There are so many delicious foods around the holidays. Wouldn't it be great if there were an easy, healthy, kid-friendly snack you could put together in a snap? Enter the holiday cheese board! This concept from registered dietitian Ariel Johnston of The Tasty Balance is great for families to make and enjoy together.
- Cheese: String cheese, mild cheddar and Harvarti
- Crackers: Shaped crackers like animal crackers or Goldfish, and whole grain crackers like Wheat Thins
- Veggies: Snap peas and carrots
- Fruit: Green grapes, Moon Drop grapes, banana, strawberries and blueberries
- Dips: Hummus and a chocolate hazelnut dip like Nutella
- Other: Candy canes
Here are some great tips for setting up your board.
- Start with the board. Using something like holiday wrapping paper is perfect for easy set up and clean up! You can also use a marker to label certain items on the board like the cheese variety.
- Select the cheeses. Mild cheeses such as cheddar, Havarti, string cheese are great for kids.
- Add a savory dip like hummus. This can be used as a dip with snap peas, carrots and crackers.
- Use a variety of crackers. Crackers that are shaped (think animal crackers) are a great addition!
- Pair sweet with savory. Serving a savory dip neutralizes sweets for kids and doesn’t put sugary foods on a pedestal. Instead, they're on par with more nutrient dense foods. Similarly, add a sweet option like a chocolate hazelnut dip. By making some sweet flavors accessible, these foods won't seem forbidden (read: desirable).
- Include familiar with unfamiliar foods. This is a great trick for picky eaters and a low-key way to introduce new foods to kids so they aren’t as overwhelmed. If kids are hesitant to try foods just encourage them to pick them up, feel them and even smell them without the pressure of having to eat.