My friend Mary Conley and I recently sat down for coffee, reflecting on our fast-paced lifestyles of blogging and otherwise — in my case, working full-time at an ad agency, and in her case, working full-time as a mom of two. She has always valued healthy eating and meals, but with two boys running full-speed, it’s tough to pull it all together!
Though I’m not a mother, I put my entertaining tips to the test and offered two ideas for kid-friendly snack time. The keys of our challenge were to a) provide plenty of protein, b) offer ingredients that please kids and adults alike, and c) bring a fun presentation to the table.
We put “happy hour” on our calendars for a weeknight after 5, and I displayed what I call our best hangout yet — this time with Myles.
I’ve learned that kids sometimes opt for foods that don’t touch, and I’ve also laughed to myself realizing that Lunchables are admittedly just charcuterie boards in plastic packaging. I pulled out a muffin tray, grabbed some elevated versions of sliced salami and cheese, and set up a super fun, interactive happy hour snack for the three of us.
Photos by Christen Jones
KIDS-FRIENDLY CHARCUTERIE BOARD
Thinly-sliced salami, rolled or folded
Cheddar cheese cubes
Nut Thins (or other thin rice cracker)
Large blueberries or grapes
1. In a muffin tin, arrange various ingredients in patterns. Allow your little ones to help!
2. Serve as a kids’ game for pattern play, simply stack your favorite slices, or pick your preferred foods to enjoy on a plate.
For snack or lunch, mini sandwiches are a typical go-to for moms on the go. I took it up a notch and brought fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese and whole grains to the table. Myles was particularly a fan of cream cheese and the green apple slices. Though prepared separately, I say, hey! Mixing and matching is an added benefit and a great way to connect with your kids when getting ready for school or snack.
Whether for “tea time,” snack time, or lunchtime, elegance, protein, and presentation are all present!
CUCUMBER CREAM CHEESE TOASTS
Ciabatta loaf, sliced
1 package low-fat cream cheese
Mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
Freshly cracked black pepper
1. Pull cream cheese out of the fridge about 30 minutes before preparing (to ease the spreading).
2. Lightly toast ciabatta slices until golden. Set aside to cool. While cooling, slice cucumbers.
3. Spread cream cheese atop each ciabatta slice. Then, layer cucumber slices and garnish with black pepper.
BRIE, SALAMI, AND GREEN APPLE SANDWICHES
Dave’s Killer Bread, Wheat Thin-Sliced
1 green apple, thinly sliced
1. Stack sandwich with layers of brie, green apple and salami. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut a circle-shapped sammy.