January 13, 2014

Snack Plates

A couple of years ago, I started making “snack plates” for Ella for lunch.

Two years later, these are her favorite thing on earth. Every time I ask what she wants for a meal, the answer is “a snack plate.” (At dinner time, I have to remind her that no, I will NOT be making snack plates for dinner – she can eat what the rest of us are having, thank you very much).

Now, almost every day, this is what my girls have for lunch (and watching Ani eat everything off her tiny plate is only the cutest thing I’ve ever seen).

A few reasons why this is my favorite lunch option:
  • It’s a great way to use up the random ends of things in the fridge (a tiny chunk of cheese, a few last carrots, a quarter of an apple,etc)
  • I can make sure my girls get a good variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
  • It’s easy to introduce a new food or give repeat exposure to things they’re uncertain about (sugar snap peas are currently not Ella’s favorite thing, but two or three of them will continue to show up on her plate a few times a week).
  • I can seriously whip two of these plates out in three minutes. Then I can focus on my own lunch (which, at the moment, means a panini. Every day). 
Over the years, I’ve learned not to give them too much of any one thing. Then, if they eat all the crackers first and want more, I just tell them they can have more if they eat everything on their plate.

Also, I try to give them at least one or two fun things that they are excited about. The Mott’s Snack & Go pouches are wildly popular at our house, and make them feel like it’s a really great lunch.

And I steer toward produce that doesn’t need a lot of prep. Basically things I can wash and stick on their plates is my favorite. Or very simple slicing, like apples. No pineapple, you’ll notice. I’m not up for coring, dicing and peeling at lunch time (or any time, actually. I buy pineapple about . . . once a year and then remember what a giant pain it is).

Here are some of my favorite items for a snack plate:
  • Apple slices with peanut butter 
  • A piece of bread with jam 
  • Sugar snap peas 
  • Baby carrots 
  • Clementines (I cut the segments in half for Ani; Ella likes to peel her own) 
  • Avocado chunks 
  • Grapes 
  • Mott’s Snack & Go pouches (in a variety of flavors) 
  • Cherry tomatoes 
  • Pear slices 
  • Mini pretzels 
  • Crackers 
  • Nuts (almonds and cashews are the most popular in our house) 
  • Bell pepper slices 
  • Slices of cheese or string cheese 
  • Bits of deli meat 
  • A scoop of rice (if I have leftovers) 
  • A bowl of yogurt 
  • Mini muffins (I make a huge batch every month or two and then dole them out one at a time for lunches).
  • Nachos (I do about four tortilla chips and melt a little cheddar cheese on them)
Basically, anything in the fridge or pantry is an option. And on the days I don’t have a panini or leftovers, I’ll happily have a snack plate of my own.

Mott’s® Snack & Go is the nutritious applesauce kids love in a squeezable pouch they can take with them wherever they go. Mott's is also the only applesauce brand with Box Tops for Education®, helping to support kids' schools. Visit Motts.com to learn more.

Compensation was provided by Mott’s® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mott’s®.


  1. Friday nights I do not want to argue with the children over dinner, so we've gotten into the habit of doing movie nights. Dinner is popcorn, fruit, yogurt or applesauce, and sometimes other odds and ends, and then my husband and I have whatever I want to make that they wouldn't eat anyhow (often it's soup or something loaded with veggies ... or baked potatoes. The kids hate potatoes that aren't fries). It's a favorite dinner night for all of us.

  2. This is a really good idea for lunches. Pinning this just in case someday we have kids, because I definitely would never have thought of this on my own. :)

  3. This is basically what happens for lunch around our house, but I've never called them "snack plates." Now, I think that's what's going to have to happen--since both of my children think that "Snacks" are a far superior thing to breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Thanks!

  4. This post was perfectly timed, given that I'm finding myself constantly stumped for new 'finger food' ideas. Some great ideas here! Thanks :)

  5. I like this idea. And actually I think this is what I end up doing sometimes when I don't have anything else. But I hate lunch time, and it seems like it would be helpful for them to just expect a hodge podge of whatever.

  6. I have been eating like this my whole pregnancy ;-)

  7. This is such a great way to prevent picky eaters if you start early enough! Thanks for some great ideas for Veronica!

  8. Super excited about this post. I've been looking for a way to get out of our grilled cheese/quesadilla/PB sandwich rut. I printed off your list of suggestions. I need that level of coaching. Thank you!


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