Most kids enjoy cheese — the vast number of string cheeses, cheese crackers, and mac and cheese marketed towards kids is evidence of this fact. Building a kid-friendly cheese plate is a lot less about choosing the right cheese and all about how to serve the cheese and take advantage of the opportunity to get the kids to eat a few fruits or vegetables too. Here are three simple tips for building a kid-friendly cheese plate.
Choose Kid-Friendly Cheeses
"Kid-friendly" cheeses is something of a misnomer, because by and large all cheese is kid-friendly. For a cheese plate, the goal is to introduce a wider variety of cheeses to kids and include those that adults will also enjoy. For example, if your kids love mild cheddar, try adding a sharp, aged, or goat's milk cheddar to the cheese plate. Upgrade from Monterey Jack to aged Gouda, or introduce your cream cheese-lover to a mild goat cheese.
While I don't always include a flavored cheese on a more adult cheese plate, a kid-friendly cheese plate is a really fun place to include it. One of our favorites is the pesto Gouda from Trader Joe's, which gets bonus points for its delightful bright green hue.
Make It Bite-Sized
By now, we are all accustomed to seeing large chunks of cheese paired with a beautiful cheese knife on elaborate cheese boards — and that is exactly the thing you want to avoid when sharing a cheese plate with kids. Make sure to cut every cheese into bite-sized pieces to avoid having your 5-year-old chomp down on the whole wedge of Gouda. I love mini servings of brie and goat cheese (another Trader Joe's find) for this same reason.
More cheese advice: Five Tips for Flawless, Fabulous Cheese Plate Construction
Load It Up with Fruits and Vegetables
I am always trying to get more fruits and vegetables onto my kids' plates. A cheese plate somehow weakens their defenses against green vegetables by its causal nature, so I take the opportunity to fill a kid-friendly cheese plate out with carrots sticks, sweet snap peas, apple slices, grapes, and even a bowl of hummus or cooked chickpeas. Yes, they dive headfirst into the cheese, but as we graze they also pick up the fruits and vegetables. This turns the cheese plate into a full meal some nights.