own snack plate dinners for kids, pick 1-2 items from each category below and you’ll have a well-balanced, healthy and easy meal for your little ones!
Proteins/Entrees for Snack Plates
- Lunch meat rolls
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Cubed, cooked chicken breast
- Rotisserie chicken
- Meatballs – I buy the pre-cooked, frozen ones and heat them in the microwave
- Turkey pepperonis
- Turkey hot dog heated in the microwave
- Scoop of peanut butter
- Pre-cooked bacon or sausage heated in the microwave
- Meats from dinner leftovers
- Lunchmeat “pinwheels” – Ham or turkey slices and cream cheese rolled up on a whole grain tortilla
- Peanut butter and granola “quesadillas” – Spread peanut butter on a small whole grain tortilla, add sliced banana, honey, and granola and fold over like a quesadilla
- English muffin pizzas – Spread marinara sauce on half of a whole grain english muffin, top with mozzarella and pepperoni, and heat in a toaster oven
- Easy cheesy nachos – Whole grain tortilla chips sprinkled with cheese and then heated in the microwave
- Easy microwave pasta – I like to buy the microwavable bags of pasta, heat them in the microwave and stir in marinara sauce or cheese
Vegetables for Snack Plates
- Carrot sticks
- Celery sticks
- Green pepper strips
- Cucumber slices
- Cherry tomatoes – Quartered for younger kids
- Raw or steamed broccoli/corn/peas – I use the steamable microwave bags of frozen veggies
- Raw Sugar snap peas
- Side salad
Fruits for Snack Plates
- Banana slices
- Fresh cherries, pitted
- Grapes – Quartered for younger kids
- Apple slices
- Pear slices
- Orange slices or tangerine segments – Cuties or Halos
- Raspberries, Blackberries or Blueberries – These are a favorite of mine because they require no prep besides a quick rinse
- Grapefruit segments – I like to buy the giant jar of grapefruit already cut up in 100% juice so that there is no prep work
- Raisins or dried cranberries
- Pineapple chunks
Dairy for Snack Plates
- Cheese cubes
- String cheese
- Scoop of cottage cheese
- Glass of milk
Grains for Snack Plates
- Whole grain crackers
- Graham cracker
- Piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter, jelly, or Nutella
- Half of an english muffin
- Whole grain dinner roll
- Whole grain tortilla chips
Want the FREE Printable list of easy Snack Plate Ideas for Kids? Use the form below to subscribe to my email newsletter and I’ll send it right over. Plus, you’ll get FREE access to my Subscribers-Only library of printables to help you Stress Less and Nest Better!
There you have it! My best tip for preparing quick and healthy dinners for kids!
Snack plate dinners are my best friend! My kids LOVE these snack plate ideas, and I’m sure your little ones will love them, too.
No more stressing about what to make your kids and your husband for dinner. And no more having to feel like a short-order cook. Just keep some of these easy-to-prep items on hand, and you can whip up a healthy snack plate dinner in no time!
If you have a bit more time, and your kids aren’t so picky, then try out some of my other healthy recipes:
- Low Carb Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Cauliflower Rice
- Healthy Asian Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps
- Low Carb Mexican Chicken Casserole