I have a new Mom Hack & my kids are as obsessed as I am: a Kid’s Charcuterie Board.
You’re probably thinking it sounds “too fancy” for your kids to like or for you to worry about. Double wrong.
Read on for how I stumbled upon the brilliance that is a Kid’s Charcuterie Board, why we’re all in love with it, & how to throw together your own with zero effort.
We recently started doing Family Movie Nights every Sunday & it has been so special & fun. We all pick a movie together & snuggle up on the couch….Well, most of us. Our 3 year old daughter basically plays the whole time, but still—it’s some awesome family QT.
But, I didn’t want to stop & cook during movie night. I wanted to be present with my family and not just in the background like Mamas so often are (because who else is going to do allll the things?) So as I looked in the pantry & fridge for something quick & easy, I pulled a few options out that I was going to decide between. Then I realized I had pulled out fruit, crackers, & nuts…basically the beginning of a charcuterie board.
So I grabbed one of my fave wooden trays & just started putting a few of all those things on there. A couple different types of crackers, whatever fruit we had on hand, some nuts, then I grabbed black olives, some ham, & since we were out of cheese sticks I just put a little pile of shredded mozzarella on there. We had half a bell pepper & like 3 slices of cucumber leftover in the fridge so I threw those on there, too.
I couldn’t get over how awesome this little improvised Kid’s Charcuterie Board looked.
I took it back over to the coffee table & set it down & said “This is a Charcuterie Board, you can eat whatever you want straight off of it.” My kids looked at me like they couldn’t believe what I’d just said & done. No plates? Whatever we want? As much as we want? In whatever order we want? Needless to say, THEY LOVED IT.
And so did I.
Because I’d inadvertently discovered the easiest dinner ever: a Kid’s Charcuterie Board.
You can throw on anything you want. No matter how you do it, it looks special & different & fun. You can’t mess it up.
And my favorite part is this: It takes zero planning to put together and it’s the most perfect way to use up little bits of leftovers you didn’t want to throw out but that aren’t enough for a full meal! Total Mom Hack.
To make your own Kid’s Charcuterie Board, just raid your pantry & fridge…and voilà! Done. But for a little extra inspo, below are some ideas for things to round it out.
And remember—you just need a little bit of each thing. Don’t overdo the portions. It’s more about variety than quantity.
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*Kid’s Charcuterie Board:
I’ve used basic crackers like saltines & cheez-its and “fancy” ones like our fave raisin rosemary crackers from Trader Joe’s. Pretzels, goldfish, & veggie sticks also work great!
Whatever you have on hand. Slice them up. Strawberries, grapes, apples, blueberries, bananas, oranges (& yes the mandarin packs totallyyy count)
Raisins, craisins, apricots, etc.
Honey peanuts & pistachios are the faves in our house. And the praline pecans from Costco.
Pepper slices, cucumber sticks or rounds, carrots, tomatoes, pickles
I couldn’t bring myself to put olives under fruit even though technically that’s what they are
I usually throw in some ham or turkey strips or chunks, but recently I put pepperonis on there just to see what my kids thought. Neither liked them but it’s all about no-pressure exposure so I’ll keep throwing a couple on.
Pile of shredded cheese, cheese slices or cubes, cheese sticks (My kids love brie & honey goat cheese when I put it on the crackers for them. When it’s just sitting there by itself, not so much…)
Pile of chocolate chips, graham crackers, cookies, yogurt raisins, yogurt pretzels, or a couple pieces of chocolate
Anything else you’ve got. Seriously, I’ve thrown a handful of cereal on there several times & it’s always the first thing they go for. And boiled egg halves. They always love those. If I was feeling like I wanted to clean up a mess, I’d throw a tiny bowl of honey or jam on there. But let’s be honest, I’m never feeling like that so I never put any condiments on there. But you might be braver than me, in which case—go for it.
The beauty of a Kid’s Charcuterie Board is…you can’t do it wrong.
And, of course you need a great cheese tray/board, which you probably already have. But, if you don’t, this is my top pick from Amazon—the perfect size, the perfect shape (rectangular & circular options), & the perfect price.
*I want to make sure I mention that I always cut up every single thing to lessen the chance of choking. My child choked a year ago & it was the scariest moment of my life. I’ll never forget it. Take the 2 extra minutes to cut the grapes & olives vertically (& again after that if they’re still too big), and the cherry tomatoes, heck I even cut blueberries in half if they’re too big. Nuts are a big choking hazard so be wary of those (I pick out the whole peanuts & only serve my kids the halves). Did you know that bananas & peanut butter are also big choking hazards for kids? I used to not. I do now. There’s no harm in being cautious about choking hazards but there is most certainly the possibility of harm if you’re not.
Besides being so easy to put together & using up lots of my leftovers, the thing I love about doing a Kid’s Charcuterie Board for my two is how much they love it.
From the very first time I set one in front of them, it was clear that it made them feel like something was extra special about the whole night. It just looks special. And having the freedom to eat as much as they want and in whichever order they want just feels special.
And I mean, I get it. I love charcuterie boards, too. If we’re being honest a charcuterie board is really just a delicious tray of snacks. And who doesn’t love snacks?
(And here’s an added bonus: study after study shows that allowing kids to eat the things they love with no pressure to eat the things they don’t like or are unsure of is the key to helping them learn to like & try new, different foods. So, a Kid’s Charcuterie Board is a perfect vehicle for that kind of no-pressure dinner.)
Throwing together a Kid’s Charcuterie Board is an easy way to be a “fun” Mom. And that’s the type of mom hack we can all get on board (get it?) with.
Want more Mom Hacks? —> How about my kid’s hourglass timer hack for getting your kids to clean up after themselves?
And don’t miss my potty-training tips & my kids’ different potty-training experiences (plus everything you need!).
Or check out our favorite KwikStix “Paint Crayons” we use for everything!
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