Dips Get Kids to Eat More Vegetables

This is definitely not new news to any of us moms, but according to a new study in the Journal the American Dietetic Association, researchers have proved that dips, do indeed get kids to eat vegetables. In the study, pre-schoolers with an aversion to bitter foods like broccoli were served the vegetables twice weekly at snack time, sometimes with dip and sometimes plain. Kids who were most adverse to bitter vegetables consumed 80 percent more of the vegetables with the dip.

The research didn’t mention any outcome based on the repeated exposures to the food, but this factor more than others (even dip) is often key to getting kids to eat healthier foods and getting past the “picky.” The kids who already liked broccoli, however, were not swayed by dip — they continued to eat the same amounts as before.

The researchers did try different dips such as hummus and other dressings, not just ranch. All dips were successful in getting kids to eat more vegetables. This is great news if you’ve read the ingredients on a bottle of ranch dressing lately. HFCS, anyone? Here’s a dip recipe from our book The Cleaner Plate Club that actually ups the veggie serving by using lima beans in the hummus.

Yes, lima beans. But they taste good this way! Really.

Lima Bean Hummus

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1 (16-ounce) package frozen lima beans

2 garlic cloves

{1/2} teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

{1/3}–{1/2} cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pita bread or other bread wedges

1. Bring the vegetable broth and frozen lima beans to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the lima beans are soft.

2. Peel the garlic cloves. Put the bean mixture, garlic cloves, salt, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor. Pulse until it is a nice purée.

3. Add the olive oil with processor running until the hummus is the desired texture. Serve with veggies!

Makes about 2 cups.

Recipe courtesy of The Cleaner Plate Club by Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin, Storey Publishing.

This entry was posted in By Beth, Kids today, and what they're eatin'., Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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