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Muffin tin snack trays are a great way to prepare a variety of snacks that will fill your kids' bellies but make it easy for mom!
Muffin Tin Snack Trays
If you're looking for an easy, fresh way of serving snacks to your kids, muffin tin snack trays are perfect! They're so easy to put together and you can even prep them ahead of time. All you need is a muffin tin (6 or 12 count) and whatever food you have on hand to fill your family's bellies.
(P.S. I got this super cute speckled muffin tin at Walmart recently and just love it! It came with these silicone cups which are perfect for baking or putting dips in.)
Plus, have you ever noticed how kids are more likely to eat a variety of foods and try new things when they're served as “finger foods” and billed as snacks? I have found that my kids will eat more veggies voluntarily when they're casually mixed in with some of their other favorite snacks foods.
Muffin tin snack trays can even be used as lunch or dinner depending on what you choose. I especially love these for a filling, after-school snack to help put everyone in the right mood for the afternoon and evening.
Looking for more fun lunch ideas? Check out our Lunch Menu Printable with 36 easy and delicious ideas to make for lunch!
Here's how to make a muffin tin snack tray – hint: it's crazy easy!
How to make a muffin tin snack tray
The two main goals of these snack trays are convenience and fun. So, even though your muffin tin has 6 or 12 cups, don't feel like you need to come up with 12 different options to fill the tray. Try picking 3-6 items and put small portions of each into one cup.
You can pick a theme for your tray like all fruits, all veggies, sweet, savory, etc. or do a healthy mix of everything.
What to put in a muffin tin snack tray
If you're looking for a balanced variety of foods and snacks for your muffin tin, here is a great list to inspire you (make sure you shop your fridge and pantry first before going grocery shopping – you probably have more than you think!):
FRUITS & VEGGIES
- Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Nectarines & oranges
- Bell peppers (sliced or mini)
- Sugar snap peas
- Grape or cherry tomatoes
- Dried fruit (we love the low-sugar dried cranberries!)
- Salsa (this one is kind of an in-between so I'm putting it with the veggies!)
If you're slicing apples ahead of time, make sure to use this trick to keep them from browning!
PROTEIN & HEALTHY FATS
- Hummus (my kids will eat almost anything dipped in hummus) – regular or chocolate hummus for sweet dipping
- Turkey sausage sticks or bites
- Avocado or guacamole
- Cheese sticks, rounds, and cubes
- Peanut butter or nut butter (I mix about 1/3 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt with 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter for a tasty fruit dip!)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Nuts – pistachios, peanuts, cashews, almonds (note: whole nuts are not recommended for children under age 4 because they are a choking hazard)
- Hard boiled eggs
- Salami or pepperoni
- Crackers (use what you have on hand but I love the multigrain crackers from Costco!)
- Chips – tortilla, veggie, or regular potato chips (everything in moderation 🙂 )
- Graham crackers or Teddy Grahams
- Veggies straws
- Puff snacks like Pirate's Booty
- Popcorn (note: popcorn is not recommended for children under age 5 because it is a choking hazard)
Since small portions of each item are being served, it is totally okay to include some treat items in your muffin tin snack tray. I've found that when I serve my kids a little bit of treat along with their meals (or snack tray), they're so much less likely to fixate on “dessert” and more likely to eat a variety of what feels good for their body.
Now, they're kids so they will probably eat the treat first and that's okay! They'll almost definitely eat the veggies second.
- Dark chocolate chips
- Mini cookies
- Chocolate or yogurt covered raisins or pretzels
- Mini marshmallows
- Cereal (maybe the more fun cereals you try to skip at breakfast time)
- Fruit snacks
Tips & Tricks for Muffin Tin Snacks
My biggest piece of advice for making a snack tray with your muffin tins is to relax! I want this to be a relief for you and your kids – so keep your expectations low and spirits high. They might not eat everything and that's okay – you fed them, you offered balance, and they'll eat what they can handle.
If you can, prep your muffin tin ahead of time so you can pull it out like a tool in your mom tool belt. Find an extra pocket of 5 minutes to toss your snacks in and pull it out of the fridge when it works for you. Another option is to have your kids help you pick the fillers. Maybe assign each kids a category and have each grab two items, or decide together what sounds like a fun mix in the moment.