Summer lunches need to accomplish two goals around here: 1) Feed a small army of kids something quick and healthy and 2) use up garden produce or what I have around the kitchen. The Small Bites Board does just that. It also doubles as an easy appetizer idea when company comes over!
We call this a Small Bites Board, because, well, it sounds better than “Lazy Mom Board” or “Throw Together Whatever I Can Find in the Fridge Board”. I love this lunch, because it makes fresh, nutritious foods looks so darn yummy. It’s a fun and different way to serve up ingredients that your kids might normally turn their noses up at.
It’s also a great way to clean out the cabinet and fridge drawers. Not to mention, it avoids using plates! Three cheers for fewer dishes. Here are just a few ideas to throw on a Small Bites Board:
- hummus or ranch dip with fresh veggies
- fresh fruit
- various cheese slices
- various whole grain crackers (here are some of my favorites at Trader Joe’s)
- a nut butter or cream cheese in a bowl for spreading on crackers or veggies (not pictured)
- summer sausage slices (look for an all-natural one with no preservatives or artificial ingredients) (not pictured)
My kids and I were particularly excited to have our own sugar snap peas as part of our lunch board. We would have added our blueberries and strawberries, but the dang birds and rabbits did too much damage to them.
Let me end with a word about gardening and kids here. I’m a mediocre gardener (you can see our little plot just beyond our screened-in porch), but I began one with my kids a few years ago none-the-less. We’ve added on each year, because I’ve quickly learned that the investment is worth the learning experience.
When my kids grow a fruit or vegetable, they are much, much more likely to try and eventually like it. They’ve also grown in their responsibility, as they’ve learned to tend our little plot almost daily. If you haven’t gardened yet, an easy place to begin is by letting your child plant some lettuce seeds in August/September in your mulch bed. We’ve also found parsley and basil to be of great use, and the kids love to pick and chop it for me at dinnertime.
Ok, back to the Small Bites Lunch. Make your odds and ends look pretty on a board and enjoy a care-free, healthy lunch!