Muffin Tin Snack Trays For Kids – Easy, fun kids’ snack trays made in muffin pans to keep things simple, plus LOTS of muffin tin snack ideas to try! (Gluten-free, vegan + paleo options!)
Today’s snack is one of my all-time favorites: Muffin Tin Snack Trays for kids! We’ve been making them since my kids were toddlers and SUPER into finger foods. They’re basically like charcuterie spreads for kids!
To be honest, we’ve made these muffin tin snack trays for snack-y lunches and even dinners (they’re perfect for movie nights!), but we use them most often for a fun, easy afternoon or after school snack.
I love how easy they are to put together, and a few simple tricks make it simple to put together delicious, beautiful, healthy snack trays for kids without a lot of fuss.
Here’s everything you need to know to make delicious muffin tin snack trays for kids (or grown-ups!)…
WHY WE LOVE THESE SNACK TRAYS:
MY KIDS ARE MORE LIKELY TO TRY NEW THINGS. When my kids see something new and aren’t being pressured, they’re more likely to try something it. Also, these muffin tin snack trays lend themselves to snacking as a group, so positive peer pressure of watching siblings/friends eating something new might be just the ticket.
I CAN GET IN SOME FRUITS/VEGGIES WITHOUT MUCH FUSS. Maybe you have children who request nothing but fruits and veggies all day long, but my kids would usually choose something carby (like pretzels or granola bars) over carrots for snack if given the choice. HOWEVER, when I put fruits & veggies out on a muffin tray with a few other options, my kids usually have at least some of the fruits/veggies. Even if they don’t, it’s good exposure and practice in a low-pressure environment to have them just set out with the other snack items.
IT’S AN EASY WAY TO WORK IN VARIETY. Sophie loves variety in her food, while Milo would happily eat the exact same thing every single day of his life. Putting out a variety of options in a muffin tin snack tray is a great way to help both of them. I can put out a few familiar things, then rotate in seasonal produce, fun surprises on holidays, etc.
I CAN USE UP WHAT WE HAVE ON HAND. Have just one handful of crackers left or a few cherries to use up? Toss them in a muffin snack tray! Everyone’s having little tastes of everything anyway, so no will think twice about who gets the last of something, and small portions are the name of the game.
HOW TO BUILD A MUFFIN TIN SNACK TRAY:
It’s EASY to put together a muffin tin snack tray. All you need is a few different items–I usually aim for 3-5. Then, you put small portions in the cups of a muffin pan. It’s kind of like charcuterie for kids!
When I’m building my muffin tin snack trays, I typically aim to hit 3 main areas:
- FRUITS & VEGGIES. Sometimes I do a mix, sometimes it’s all fruits or all veggies.
- PROTEINS & HEALTHY FATS. Adding protein + fat helps the snack have more staying power to keep everyone full longer.
- SOMETHING CRUNCHY. We all love a little crunch at my house. This can come in all kinds of forms (see the next section for TONS of ideas!)
- OPTIONAL: SOMETHING FUN. Then, if you want, you can add a little something fun. I don’t do this every time, but it’s GREAT on holidays, Fridays, special occasions, or just for a fun surprise. A little of something fun goes a long way!
IDEAS FOR MUFFIN TIN SNACK TRAYS
FRUITS + VEGGIES
- BERRIES – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- APPLES – try different colors or varieties!
- PEARS – great in fall/winter
- ORANGES OR CLEMENTINES. My kids love clementines, and this is a great option in the winter!
- GRAPES OR CHERRIES – pitted and halved for very young children
- PEACHES OR NECTARINES – so great in the summer
- PINEAPPLE OR MANGO
- WATERMELON OR CANTALOUPE – or any other ripe melon!
- DRIED FRUIT – Raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, mangos, apple chips, etc.
- BABY CARROTS OR CARROT CHIPS – Sticks, chips, etc. Try different shapes!
- CUCUMBERS OR PICKLES
- BELL PEPPERS
- SUGAR SNAP PEAS
- BABY TOMATOES
PROTEINS + HEALTHY FATS.
- YOGURT OR FRUIT DIP– Great for dipping
- PEANUT BUTTER OR NUT BUTTER (for dipping)
- AVOCADO OR GUACAMOLE
- HUMMUS or BROWNIE HUMMUS
- OLIVES – Black, kalamata, pimento-stuffed, Castelvetrano
- COCONUT CHIPS
- NUTS & SEEDS – Almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts
- TURKEY OR HAM SLICES
- SALAMI OR PEPPERONI
- CHEESE CUBES (or dairy-free cheese)
- HARD BOILED EGGS
- CRACKERS – Simple Mills & Hu Kitchen (gluten-free, grain free) + Mary’s Gone Crackers & Schar (gluten-free) are some of our faves.
- APPLE CHIPS OR BANANA CHIPS
- PUFFS – Like Hippeas or Pirate’s Booty.
- DRY CEREAL OR GRANOLA
- RICE CAKES (mini rice cakes work well here!)
- GRAHAM CRACKERS OR ANIMAL CRACKERS
- TORTILLA CHIPS
- PLANTAIN CHIPS – A great grain-free option!
- POPCORN – Learn how to pop your own in minutes here
- VEGGIE STRAWS
- TRAIL MIX – Try one of our favorite trail mix combinations!
- ENERGY BITES – These and these are my kids’ favorites!
- CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS OR ALMONDS
- SALSA – Homemade or store-bought
- RANCH DIP – Our homemade ranch is the BEST EVER.
- FLAVORED POPCORN – We love this brand! Get 20% off your first order with this link!
- CHOCOLATE-DIPPED PRETZELS.
- MINI MARSHMALLOWS
- CHOCOLATE CHIPS OR CHUNKS
- TRAIL MIX – Try one of our favorite trail mixes!
- FRUIT SNACKS OR FRUIT LEATHER
- MUDDY BUDDIES/PUPPY CHOW
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST MUFFIN TIN SNACK TRAYS:
THINK COLOR! One easy way to help balance your muffin tin snack tray is to shoot for color. Fruits and veggies make this easier! Experiment with new colors of apples, colorful baby tomatoes, or rainbow carrots. Or, work with your kids to make one with every color of the rainbow!
DO A LITTLE OF A FEW THINGS. Don’t feel like you need to choose 12 different things for every muffin tin snack tray. Pick a few things (3-5) and just do a little of those. I always try to do at least 1 fruit or veggie + 1 protein or fat + 1 crunchy item.
STRIVE FOR BALANCE + LET GO OF THE REST. Nutrition is cumulative, meaning we get our nutrients over days and weeks. If every single meal and snack isn’t nutritionally “perfect” it’s OKAY. Children, especially, are resilient. Consider this permission NOT to stress out about every single morsel that goes into these snacks. Aim to include fruits/veggies, protein/healthy fats, and don’t stress about the rest. Sometimes, they might be super healthy, some times they may be more fun or treat-like. It’s okay!
MUFFIN TINS WE LOVE. We bake a lot, *and* I’m a food blogger, so we have several muffin pans. I love this metal muffin tin for perfectly golden edges on my muffins, this silicone muffin pan for its magical nonstick abilities (no muffin liners needed!), and this pretty white ceramic muffin pan (pictured) for smaller batches or these muffin tin snack trays for kids.
HAVE YOU TRIED MUFFIN TIN SNACK TRAYS BEFORE? WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO PUT IN YOURS?
Looking for more yummy snack ideas for kids? Sign up for our FREE virtual 5-Day Snack Camp! You’ll get tasty, healthy snack ideas for kids, tips for working with kids in the kitchen, helping picky eaters, and more!