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Updated 2022: Looking for a wholesome after school snack? This kid’s board is fun, colorful, and interactive. It has fresh fruit and vegetables, adorable Babybel cheeses, and more. If your kids don’t love these particular foods, make it your own—or better yet let them help you build it.
For other fun and healthy ideas, check out my other kid-focused boards for inspiration: St. Patrick’s Day Snack Board, Thanksgiving Snack Board, Rainbow Board, and Muffin Tin Halloween Board. For sweeter treats, kids love my Beach Themed Candy Board, Movie Night Board, and Once Upon a Time in Candy Land Board. In fact, you can always go to my Kids Boards Category page for ideas for the kiddos.
How to Build the Best Back to School Board
- Load up on colorful fruits. As always, you know your kiddos best… Because grapes and blueberries can be choking hazards for younger kids, cut them in half if need be. See more notes on this in the next section.
- Include a couple sources of protein like cheese to hold your kiddos over until their next meal. Here I used white cheddar and colby jack. See labeled photo below.
- Make it more appealing by cutting them into shapes, I used these small flower and heart cookie cutters. In fact, cookie cutters are my favorite way to have fun with cheese. Check out this brie-cut out tutorial on my 4th of July Post, which could be applied to any holiday.
- Create fun characters like these Babybel Pac-Man people using edible eyes. I use edible eyes on so many fun kid foods, I even bought up this variety pack of edible eyes to have all the sizes.
- Add in kiddo classics like goldfish and granola bars. I love these kids bars from This Bar.
- Much like the cookie cutter cheese, adding in fun items like alphabet cookies make this extra fun for kids. I bought these alphabet shortbread cookies at ALDI. Trader Joe’s also sells alphabet cookies, as does IKEA (with their KEX biscuits).
- The heart and flower shaped ramekins are a great touch. I bought mine at a local Japanese Store called Diaso, but there are some great, easy alternatives on Amazon (including this heart ramekin and star dishes)
How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy
It’s proven that if kids have the option to eat a variety of foods, they probably will (most of the time). One tactic that experts believe works is to let your kids make their own plate. Having the choice of how much, or which piece, might empower them to feel a little more like eating what they’ve chosen.
Of course don’t force it and seek out expert advice as needed (I recommend Feeding Littles). Building fun boards is just one such way you can help introduce colorful, healthy foods.
Please note, I made this board with a few of my favorite kiddos in mind. But you know your kids best. As noted above, be aware of choking hazards like grapes (in fact, here’s a great resource by Feeding Littles that can help you navigate). Tree nuts and dairy products are high allergy foods and should be left off the board completely if there’s any chance you may serve this to someone with an allergy.
Most of all, make it your own! Have fun and get creative.
Interactive Learning You Can Eat Too
With so many elements on this board, don’t let a learning opportunity pass you by. There are lots of ways to keep your kids engaged while sharing this snack.
- The young ones can help sort colors and shapes. They can count how many different green items are on the board. Or if you get alphabet cookies, have fun sounding out letters and short words. Let them make up a few words of their own!
- Elementary age kids can count, add, subtract, and work with simple fractions on the board. Measuring cups are great for kids starting to learn fractions. Use them so they can see how much a half cup of blueberries is versus a whole cup of blueberries. If they are more advanced you can talk about volume and spatial measurements of items on the board.
- Older kids might be more interested in the properties of certain foods. How is cheese made? What’s the difference between a peanut and an almond? How far did these grapes travel to get to my local store?
Fun Food Facts to Share
To get your kids in conversation, here are some other fun food facts…
- Avocados help your body absorb the nutrients you get in other produce, so eat them alongside your favorite fruits and veggies
- Bell peppers are technically fruits and they have loads of vitamins and minerals that help with eyesight (more than carrots!)
- Blueberries are really great for your brain, they have been proven to improve short-term memory
- Grapes are a great source of vitamins K and antioxidants which both help your body heal (like when you get cuts or bruises)
- Figs are just as rich in calcium as milk, and calcium is great to build strong bones
- Cheese has saturated fats that can actually help reduce the risk of diabetes by supporting adequate insulin levels—make sure to fill up on some cheese and just fruit and cookies!
- Apples are great for a healthy gut, they have contain a high amount of pectin which is a type of fiber that helps feed the good bacteria in your belly
- Clementines are packed with vitamin C, which is great for your skin and complexion
Show Me Your Boards
Hope this inspired a fun food experience with your kiddos. Nothing makes me happier than seeing you create beautiful boards from my tips. If you make a spread inspired by this post, please tag me at @ainttoooproudtomeg and use #AintTooProudToCheese so I can see and share!
And, If you liked this board recipe, please rate & review… and let me know which items your littles ones liked the best.
Back to School Charcuterie for Kids
- Babybel Cheese
- Mozzarella sliced
- Colby Jack Cheese sliced
- Alphabet Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Rice Krispies Treats
- Granola Bars
- Veggie Sticks
- Goldfish Crackers
- Green Grapes halved
- Red Grapes halved
- Green Apples sliced
- Cuties peeled and divided into sections
- Seaweed Snacks
- Edible Eyes
- Like always, I like to start with my small bowls to anchor the board, so place the bowls of grapes and goldfish evenly throughout the board.
- Next, fan the cookies and crackers out around the bowls.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut the cheese slices into shapes (I chose hearts and flowers) and add the cheese to the center of the board.
- Use the berries and sliced fruits to fill in any holes being sure to break up similar colors, then add the veggie sticks, Rice Krispies Treats, and seaweed snacks around the edge of the board (be sure to keep the seaweed snacks and any other dry items away from the fresh produce so the moisture doesn’t soften anything it shouldn’t).
- Finish off with Babybel cheeses and enjoy!