Peanut Butter and Yogurt Dip Lunch
Lunch can be different. Lunch can be fun! Lunch can be dippable and still have all the protein and whole grains needed for a fabulous lunch.
One of the concerns I hear most is that my toddler isn't doesn't like trying new foods. Toddlers want finger foods. Sometimes I want finger foods too. It's fun and it's easy to eat. When you give variety, your child can pick and choose and try something new. It's okay to put something on your child's plate knowing that they may not like it. It's even a marketing technique that we use in school nutrition and that restaurants use as well.
We all like choices. When you give me too many choices, I'm feeling overwhelmed. When you give me all good choices, I still feel overwhelmed. Give me a couple of good choices and one horrible choice, it's easier for me to pick between the good choices. That's what happens in our brains. It may seem wasteful but during this time of "picky eating" it's okay to choose to experiment.
Choose 2 things that you know your child enjoys and one thing that you're unsure about. Encourage them to try it. If they don't like it, it's okay. If they do like it, score! And just because they don't like it once, doesn't mean that they won't like it the next time you offer it. So don't give up.
One great way to make new foods fun is to introduce it as a finger food with something dippable. Who doesn't like to dip goodies into something even yummier? Think about it. Chips and dip, chips and salsa, hummus and veggies. This peanut butter yogurt dip is packed with protein and has sweetness from the added honey. It tastes great with both fruit and vegetables. Offering both fruits and vegetables at the same time with this dip is an easy way to sneak in some much needed nutrients.
This yummy dip comes together with 3 ingredients. Those ingredients are peanut butter, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and honey. When looking for peanut butter, look at the list of ingredients. All you want to see is peanuts. Lots of peanut butters will have added sugars and preservatives. All you need is one ingredient: peanuts. Peanut butter has enough fat in it naturally that you can choose a nonfat yogurt to mix in. This way you're getting all the protein and calcium without the added fat.
School lunch meals that receive federal reimbursement are required to follow certain requirements for meal components. These components are broken down into categories that include grains, meat or meat alternative, fruit, vegetables, and milk. In order for a meal to be complete, three of these components must be present and a fruit or vegetable must be one of those components.
Serving this peanut butter yogurt dip with 1 - 2 oz of whole grain pretzels and at least 1 cup of fresh fruits and vegetables meets the requirements for a nutritious school lunch. In the district where I work, one of our most popular lunch meals is a yogurt lunch that is comprised of yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit. This takes that meal to the next level with very little effort. If you're avoiding peanuts, sun butter works just as well with this recipe for an easy substitution.
Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
5.3 oz Plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter, smooth
1 Tbsp Honey
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.
Serve with whole grain pretzels, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables.