Whether you’re entertaining guests or just fixing a plate to satisfy yourself and family between the demanding schedule of a busy day, snack boards and charcuterie boards are a simple answer to hunger. The preparation requires very little: selecting items and placing them on a board or in a box to go. The trick is to select the right combination of foods that pair well together both nutritionally and delectably.

From a nutrition perspective, you’ll want to aim to include items from four or all of the five good groups, which are grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and dairy. By doing so, you will have included a selection of ingredients that provide fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals making the board itself nutritionally dense while offering up the opportunity to even make it a complete balanced meal with carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The bigger the group you’re serving, the bigger the board and the bigger the selection! Snack boards and charcuterie boards are such a crowd pleaser because of the opportunity to personalize and vary each and every bite, leaving diners feeling satisfied and satiated. Here are some ideas of snack board – friendly foods to incorporate from each food group:






Crackers - all kinds

Bite-size baguette slices



Shortbread Cookies

Graham Crackers

Tortilla Chips

Mini waffles or pancakes

Cut-up pita or Pita Chips

Fresh – grapes, oranges, apples, pears, melon, berries, Figs, Dates


Dried – Apricots, Mango


Freeze Dried -  Mango, strawberries, apple


Applesauce pouches and fruit blends

Pickled - cucumbers, peppers and cauliflower


Raw – Carrots, Celery Sticks, Mini Cucumbers, Sweet Bell Peppers, cherry tomatoes, Jicama, Broccoli, Sugar Snack Peas


Beans – Hummus, Bean Dip, Shelled Edamame

Chicken Sticks

Chicken Strips

Hard Boiled Eggs

Nuts – Peanuts, Pistachios, Almonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Cashews, Macadamia


Seeds -  Pumpkin, Sunflower



Cheese – all kinds, cubed, sliced, spread, non-dairy alternatives


From a taste perspective, certain foods pair better together than others. This piece of the puzzle does not need to be complex. Consider a flavor theme that would work well for the setting, celebration type, or time of year. For example, a salty, briny, savory board will win over dinner guests. A sweet and crunchy board will satisfy as an afterschool snack or can disguise as dessert. A hearty and healthy board highlighting seasonal favorites can be packed up for a tailgate or get together on a cold winter night. The options are endless! Check out some ideas below to get you started and feel free to personalize each selection to make it your own!


Festive Holiday Fun Board

Cranberry Goat Cheese Log

Pomegranate Arils

Smokehouse Chicken Sticks by Ovation Foods

Crostini Rounds

Orange Slices

Graham Crackers



Fresh Rosemary Sprigs


Cinnamon Sticks

Pickled Cauliflower

Jicama Sticks sprinkled with cinnamon

Pumpkin Seeds


Wintertime Char-Cu-To-Go


Rice Crackers

Baked Peach Brie




No Soy Teriyaki Chicken Sticks by Ovation Foods


Sliced Pears

Whole Wheat Baguette Slices

Green Olives

Rainbow baby carrots

Fresh Cut Green beans


Brunchin’ Bites Board

Hard boiled eggs

Lightly Salted Pistachios

Chili Lime Chicken Sticks by Ovation Foods

Mini Toaster Waffles or Pancakes

Mini Bagel Halves

Cream Cheese with chives and lemon zest

Dried Mango Slices


Sliced fresh cucumber and tomato


Ball Game Basics Char-Cu-To-Go

Apple Slices

Sunflower Seeds

Smokehouse Chicken Sticks by Ovation Foods

Peanuts in-shell

Sliced Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Sliced Colby Jack Cheese



Thin Wheat Crackers

Celery and carrot sticks

Hummus Dip


Once your board basics are in place, you’re only two steps away from completion! Be sure to ask all snackers to wash their hands and provide snack plates and napkins for individual use. Keep nearby a bottle of sanitizer, tooth picks and utensils for both serving and eating. Lastly, have fun with garnishes! Twigs and vines of herbs, mini pumpkins, pieces of whole fruit, a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips, separate small dishes, and tiny decorations will bring the whole board together to make it fun and engaging. Now get to it and surprise someone with a nutritious and delicious snack board today!


By Jamie Lee McIntyre MS RDN of JamieLeeRDN.com for Ovation Foods