Roxanne Moore from the Sodexo corporation is working with a young assistant named Emily, and they are working together to demonstrate some fun recipes.
She starts by asking Emily a question: “Do you have any idea how many servings of fruits and vegetables kids your age should be eating every day?”
Emily guessed two helpings of vegetables and two helpings of fruit. Moore said it was a great guess, but said that kids Emily’s age should be eating between two to three cups’ worth of vegetables every day, and about half a cup to two cups’ worth of fruits every day.
Making it easier for kids to eat
Moore is convinced that making food fun will encourage kids to eat more of the right foods—in other words, those multiple servings of fruits and vegetables. She understands that it’s overwhelming for kids to eat a lot of foods they don’t necessarily like, and she knows that parents need some help to encourage their kids to eat them. In fact, she says that it’s easy if you come up with creative ways to eat them. One thing that Moore suggests is to make a dip for both the fruits and the vegetables. It adds taste and excitement to foods that can be otherwise bland.
White bean dip
She proceeds to demonstrate what she’s talking about. Emily starts the demonstration by showing how to make a spicy white bean dip. She has a blender and she’s putting the following ingredients into it: minced garlic, one can of cannellini beans, one-quarter of a cup of water, one tablespoon of canola oil, one-quarter of a teaspoon of salt, and one-half of a teaspoon of ground black pepper. She adds just a pinch of cayenne pepper to really perk it up. Cover the blender and blend the mixture until it’s completely smooth. If your blender has really sharp blades (especially if your child is making the dip), use a spoon to take the dip out. Put it into a dish and top it off with some parsley. Put the dish on top of a plate filled with raw vegetables and whole-wheat crackers. This will get your child eating their vegetables!
Fruit yogurt dip
Another very easy dip that will keep your child eating fruit is a fruit yogurt dip. Take one cup of nonfat plain yogurt or nonfat vanilla yogurt. Mix in one tablespoon of honey and a quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon. That’s all! It’s the easiest dip imaginable and kids will love making it—and eating it. You can serve it as a dip with any fruits that you happen to have or that happen to be in season. Moore likes to use kiwis, bananas, or strawberries.
Moore understands that most kids don’t like to eat fruits and vegetables, and she says that making something else (like a dip) the center of attention will make the food you want them to eat feel ancillary… and actually a lot of fun!