So, how's your Summer Veg Out going? Now that the veggies are easy-access and the fruit smoothies are flowing, I bet your kids are chowing down like never before!
No? If the kids still aren't biting (or even if they are), how about taking their fruits and vegetables for a dip? Kids love dipping their food into other food (just consider that popular little vehicle for ketchup, the french fry).
Little cups of dip liven things up and can even be a great way to add protein and healthy fat to a child's diet. Here are just a few of our favorites...
1. First off, it's hard to go wrong with good ol' hummus (pictured here with a zucchini chip). Hummus is a classic, but you can also branch out and make bean dip out of any beans or legumes you like. We especially love the "cheesy" bean dips in Ultimate Uncheese,the ranch-flavored bean dip in Vegan Lunch Box, and spicy canned refried beans.
2. The crazy-looking carrot dip pictured here is one of my very favorite things EVER. I put it on green salads, beans and rice, steamed vegetables, raw tomatoes...pretty much everything except my morning oatmeal. It's a spoonful of Yumm! Sauce mixed with picante salsa. We're talking eyes-rolling-back-in-the-head good. Yumm! on its own is to-die-for, of course, but I totally love the extra bite of spicy picante mixed in, and the fact that mixing it like this cuts the fat down quite a bit. If you don't have any Yumm!, picante salsa mixed with mashed avocado would also be excellent.
3. Another high-protein dip that I particularly like on celery is Toby's Classic Lemon Dill Tofu Paté. It tastes a lot like egg salad! Be careful when shopping for Toby's, though, as only the Lemon Dill -- aka Lite Eggless -- paté is vegan.
4. Nut butters like this almond butter make a great dip for apple slices, bananas, and baby carrots (and -- let's be honest -- your finger, a spoon...). Nut and seed butters are high in protein and the healthy fats that are so crucial for growing bodies.
5. This summer my four-year-old niece taught me that even applesauce can be a fun dip! She dipped sugar snap peas, apple slices, and baby carrots into applesauce the last time she was here and crunched away. Such a simple way to make veggies a little more interesting and fun!
How about it: what are your favorite dips?