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Expert Healthy Snack Platter Ideas from a Dietitian

June 4, 2024
Courtesy of Healthy Family Project

Who doesn’t love a snack platter? Especially one that looks appetizing, and is so chock-full of healthy and delicious items, you hardly know where to grab first. We asked registered dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth — who literally wrote the book on this subject, Everyday Snack Tray — to share her tips and insights so you can build the tastiest, most fun, and good-for-you snack platters ever.

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Why make a snack tray?

Of course they’re great for entertaining, but done right, snack platters also can stand in for meals, and can make fun family events feel even more special, notes Largeman-Roth, who is also a mom of three kids. “There are so many reasons and occasions to make a snack tray,” she says. “When you have a bunch of fresh, seasonal produce and you don’t feel like cooking, make a snack tray. Or if you have a bunch of leftovers and need a new way to present them to your family, make a snack tray. Or if your kids have said no to the food you’ve been offering them all week and you’re at your wits’ end, make a snack tray. 

“And, of course, snack plates are just fun to make,” she adds. “I love creating them to celebrate occasions like a favorite TV series returning, a family event such as my kids heading off to camp, or just the start of a new season.”

You asked: What to put on a snack platter?

“I include an assortment of fruit, veggies, protein, and grains on my snack trays,” Largeman-Roth says. “And in terms of textures and flavors, it’s always nice to have something crunchy, something creamy, something sweet, and also a savory element.”

For example, within each category:

  • Fruit: Berries, grapes, sliced pears, or dried or freeze-dried fruit
  • Vegetables: Carrot and celery stick, sliced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, pickles
  • Protein: Jerky, cubed cheese, cured meat, hummus, nuts
  • Grains: Popcorn, whole-grain crackers

The visual presentation matters, too. “I also like to make different levels, such as small bite-sized items, as well as tall items that you can put in a jar,” she adds.

Related: 10 Healthy Salty Snacks You Can Find on Amazon

What makes a snack platter healthy?

“I think about this the same way that I think about putting any snack together,” Largeman-Roth says. “I always try to include protein, healthy fat, and fiber. The way this might play out on a snack tray could be Jarcuterie filled with salami, grapes, cherry tomatoes, and manchego cheese.”

A snack platter is also a good way to get kids to try different things. “It’s such a fantastic and low-stress way to introduce them to new foods,” Largeman-Roth says. “Examples include dragon fruit, snap peas, various types of cheese, and new takes on foods they’re familiar with, such as blueberry salsa.”

Related: 14 Healthy Road Trip Snacks, According to Dietitians

Presenting your platters

What you use to serve your snack tray matters, too. You can include trays, plates, ramekins, jars, and other containers you have around your kitchen — it’s a good excuse to search the far reaches of your cabinets to find items you haven’t used for a while.

Alternatively, you can invest in a few items specific to snack platters. Here are a few options:

1. Three-tier serving tray

Three-tier serving tray


This three-tiered stand has attractive wooden trays set on three collapsible metal racks. Place food directly on the trays, or use them to hold ramekins or other small dishes.

Buy it: Three-tier serving tray

2. Malacasa large serving platter set

Ceramic serving trays


We love the wavy design of these porcelain serving trays. Use one, two, or all three, depending on how seriously you’re snacking.

Buy it: Malacasa large serving platter set


3. French Bull Melamine rectangular platter

Colorful serving tray


If a colorful platter is more your style, grab one of these, which come in 11 patterns and three sizes. Plus, they’re made from melamine, so they’re scratch- and shatter-resistant, and dishwasher safe.

Buy it: French Bull Melamine rectangular platter

Disclaimer: We only recommend products we seriously love and want to share. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which includes affiliate links.

Read next: 10 Surprisingly Tasty High-Protein Snacks from the Grocery Store

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