This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
It only takes 3 ingredients to make this flavorful, healthy treat – perfect for dipping fruit or graham crackers!
Let’s talk lunch. It can be tricky to keep lunchtime fun and exciting, even for adults. But throw an unpredictable preschooler in the mix and it can be a recipe for pure frustration.
Luckily, I’ve found a few things that help keep my 3-year-old interested in eating new, healthy foods.
One thing that we do together is to go to our local Farmers Market. It’s a great way for him to discover new foods, and when he helps pick something out, he’s more excited about eating it. I love that most of the vendors are incredibly knowledgeable about their products, and they can answer his many, many questions.
Seriously, kids ask a lot of questions. It’s good, but sooooo exhausting.
My son loves helping me pick out different items at the market. Sometimes I’ll give him a prompt, like “can you help pick out 2 pieces of fruit?”, and other times I’ll ask him if anything looks interesting to him.
There are a lot of times that we find new (to us) ingredients, and I love discovering those things with him. And he has a great knack for finding things off the beaten path. Yesterday, he chose these Hakurei turnips. It’s a Japanese variety that’s edible from root to greens. I’m looking forward to trying them out!
We also picked up some Mexican gherkins. They look like little watermelons! I’ve seen them before but hadn’t tried them until yesterday. We both really enjoyed them!
Another thing that my son loves to eat is anything that we grow in our small container garden out on the patio.
Yesterday, we had our biggest tomato harvest yet, thanks to him and his little lamb lovey, who helped pick every.single.ripe.tomato.
He loves helping to take care of the garden. Watering and harvesting are his favorite parts by far.
I’ve found that he’ll eat things like rosemary, straight off the branch, just because he grew it. It has helped him be more open to trying those types of ingredients in other recipes. I’ll remind him that an ingredient in a restaurant dish is “just like the rosemary we grow at home in our garden!” and he’s usually happy to give it a try.
Usually. He is still a finicky kid. Ha!
I don’t always pack lunchbox style lunches for him since he’s home with me every day, but he definitely feels like it’s special whenever I do take the time to assemble one.
Sometimes, a spin on a typical lunch component (like a sandwich) keeps lunch more interesting for him. So I like to do things like instead of assembling salami and cheese on bread, I’ll give him a pile of crackers, a few slices of cheese and some salami so he could make his own.
He likes to call these cracker sandwiches “hamburgers”, and I kind of love it. When’s the last time you had a salami hamburger? 😉
I usually include some sort of yogurt with his lunch. It’s a great way for him to get protein, and it’s healthy! You know I love all things Stonyfield, so sometimes he gets YoKids Squeezers, or a cup of YoToddler yogurt. Other times I like to make something with whatever yogurt we have on hand.
I almost always have plain yogurt in the house. It’s so versatile, and can be used for sweet or savory dishes. So for this lunch, I used it along with pure maple syrup and a little cinnamon to make a quick, tasty dip for his fruit. I gave him some mixed berries and little plastic skewers so he could do something different than the standard fork and spoon (or fingers) approach if he wanted.
He loved dipping everything, and went to town with the spoon to finish up the rest of the yogurt after he ran out of fruit. I think this would work with Greek yogurt, too, if you wanted it to be a bit thicker. Either way, there’s minimal sugar in the yogurt, and it tastes great!
It can be tricky to keep lunches interesting for kids. But if you try to get them involved in picking out items to have on hand in your kitchen, and try presenting items in different ways, it can really encourage them to enjoy mealtime.
He really enjoyed this yogurt dip, and I think it would be great drizzled over fresh fruit for a more grown-up dessert, too.
What do you do to keep lunches interesting for your kids?