Friday, January 4, 2008

Snack & Dip Container

Myia LOVES to dip. I noticed I could get her to try almost anything once if I let her dip it in cream cheese. So I went searching for a container that made that possible. I found one on The Container Store's website. My husband rolled his eyes when I told him how sure I was that this was the answer to my daughter's horrible eating habits. :) I bought two of them to test my theory. It worked! The kids loved them, and my husband even took them to work. The next week I went out and bought two more.

They're great for on-the-go eating, and just for introducing a picky eater to new things-esp if they love to dip!

The kids now can't wait to see what I put in the middle dipping part. And they will taste anything I put in there. They don't always take a 2nd bite... But I'll take what I can get.

My poor mother came out to visit from Iowa in December and I bought 10 of them and made her fit them in her suitcase to bring back for her, dad and my sister's family.

It's called the

Snack & Dip.

Ideas for what to put in it:

Veggies: carrot sticks (the thinner the better), celery, snap peas, broccoli florets, green pepper wedges, cauliflower, sweet potato chips, cabbage sliced thinly, and my kids will even eat a leaf or two of spinach if I put it in there.

Dip: plain cream cheese, any dip or thicker salad dressing from the grocery store, 1 part mayo (miracle whip) to 2 parts cream cheese and a sprinkle of dried parsley, dill and onion, flavored yogurt, cottage cheese with honey, and their all time favorite-straight Peanut Butter. It's really messy, they're covered in the stuff, so I try to remember to bring a change of clothes. If you mix PB with cream cheese, it's a little less messy, but they don't like it as much. If you google 'veggie dip' you'll get a ton of great ideas!

Sandwiches: My kids like lunch meat rolled up with a piece of cheese inside. Or tortillas with mayo and cheese and ham/turkey. And the ever popular PB&J sandwiches. You have to cut them up into bite size pieces for them to fit-but the kids love that! Any sandwich that you can cut into small pieces will work in it.

Other ideas: Crackers (they have to be small enough to fit-or broken) and cheese chunks in the dipping part-or even a spreadable cheese-port wine, etc. Dried fruit or fruit leather. Pretzels. Sliced fresh fruit (apples, pears, peaches, mangoes).

If you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear about them.

Yummy Frozen Banana Nut Treat

We found a new, favorite treat this year and have been eating it for about 6 months now. It's so yummy and healthy... Perfect combination! I found it in the book 'Feed Me I'm Yours' , by Vicki Lansky.

3 ripe bananas
6 popsicle sticks
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup nuts-any kind (optional)

1. Put flax seed, wheat germ, chocolate chips and nuts in a food processor and grind until they are all tiny pieces.

2. Peel the bananas and cut them in half.

3. Stick the popsicle sticks in the middle of each one.

4. Cover each one with honey-lightly.

5. Roll the honey-covered bananas in the nut mixture. I find putting the mixture on a plate first helps, and it is a bit messy. I usually use my hands to press it on firmly.

6. Put in a covered, freezer-safe container and let freeze for at least 24 hours. I don't know how long they stay good for in the freezer as ours get eaten pretty quickly.

I have also used home-made granola, plain oats and for nuts, I've used pine nuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans. Walnuts and almonds are supposed to have the most nutritional value. And if you have allergies to them, you can leave them out altogether. The possibilities are endless I'm sure!