Generally speaking, my kids are really great about eating their fruits and veggies, especially when a healthy dip is involved. Having been exposed to wide-variety of healthy options their entire lives, they will happily munch on a crisp carrot or nosh on a heaping bowl of berries, and think it’s the most delicious thing in the world.
However, as great as my kids are about eating a balanced diet, when they were babies and toddlers, they did, occasionally need a little coaxing to eat their fruits and veggies.That’s where these healthy dip and sauces come in- they are truly a Mum’s secret weapon.
Babies and toddlers are “snackers” by nature. They need small meals throughout the day to keep their energy up and their little bellies full – (but not too full!). Sauces and dips are PERFECT for the whole family, and help the kiddos get in their fruits and vegetables. Toddlers love being able to “play” with their food, and us Mum’s (and Dad’s!) love serving healthy, wholesome food that our kids enjoy eating. Dips and sauces are a fun, tasty addition to a snack or a meal, and help expose the kids to new flavours and textures. And, when you make your own, instead of buying the pre-packaged, processed ones from the store, you get to control the ingredients!
Without further ado, here’s a list of a few of my favorite healthy sauces and dips, perfect for little ones. I hope you love them!
Chickpeas are an amazing superfood. Chock-full of iron and protein, these little babies are full of nutrients, flavour and healthy goodness. This Curried Hummus recipe is delicious and super-easy. Free of added salt commonly found in store-bought hummus, this fresh, healthy curried hummus recipe is bound to be a hit with the whole family. I like to serve it with spears of roasted sweet potatoes or carrots, and a little brown bread. Add a few berries or tomatoes as side dish, and this makes a wonderful hearty snack for your toddler.
Find the Recipe Here: Baby Led Feeding Baby Friendly Curried Hummus
I am often asked by my lovely readers for alternatives to peanut butter. Peanut allergies are incredibly common, and since this simple recipe is made entirely from sunflower seeds (which are a pretty-low allergen food). Sun-butter that is sold in stores in incredibly expensive – so making your own for a fraction of the price just makes sense! Creamy and mild-flavoured, this sun-butter is packed-full of healthy fats, magnesium, and vitamin-E. I like to serve it to the kiddos on a little brown bread with chunks of soft banana, or as a side dip with cut-up veggies.
Find the Recipe Here: Baby Led Feeding Sunshine Butter
Created by Stacey over at My Kids Lick the Bowl, this Roasted Carrot Cashew Dip is a wonderful healthy dip for baby led weaning. Packed with flavour and goodness, this dip is amazing served alongside cut up cucumber, cut up pita bread, or sticks of sweet peppers. Serve alongside slightly steamed or softened veggies for younger babies or toddlers.
Find the Recipe Here: My Kids Lick The Bowl Roasted Carrot Cashew Dip
Another recipe made with Chickpeas, this brilliant Cheese Chive Chickpea dip was created by Ciara at My Fussy Eater. Packed with protein, this cheesy dip is made with wholesome ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge, and it could not be easier! Babies and toddlers love this healthy dip due to it’s mild, familiar flavours, and the rest of the family will gobble it up for the same reason. It’s one of my absolute favourites.
Find the Recipe Here: My Fussy Eater Cheese Chive Chickpea Dip
It’s no secret that my kids love their food on a stick. This recipe for fun Melon Caterpillars with a yummy yoghurt dip is an absolute delight. The yoghurt dip is so creamy and delicious, and can be made dairy-free for those kiddies and toddlers with sensitivities and/or allergies. It’s just so versatile! For younger babies and toddlers, you’ll probably want to skip the sticks, but older kids will absolutely go crazy for making these little caterpillars.
Find the Recipe Here: On My Kids Plate Melon Kabobs & Yogurt Fruit Dip
This easy, three-ingredient dip was created by Grace over at Eats Amazing and is as tasty as it is beautiful. Its vibrant pinky-purple colour is SO fun, all-natural, and it doesn’t have a drop of food colouring added. Kids and adults will love it’s brilliant colour and mild taste. For younger babies and toddlers, make sure they are wearing something washable when eating this – as beets are known to stain!
Find the Recipe Here: Eats Amazing Beatroot Dip
Amy, over at Health Little Foodies, has completely outdone herself with this super versatile Kale Pesto. Perfect served as a healthy dip for veggies, this amazing dip can also be used with pasta, or as a pizza sauce. Her use of kale makes it a great source of iron for babies. For toddlers, I take extra care to make sure to puree until it is super smooth, and serve a dollop on top of soft pasta.
Find the Recipe Here: Healthy Little Foodies Kale Pesto
This refined sugar free Apple Chia Jam is packed full of goodness. Made with delicious sweet apples, and wholesome, healthy chia seeds, this jam is lovely spread on pancakes or a little bit of brown bread.
Find the Recipe Here: Baby Led Feeding Apple Chia Jam (Refined Sugar Free)
Okay, so this one is one of my favourites, and PERFECT for starting out baby led weaning. These delicious bite-sized meatballs are perfect for little fingers, and the easy, delicious sauce is a healthy favourite the entire family will love. My son, Oscar, was gobbling these down at 7-months old! Super messy, but oh-so-worth it!
Find the Recipe Here: Baby Led Feeding Tiny Tiny Baby Meatballs With Sauce
Perfect for summer, this refined sugar free blueberry compote is easy, delicious, and incredibly versatile. Use it on top of pancakes for the little ones, in their morning yoghurt, or used in your smoothie. This is a recipe the entire family will enjoy!
Find the Recipe Here: Baby Led Feeding Blueberry Compote (Refined Sugar Free)
I hope you enjoyed my favourite sauces and dips for toddlers! Let me know in the comments some of your favourite tips to make sure your little ones are getting in their fruits and veggies!