As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There’s just something about dunking her meal that can get even the pickiest little one to eat something she might otherwise turn her nose up at. Protein is vital for growth and development, so a dip that contains it is ideal. Hummus is a mild-tasting dip with lots of protein and might appeal to your child.
Making hummus is easy and doesn’t require you to drag out any special equipment, which is perfect for moms trying to make a healthy snack with a toddler or preschooler under foot. You’ll need a food processor for combining the hummus ingredients and a rubber spatula for scraping the sides as you blend. Measuring cups and spoons help you portion the ingredients correctly.
The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans. Garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and salt add flavor to your hummus. All of these ingredients combine to make a healthy protein dip that little ones will love. Children aged 2 to 5 need 13 to 19 grams of protein each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A tablespoon of homemade hummus contains nearly one gram of protein.
You’ll be happy with how easy hummus is to make and your little one will be happy with how fast it goes from counter to table. Put the lid on the food processor, turn on the blade and drop a couple of cloves or garlic into the tube. The more garlic you use, the spicier the dip will end up being. Once it’s minced, turn off the blade and open the lid. Add a 15-ounce can of chickpeas, three or four tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, about a teaspoon of salt, and three or four tablespoons of tahini. Process until the dip is smooth and taste to determine if you need more seasonings. Chill or serve immediately.
Serve hummus with soft vegetables, such as bell peppers or cucumbers. It also tastes good with pita bread or crackers. Spread it on turkey sandwiches as a replacement for mayonnaise. No matter what you serve it with, make sure the pieces are no larger than a 1/2 inch to prevent choking, recommends the Healthy Children website. Stay close to your child when she eats to keep her from shoving too much food into her mouth and to make sure she chews each bite well.