Healthy Snacking: Whip Up a Dip

 
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Getting kids to eat the recommended minimum of five fruits and vegetables a day can be a challenge for parents. The key is to make the fruits and veggies appealing to them, but how?

Some nutrition experts have observed that children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables that are cut up, rather than eating them whole. After cutting up your produce, why not offer a dip to make the experience more enticing and fun? Whipping up your own dip is easy, and having kids help will make them even more likely to snack on fruits and vegetables.

Some commercial salad dressings and dips have ingredients that you may not want your children eating on a regular basis. To avoid additives, extra sugar, and other unnecessary ingredients, whip up your own dip using basic ingredients that are chock-full of nutrients. To start, build your own dip using white beans (i.e. cannellini or Great Northern beans) as a base. They provide lots of additional fiber and protein. Plain Greek yogurt is a phenomenal base too — it adds tons of added protein and calcium.

Want to create your own dip at home? Follow this simple recipe and fill in the blanks with your family’s favorites:

  • 1 can white beans, rinsed, or 1 and ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup nut butter
  • 2 teaspoons sweetener or flavoring agent
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon fresh herbs or spices

For a smooth dip, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and whirr until creamy. For a chunkier option, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. Serve the dip with sliced apples, pears, carrots, celery, cucumbers, squash, pineapple, bananas, or grape tomatoes.

Not ready to create your own? Here are two recipes to try at home:

Nutty Yogurt Dip

  • 1 and ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¾ teaspoons cinnamon

Whirled Up White Dip

  • 1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup sunflower seed butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

By Beth Rosen, MS, RD, CDN

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