When all else fails, turn to the dip. That’s what my Registered Dietitian of a neighbor preaches when I moan and groan about my kids’ fruit-deprived diet. Fruit dips? Really? Is this what we’ve come to?
My kids’ idea of a fruit dip is powdered sugar, chocolate or caramel sauce, but apparently these are not on Mrs. Nutrition’s RD dip list. She brought a few better options for fruits and veggies, along with tons of trail mix ideas, to what’s become her annual “Healthy Eating” seminar for my daughter’s class. Thought I’d share here in case you have the time, need or inclination to whip up a dip …
(the kids ate them all, by the way)
PEANUT BUTTER & CINNAMON GREEK YOGURT DIP
- 1 1/4 cups fat free Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (two large dashes)
Mix all ingredients in a food processor or whisk together briskly.
NUTELLA & GREEK YOGURT DIP
- 1 1/4 cups fat free Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp Nutella or other hazelnut chocolate spread
Mix and dip with your favorite fruit.
VEGGIE RANCH DIP
- 1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix or Hidden Valley Ranch Garden Herb
- 1 container (8 oz.) nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup light buttermilk
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; chill for an hour.
Note: I did not use the whole package of the dry mix. I added until I got the right flavor
for my taste, which was about half of the packet.
Makes around 3 cups
Mix ‘n’ Match The Ingredients
- These pint-sized nutritional dynamos are loaded with healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
- Whether they’re raw or roasted, go for unsalted, unsweetened nuts to keep sugar and sodium under control.
- Our healthy favorites: Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Higher-calorie macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pine nuts are also good options in moderation.
- For those with nut allergies (or just looking to mix things up), seeds provide many of the same nutritional benefits as nuts. Hemp seeds, for example, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, gamma linolenic acid, protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
- Sprinkle a handful of pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, or hemp seeds in trail mix for an extra boost of nutrients.
- This sugary treat can easily become a dangerfood, so pay attention to the ingredient list and serving sizes. In moderation, dried fruit can be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
- Look for dried fruit options with as little added sugar and preservatives as possible (some varieties, like cranberries, are naturally quite tart and almost always sweetened with cane sugar or apple juice). It’s also pretty easy to make your own dried fruit at home in the oven.
- Our Favorites: Dried apples, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana chips, figs, pineapple chunks, mango, and dates.
- Add some complex carbohydrates to your custom blend for extra fiber, which boosts overall energy and helps to keep you full .
- Choose whole grains whenever possible and avoid highly processed cereals that add unnecessary sugar and sodium.
- Shredded wheat cereal, pretzels, whole-grain cereals like Cheerios or Chex, bran flakes, whole-wheat crackers, granola, toasted oats, puffed rice cereal, and air-popped popcorn can all add a little bit of crunch.
- Sometimes we all need a little something sweet to round out the mix. Just remember to add treat-like options sparingly (unless you’re making dessert instead of a snack).
- Add a sprinkling of M&Ms, chips of various kinds (chocolate, peanut butter, carob, butterscotch), cacao nibs, yogurt-covered raisins, chocolate-covered coffee beans, mini marshmallows, or chocolate-covered nuts. When going the chocolate route, choose dark varieties for extra antioxidants.