Toddler Eats | Dip It!

This week I’m diving head first into the facts, figures, and tricks of feeding a toddler. Not to mention quite a few ideas of what to feed those little sweethearts. I hope you’ll join me for all the installments of TODDLER EATS!
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If I’ve learned anything from Jemma’s first year as a toddler I’ve learned that making meals fun is crucial to my success as a cook and her success with a balanced meal. Early this year I learned that dip, affectionately screamed “DEEEEEE” in our house, was a really big deal. Like, really big.

Dip has become the closer in many meals gone awry. Don’t like your meatloaf? How about a mini bowl of our favorite organic ketchup* on the side? Not feeling the crockpot beans? Why not turn them into dip with a side of corn chips? I mean, let’s face it, I like dip with my meals too. Whether it be homemade raspberry jam with a Monte Cristo sandwich or a ramekin of ranch alongside my fries, dip truly makes many meals better!
Here are some of our favorite, toddler-approved dip combos …
  • Fruit dipped in yogurt
  • Chips dipped in beans
  • Toast dipped in a honey/coconut oil spread
  • Carrots or crackers dipped in hummus
  • Apples dipped in almond butter
  • Chicken strips dipped in marinara sauce
  • Broccoli dipped in cheese sauce
  • Pizza bites and alfredo
  • Enchiladas with smooth avocado or sour cream
  • Baked veggie fries (Jemma has a potato intolerance so instead of baking regular fries I slice parsnips and ruttebegas into sticks and bake those) dipped in ranch or ketchup  
  • Celery dipped in peanut butter, then raisins
  • Breadsticks dipped in risotto
  • Potstickers dipped in soy sauce
  • Tofu bites dipped in curry sauce
  • Salad with dressing
What dip combinations have you and your toddler enjoyed?
A few other thoughts on dips …
Dips Can Lead to New Food Exploration
Many times, dipping is the avenue I take to help Jemma try new things. She’ll dip her first few bites – like with the breadstick and risotto, and then start eating the dip (which is actually the meal), with her silverware. Dipping just makes it more fun!
Dips are Everywhere
When preparing meals I’m always mindful of how the dish can be separated to create a dip. For example, with a pasta meal I’ll arrange Jemma’s tri-plate with plain pasta in one section, veggies or meat in another, and the pasta sauce in the third rather than tossing it all together like I do for the rest of those eating.
Dip Ingredients
Dips can be full of unhealthy calories and preservatives, so be conscientious of what dips your child is regularly eating. I make many of my own and when buying them I’m always in tune with the ingredient list – the simpler, the better!
With all that said, serve yourself up some DEE! You’ll help your little ones spice up their meals and gain ample practice with hand/eye coordination!
*My mom discovered the most amazing ketchup at McMenamins (Washington/Oregon restaurant for those not in the area). We haven’t seen it in stores yet, but if you ask, Mcmenamins will sell you a bottle from the restaurant. It’s called Natural Ketchup made by Portland Ketchup Company and you can pronounce all the ingredients :)
… Oh so many ways to follow along …
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  1. Samantha says

    Dip was one of my daughters first words! She even has to say 'Dip dip' as she's 'dip dipping' something into her 'dip'. She dips anything into anything – she had bananas dipped in mayonnaise once! Also, we don't say 'ketchup' in our house – it's also just 'dip!'. :)

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