Kids have taught me that dips make food more appealing. A plate of plain broccoli gets the cold shoulder from most kids (and adults), but add a creamy dip and the broccoli will be eaten in no time.
Well…sometimes the vegetable(s) may be licked and double dipped, but that’s another issue! Dips encourage both kids and adults to eat more vegetables. Colourful flavour-packed dips can also renew our interest in otherwise familiar foods like carrots, peppers, cucumber and celery.
The secret to healthy dipping is choosing a nutritious dip. Greek yogurt is high in protein and calcium (and Vitamin D in some brands). Greek yogurt with 2% milk fat (MF) or less is a healthy replacement for dips based on mayonnaise or salad dressing that are typically higher in fat and lacking other nutrients.
Greek style yogurt makes offering healthy dips simple. The thick smooth texture makes it an easy substitution for mayonnaise or sour cream and its rich tangy taste is a perfect base for whatever flavours you want to add.
Here are some healthy yogurt dips that are delicious for kids and everyone else:
Mix the ingredients below with about 1 cup of Greek yogurt (2% MF or less)
- Roasted Red Pepper – 2 diced roasted red peppers; 1-2 tbsp lemon juice; 1 clove minced garlic; 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint; 1 tbsp olive oil; salt and pepper to taste.
- Curry – ½ tsp (or more to taste) of any curry paste; 1-2 chopped green onions.
- Tzatziki – 1 cucumber, grated (after grating, squeeze the liquid out so the cucumber isn’t watery); 1 clove minced garlic; 1 tbsp fresh parsley, mint or dill (or use all 3); 1-2 tbsp lemon juice; salt and pepper to taste.
- Creamy Avocado – 1 mashed avocado; 1-2 tbsp lime juice; 1 clove minced garlic; 2 tbsp chopped cilantro; salt and pepper to taste.
- Buffalo – ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese; 2 tbsp chopped parsley or chives; hot sauce to taste.
- Greek Spinach – 1 package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to get rid of the moisture; ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese; 1 clove minced garlic; 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill.
Remember: It’s ok if your kids treat the vegetables as a vehicle to get dip into their mouths. The health benefits of the yogurt and the experience of getting up close and personal with the veggies is a positive step.