Researchers just confirmed what every mom armed with a bottle of ranch dressing will tell you: Dips do make kids eat their vegetables. Even though we had already tested this theory over a thousand carrot sticks and red pepper strips ourselves, I do like seeing some validation that kids will try more vegetables, eat more of the vegetables and be twice as likely to enjoy those veggies with a dip.
Since only ten percent of four-to-eight-year-olds eat their five-a-day as it is, it's just really nice to read about kids eating vegetables at all.
Two other important keys to the research; repeat exposures are still the most effective way to get kids to try vegetables. Also, small portions that encourage trial instead of intimidating help kids get past their veggie-phobia.
Wait. Before you reach for the Costco-sized bottle of that commercial ranch dressing — many of which contain MSG, artificial flavors, preservatives and genetically-modified oils — think again. Its easy enough to make your own dips and dressings, many of which can be made with more vegetables!
Here's recipes for some of my favorite dips and dressings.