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My Secret for Getting Kids to Eat Fruits & Vegetables

My Secret for Getting Kids to Eat Fruits & Vegetables

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Okay, so it isn’t REALLY a secret. Kids like to dip things, usually in massive amounts of ketchup. So, I let my kids use ketchup sometimes. Other times I offer different fun and healthy dips that are actually nutritious too!  I also encourage my kids to investigate their food, which means lots of playing. Combining a yummy dip with new foods is my “secret sauce” to getting your child to have more fruit & vegetable exposures. 

apples with a yogurt based dip

Protein Dip Recipes & Pairings

The way I see it, if my kids are only going to eat the dip, then let’s make it packed full of nutrients. That way, I don’t have to stress it. These are some of my favorite protein packed dip recipes and I am sharing them with you! Pair them with these suggestions, or whatever you think will taste good to your child (even if that means some weird random combination. Hey whatever gets them trying, right?). If you want more ideas, you can find a great veggie exposure shopping list here

NOTES: You can use regular yogurt or Greek yogurt. Greek has more protein if that’s what you need. Adjust all spices to taste. For kids under 1 use maple syrup instead of honey.

Six yogurt dips with fruit & veggies


Pair with: Carrots & Celery

Note: Raw veggies are safe for kids 4+. Younger kids can eat them shredded or cut into matchsticks.

  • 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Trader Joe’s Onion Salt

Cumin Taco

Pair with: Cherry Tomatoes & Broccoli

  • 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt⁣
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cumin powder⁣
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder ⁣⠀
  • Dash of salt⁣⠀

Cinnamon Vanilla Swirl⁣⠀

Pair with: Apples & Sweet Potatoes

  • 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt⁣⠀
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon⁣⠀
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract⁣⠀
  • 1 tsp honey⁣⠀

Honey Vanilla⠀

Pair with: Pineapple & Bananas

  • 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt⁣⠀
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract⁣⠀
  • 1 tsp honey⁣⠀

Chocolate Yogurt ⁣⠀

Paired with: Strawberries & Blueberries

  • 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt⁣⠀
  • 1 – 1.5 tsp cacao powder⁣⠀
  • 1/2 Tbs honey⁣⠀

Easy Tzatzikish

Pair With: Cucumber & Cabbage

  • 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt⁣⠀
  • 1/4 cup shredded cucumber⁣⠀
  • 1 tsp diced red onion⁣⠀
  • 2 dashes of salt⁣⠀
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill⁣⠀

If you can’t find a dip here that will inspire your child to try a new food, I also put together a list of the most filling dips you can serve that may work better for your family. 

Six colored cups filled with different dips arranged in a circle

Lunchbox Tip: Make this dip in advance and serve leftovers in a lunchbox. You can use a fun dip container like this.

Every fruit & veggie exposure counts. Every. Single. One. My kids almost always taste the food they are dipping. Plus, you get a mom point for every veggie you serve. Even if all they do is lick off the dip, they are still having an interaction with a new food and that means you even get bonus points!

Have a child that isn’t into dips? I have over 60 meal & snack recipes that I make for my family and for the first time ever I’ve made them available to you! Check out the Real Easy Weekdays family meal system here!

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Michelle

    This is so minimally related, but I’m looking for help on cold veggies (so packed lunch veggies) to serve my 15-month old who has some molars but can’t eat like peppers or carrots (though I do slice peppers super duper thin mostly for exposure; she doesn’t typically eat them). Right now we’re stuck in a rut of cucumbers and shredded kale (which she does actually eat with a dressing!). She loves roasted squash/sweet potato but only if they’re hot. Any thoughts? Her 3 yo sister will definitely eat the veggies with a dip so she’s easy to pack for!

    1. Jennifer Rollins

      What about roasting the carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower, and serving room temperature? My kids used to love that. My kids also liked pickled asparagus, but I’m not sure that it has any nutritional value, but it still made me feel like they were getting a veggie. Otherwise, l usually load their lunches up with fruits and tackle veggies at home over dinner and snacks. 🙂

  2. Emilie

    Great ideas! I recently tried Sweet potatoes roasted in thick chips, with a yogurt cinnamon dipping sauce. I was thrilled that it was a hit!

  3. Emile

    Oven roasted, in thick rounds, similar to chips*

  4. Orla Hyland

    Our picky eater doubt eat dips or sauces at all. Plain dry food is the preference. I’ll keep offering.

    1. Erin

      My 2 yr is the same. No matter how I expose her, use food picks or fun shapes, I can’t get her to eat a veggie or any kind of meat.

      1. Erin

        Same with my 3 year old. Nothing works. Literally nothing.

    2. Diane

      My 21 month old loves canned sliced carrots cold or room temperature. She will also eat cold peas mixed with roasted red pepper hummus (but is reluctant with peas on their own).

  5. Amy

    I wish I could get my kiddo to eat dips! I think she’d try so many more foods this way! But she refuses all dips AND almost all fruits and definitely all veggies. Even with exposures and the cookie cutters and the fun picks it is a solid refusal all the time. ?

  6. Shalise

    Thank you Jennifer! These all sound so great and I really appreciate the suggestions for what to pair with each dip, the less I overthink something the better! I’m excited to try the cinnamon swirl!

  7. Heather Schrader

    My toddler is curious about dipping but then refuses to eat whatever has been dipped. Any suggestions beyond “just keep exposing”?

  8. Ellie

    Curious on different suggestions to do this for children that dislike may and all dips.

  9. Ellie

    Curious on different suggestions to do this for children that dislike all dips.

  10. Kristy O'Donnell

    How long will you dips last in the fridge?

  11. Rebecca

    My kid doesn’t like to dip anything! Not even ketchup! And will only eat single ingredient foods so I can’t “hide” veggies. it’s a fight to eat them every night! My son is 3.5, any suggestions?

  12. Heather

    Id love some ideas of getting protein and fats into a diet without milk products. My little one is dairy sensitive. And so far i have not been able to hid eggs in anything without her noticing! Luckily she does eat avocado and meats. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    1. Nicole

      Does French toast count? My son has refused eggs every time except once but when I started making French toast he liked it for awhile…

    2. Siara Mims

      Hi Heather! What other sources have you tried at this point?

      Beans/legumes, nuts, and all varieties of tofu (pan-searing it, breading it, cubed cold, or adding silken to a smoothie!)

      Coconut oil for healthy fat – add to smoothies, cook/bake with, add to a dip. And definitely continue with avocados! Nondairy “cheeses” have been a tremendous help as well. Many of them melt nicely.

      I usually give my toddler 2-3tbsp coconutmilk yogurt w hemp granola, 1tbsp on peanut butter, 1-2 diced fresh fruits for breakfast. She is a huge fan of BBQ sauce.

  13. Kelly

    I was so excited to give these a shot. Started with the chocolate dip, which they spit out and said “it doesn’t taste like chocolate, it tastes like yogurt.” Of course, they prefer the regular sweet stuff over the healthy substitute. 🙁 Hoping to have better luck with the savory options.

  14. Gloria

    I like these yogurt dip Ideas. I was worried about my 7.5 month old because he seems to only eat yogurt. He’ll eat the gerber puffs but that’s it. So i think this will be so helpful for other ideas for him. Maybe if you know anything else I can try. I’ve tried mashed potatoes and baby food.

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