Getting kids to try, eat, and love vegetables can be a challenge, especially when they’re finicky about the foods that cross their lips. But when children are allowed to play with their food, it’s amazing what they’ll happily eat.
I work with a program called Kids Cooking Green, and recently, we teamed up with Whole Foods Market in Charlestown, MA to cook up two delicious dips and sample a rainbow of vegetables with a group of elementary school kids. The photos tell the story: Every child was eager to help make the dips, try different veggies, and fill their “take out” plates to the point where they were pretty much overflowing. (That’s Kids Cooking Green teacher, Rosie Wall, helping a student whisk ingredients together for a Greek yogurt dip.)
This little guy was pretty psyched about his red bell peppers!
On this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, we dish about Kids Cooking Green, share recipes for White Bean & Roasted Garlic Dip and Liza’s Delicious Dipping Sauce (read on for the recipe), and serve up creative tips for getting kids to eat more vegetables.
With a gorgeous array of colors, flavors, and textures, it’s easy to see why the kids at our vegetable class found plenty of options to choose from.
Serve dips with veggies that your kids already love, and then toss in a few new ones to expand their repertoire.
Liza’s Delicious Dipping Sauce
This recipe was created by Liza Connolly, co-founder of Kids Cooking Green. I adapted it a bit at home, but according to Liza, it’s a good idea to taste your dip as you go so you can adjust the ingredients and seasonings. As she says: “Add ingredients little by little to get it just right. If you add too much, though, you can not take it away. So taste as you go.”
- One 7-ounce container low-fat plain Greek yogurt (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Take a veggie, dip in the dressing, and taste. Adjust seasoning. Serve in a bowl and surround with sliced vegetables.
Posing with kids and staff from the John F. Kennedy Family Services Center in Charlestown, MA and Whole Foods Market volunteers.
In 2007, Lori Deliso and Liza Connolly, two Lexington, MA moms concerned about the lack of “real” foods in kids’ diets and the desire to teach children about the benefits of eating locally and sustainably, cooked up a five week after-school program called, Kids Cooking Green. I joined the team along with two other dietitians [more]
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