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As we’re marching onward into the new year, I’ve been reflecting on many of the changes and transitions my family made during the previous year. One of my goals for 2021 is to find ways to make those transitions we made feel a little more seamless in our daily lives, particularly the large transition of moving from traditional school to homeschool for my oldest daughter. Keeping a semi-flexible schedule and daily routine is important for all of us in the house, but keeping things fresh, fun and interesting is a top priority when it comes to not only school work, but preparing our meals as well.
One way I’m changing things up this year is letting my oldest daughter be much more hands-on in the kitchen during lunch time. While we aren’t ready to dive right into cooking with precise measurements, cook times and ingredients just yet, I still want her to become familiar with putting balanced meals together and show her that she can use her creativity in the kitchen just like she does in the classroom. One of our favorite ways to do that is to create kid friendly charcuterie boards filled with a balance of interesting colors, textures and wholesome goodies to fuel us through lunch and snack time!
Traditionally, charcuterie boards feature cured meats, dried fruits, cheeses and nuts. However, the beauty of creating charcuterie boards or “snack” boards is that there truthfully isn’t a wrong way to do it. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can add to your own board! Because we love to make these boards to serve for lunch and then to munch on later in the afternoon for snack, I love to add fresh meats, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, a variety of cheeses and crackers.
One piece of advice that I feel is important when creating a charcuterie board with your children – listen to their cues when it comes to filling up the serving platter. If your child is easily over stimulated, scaling back on the variety of foods you include may be a good idea. On the flip side, you may have a little one who wants ALL the snacks, and that’s okay, too! Creating a charcuterie board is a great way to learn about the food pyramid and all of the different food groups. Let them pull things from the pantry and refrigerator that they truly love, all while showing them how to incorporate healthy and balanced options onto the board!
At the beginning of the week, I always make out my Publix shopping list and try to make sure I have plenty of fresh produce and other ingredients to build a charcuterie board on hand. In addition to fruits and veggies, I love to keep a variety of Land O’ Frost® premium meats on hand – particularly Land O’ Frost® Premium Meat Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Land O’ Frost® Premium Meat Old World Style Black Forest Ham. These meats are a go-to staple for my family as they’re a healthy and affordable protein, contain no added hormones, no artificial flavors, and no by-products. Plus, Land O’ Frost is a family owned company, and I love having a large variety of products and flavors to choose from while shopping at my local Publix.
To add a little “pizzazz” to our charcuterie boards, I taught my daughter how to fold the meat accordion style and keep it in place using toothpicks. Not only was this a fun way to make our board look extra pretty, but it was also a great tool for improving her hand-eye coordination! We used cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of cheese slices, and this can also easily be done with the slices of meat on the board.
Here are a few of the things we added to our board to give you some ideas for how to create your own kid friendly charcuterie board:
We’re looking forward to getting really creative in the kitchen in 2021 and perfecting our charcuterie board skills while learning about the importance of making mealtime balanced and fun. Next time you’re making your grocery list, make sure you swing by your local Publix to pick up all of your charcuterie boards needs, including Land O’ Frost premium meats to make your charcuterie board complete!
What things are you looking forward to in 2021? What are some of your favorite things to add to a charcuterie board? Leave a comment below and share your ideas! Happy New Year, friends!