August 5, 2014
Oh, school lunch. It starts out fun enough: picking out new lunch boxes, buying cute lunch box gear, and collecting fun school lunch ideas. But it gets old fast, right? A few weeks in, I know it can be hard to muster up the wherewithal to pack anything more than a PB&J and bag of popcorn. I’m here to help with a brand new series of school lunch videos to give you fresh ideas that will make packing—and eating!—school lunch easy and way more fun. First up are healthy dip recipes that are perfect for packing in a lunch box.
One of the easiest ways to get stuck in a school lunch rut is to get stuck thinking strictly about sandwiches. Sandwiches day in and sandwiches day out make for a very boring school year. Believe me: I know because I’ve been there. One of my boys spent an entire school year refusing leftovers which left, well, sandwiches. That is, until I got sick of it and started thinking beyond the sandwich. Dips were one of the things that saved lunch that year.
Every balanced school lunch is made up of veggies, fruit, protein, carbs and, often, dairy. The sandwich is protein and carbs and sometimes dairy, too. But do you know how else you can get those elements into kiddo’s school lunch? By packing a dip and some sort of carby dipper.
Greek-Style Cucumber Yogurt Dip and pita bread (below). Check!
Red Pepper Hummus with bread sticks and rolled up ham. Check!
Peanut Butter Dip (above) with pita chips, apple wedges and a hunk of cheddar. Check!
You can also just pack a sandwich and use these dips to make eating fruit or veggies more appealing. That works, too.
Watch this vid on healthy dips to see how I make and serve these dips as part of a fun school lunch. Then practice saying it with me: there is more to school lunch than sandwiches.
For more healthy school lunch ideas, check out the related posts below and also my school lunch video playlist on YouTube. There are TONS of ideas there!
Greek-Style Cucumber Yogurt Dip
(Can be shared with kids 6+ mos)
Plain Greek-style yogurt
Cucumber, peeled and finely diced
Fresh lemon juice
Minced fresh garlic (optional)
Olive oil (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients to taste. If you want this to have a smooth texture, use a little less cucumber and consider grating it instead of chopping. If you prefer a chunky texture, use more cucumber.
2. Add lemon juice and salt little by little, tasting all the while, until you achieve desired taste. Same with the garlic if using, but keep in mind that I never use more than 1 small clove to combine with 1 cup of yogurt. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
To make Red Pepper Hummus, simply puree 1-2 whole roasted red peppers, depending on your taste, into any hummus recipe that calls for one 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans. You can also puree the peppers into a pre-made package of hummus.
You can get the recipe for my Peanut Butter Dip here. Yum.