Trying to help your picky eater explore new foods? This clever trick solves the problem of kids who refuse to dunk raw veggies in veggie dip.
If you've got a picky eater who's hesitant to try new veggies, this is a unique tip for coaxing them to try a taste:
Instead of making a delicious dip and coaxing them to dunk their veggies in it, put the veggies IN the dip and let them dunk a chip.
Why Does This Veggie Trick Work?
When I was little I detested onions. I didn't like their flavor, their texture, their smell. Then I went off to college and during a night out with friends, they pressured me into trying onion rings.
Because of the fat-laden, deep fried, and extremely tasty onion rings, I eventually outgrew my loathing of onions.
Now I eat them every chance I get: sautéed, grilled, caramelized, and even raw.
Were those onion rings healthy for me? Absolutely not. But by turning the veggie into a treat and making it as delicious as possible, I was finally willing to test them out.
The Big Mistake Parents Make:
So often I see recipes for healthy dips for kids to enjoy with their raw veggies. I've tried many of those recipes myself thinking:
"If the dip is tasty enough, maybe they'll enjoy this raw broccoli."
This tactic simply does not work for us. My kids see that big plate of suspicious veggies and then an even more suspicious bowl of dip with hidden ingredients and they run away screaming.
This week I had an epiphany. I've been approaching this challenge completely wrong.
It's not about hiding the raw veggie under the dip,
it's about hiding that veggie inside the dip and enticing them another way.
Did It Work On My Kids?
A few nights ago I made my all-time favorite chicken gyros. I always use the leftover tzatziki as a dip for days but no one else will touch it!
This week I was out of my favorite raw veggie dippers but I did have a bag of potato chips, a very rare treat in this home.
Little Pea saw me with that plate of potato chips and came RUNNING. "Chips! CHIPS!" A lightbulb moment if ever there was one.
"You can have some chips, but not without this dip."
She took one look and pulled away but the siren call of that potato chip had her think twice and return. She hesitatingly took that first bite and then managed to devour the rest of my snack, fairly large bowl of tzatziki and all.
So my little carbo queen who has been on a "nothing but pretzels" diet for weeks managed to eat a nice bowl of greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, and lemon. By the end she was squealing, "Yummy, Dip!"
Now I'm on a roll. I'll be fixing up veggie laden dips like there is no tomorrow. The serving method may not always be potato chips, I'm going to be looking for healthy crackers, pretzels, and tortilla chips to mix things up but that is going to be the key to success: the dipper needs to be crunchy, salty, and carby for this plan to work.
Recipes That Put the Veggies IN the Dip:
How do you learn to enjoy a new food? Do you just dig right in or do you need a bit of coaxing like we seem to? Any dips you'd like to add to my list?