Have you ever watched a little kid at a party where there's salsa and chips? Or cheese dip? Moths to a flame. Something about plunging a pretzel into a communal bowl (usually several times—kids are terrible double dippers) is irresistible. Why not give them a whole bowl of nothing but dip for lunch? These can all totally be a full meal; they're nutritious, and a few even have sneaky ingredients in there that your children might not eat otherwise.
Note for adults: Isn't there something kind of decadent about eating an entire bowl of dip on your own? No jockeying for pita chip position. No sharing. We love this kind of lunch, eaten with a variety of dippers (carrots... crackers... fingers...).
• 1. Creamy Artichoke Dip, from Everyday Food. Accessible artichokes, which can be intimidating to young kids but have great flavor. This dip is served room temperature, not hot (like most artichoke dips), so it could go in a lunchbox. Plus, there are anchovies whipped in here!
• 2. Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip, from Two Peas & Their Pod. Incredibly healthy, with greek yogurt, avocado, and cilantro.
• 3. Edamame Hummus, from Babble's Family Kitchen. We make a version of this often; it's high in protein and tastes so, so good with baby carrots.
• 4. White Bean Dip with Broccoli Trees, from Gourmet. Just a reminder that your dippers don't have to be chips. And this white bean dip has silken tofu in it to make it extra creamy and filling.
• 5. Broccoli Dip, from Real Simple. The binder in this dip? Cottage cheese! So easy and good for you.
What dips do you serve to your kids?
Related: How to Make Hummus
(Images: MarthaStewart.com; Maria/Two Peas & Their Pod; Brooke McLay; Ditte Isager; Kana Okada)