The Kitchen Counter Plate Challenge: Healthy Snack Ideas

Healthy Snack Ideas

Easy questions for you today: Say you have a plate of cookies on the kitchen counter, do they get eaten? If you are like me and my family, the answer is yes and quickly. Same for chocolate chips, BBQ potato chips and day old movie popcorn. (This doesn’t happen when they are in a container and hidden in a cabinet.)

Next question: Do your kids (or other loved ones) try grabbing food from the counters while you are cooking dinner? In my family we have a little lady who likes to eat all sorts of things during food prep, but as soon as it hits the table it is no longer what she likes. This includes lettuce leaves, carrot peels, diced onions, and beans. The more I slap at her hands the more she would like to bother me by eating it!

Final question: Do your housemates (or you!) constantly rummage around for snacks between meals, or whine about needing something to eat? I am so tired of finishing up the dishes from a meal only to have a kid riffling through the pantry for a less than ideal snack food. It’s one of my serious hot buttons for which someday I will probably need therapy.

Out of these three family facts (and with miraculous inspiration from the husband), we conducted the Kitchen Counter Plate Challenge. And it worked! And it is so simple! I had to share, because maybe it will work for your household too. This is the ultimate Healthy Snack Idea!

The Kitchen Counter Plate Challenge:

  1. Put together a pretty plate of snack foods that you’d actually like to see your family consuming. Make it all easy grabbing size and make it really colorful and fun looking. Choose foods that can withstand to be on the counter for a while.
  2. Leave the plate on a counter that everyone walks by throughout the day between meals and see what happens. Does the plate empty as people walk by it? Experiment with the contents of the plate… what works in your house?
  3. Place the plate in the refrigerator if you head out and won’t be near the counter for a bit. (Or throw it in a big Ziploc and take in the car – kids will eat whatever is around when they are just sitting in the car with nothing to do.)

My Kitchen Counter Plate Ingredient Suggestions:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Bell Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Green Beans (you can blanch these in salt water to make them tastier)
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Apricots
  • Pickled Vegetables
  • Pepperoncinis
  • Olives
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Raisins
  • Melon Balls
  • Homemade Popcorn made with Coconut Oil

This is a great challenge for kids, no doubt. We didn’t even tell the kids what we were doing, just started leaving out a veggie plate and they came by and grazed instead of riffling through the pantry. Don’t underestimate its value for the adults in your house as well. Often we are so busy and focused on a million other things that mindless eating occurs. How great is it to gently push that mindless eating into a nutrient rich experience!

Take the challenge and see if fruit and veggie consumption increase around your place!



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4 thoughts on “The Kitchen Counter Plate Challenge: Healthy Snack Ideas

  1. What a great (and sneaky) idea! I’m glad you are packing my gkids with all that healthy and beautiful food. And this does work for adults-I can play this trick on myself! Too lazy to look further for the junk options when some healthy stuff is sitting right there! Thanks for the reminder- I should do it more often!

  2. Thanks for the great posts. I like the idea that snacks are offered preemptively, before the whining and snack cravings hit! I have always put some veggies on the table as I make dinner, and this kind of expands on the idea. The key for me is prepping veggies ahead of time so that they are available quickly.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Tip: Embrace What the Garden Gives You - Lean.Green.Kitchen

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