I headed over to the home of Christine Zanchi and Fran Nostrame, the parents of 4-year-old twins, Andrew, described as the picky eater (but getting less so) and Nathaniel. Here’s what I brought: baby carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower and celery sticks. Dips included Parmesan Yogurt Dip, Tzatsiki, Lemony Hummus, Salsa, White Bean Humus, and Whipped Feta with Roasted Red Pepper.
“It makes vegetables fun,” Dr. David Ludwig counsels, “and allows the kids to have choices, within parental guidelines. A triple win.”
If you want to do this at home:
- It’s not important that you – or your kids – make the dips from scratch but it certainly ups the ante. It’s a good idea to offer a few that you know they’ll like.
- Choose 3-5 vegetables that are good either raw or lightly steamed. You can choose or take the kids to the store or farmers market to help.
- Involve the kids as much as possible; let them take the vegetables out of bags, or divide big vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli into florets. Have a container nearby for scraps.
- Have the kids put out the vegetables in bowls or on plates.
- Put out the dips in small bowls or containers. If you use store-bought dips, let them take the lids off and set them aside.
- Give them each a plate and let them go. If they like a vegetable, suggest they dip it in an unfamiliar dip. Similarly, if they like a dip, suggest they use an unfamiliar vegetable as the dipper. Combining beloved with less so is a winning formula!
This is part of “The Picky Eater Project” series on New York Times Motherlode Blog. Check it out every Wednesday as we document what happens.