Food Power – Design a Dip

Health Literacy
Time 1 hour
Age 7 & up
Group Size Less than 10
Tags Cooking, Recipe

Make your own delicious dip and share it with your friends!

Most children only have a basic understanding of their own bodies, and they often have little choice about what they are served at meals. At the same time, these children are just becoming acquainted with a variety of foods. The more opportunities children have to think about what they eat, be curious and adventurous in trying new foods and begin to take responsibility for their own lifestyle choices, the more likely they are to make healthful choices when they do get to decide what fuel they are putting into their bodies. In this activity, children will have a chance to create their own recipe for a dip that they will use to enhance the flavor of fruits and vegetables.


You can use the fruits and vegetables from the Food Power – Fruits & Veggies activity if you do both activities on the same day, or 1 day apart as long as the food has been carefully refrigerated. Some foods, especially some fruits, will not do well even only 1 day later, so be prepared for that. Make sure that the pieces of fruit and vegetable are pretty small—they should be just enough for 1 dip and 1 bite. Place the cut-up fruits and veggies in separate small bowls.

There will be 2 categories of ingredients for the dips—”bases” and “mix-ins”. The bases make up most of the dip. Often these are creamy ingredients, like sour cream, yogurt, cottage cheese or cream cheese. Try some other non-traditional bases like apple sauce, hummus and guacamole. Place each of these ingredients in separate large bowls, each with a 1/2 Cup measuring cup in them.

The mix-ins provide most of the flavor for the dips. Be creative with these selections, too.

Food Power – Design a Dip

Suggested Materials

  • Fruits and vegetables, cut small for dipping
  • Large and small plastic bowls (10 large, 50 small)
  • 1/2 cup measuring cups (5-10)
  • Paper or plastic plates (60)
  • Plastic spoons (100)
  • Forks or toothpicks to eat with
  • Paper and pens or pencils
  • Colored markers, crayons or colored pencils
  • Knife and cutting board (for program leader)
  • Plain yogurt, sour cream, apple sauce, whipped cream cheese and other foods for the “base” of the dips
  • Jam, mashed berries, chutney, salsa, herbs and other ingredients as the “mix-ins” for the dips

Make it Matter

Opening Discussion

Ask your students if they have ever had vegetables or chips with a dip. Was it tasty? Do you know what was in the dip? What do you remember about it? Have you ever made your own homemade dip? What was in it and what did you dip in it?

The Challenge

Make up a recipe for your own vegetable or fruit dip, try it out and then make it even better!


Make it Happen

Doing the Activity

  1. Group your students into teams of 2–3 for this activity.
  2. Ask your students to wash their hands really well before they start. Why do we do this? Sometimes our hands are pretty dirty, and we don’t want to get dirt into the food or share germs. For the same reason, we are also careful when we sample each others’ recipes. We don’t “double dip”, meaning we don’t put a veggie we’ve already taken a bite from back into the dip. Use a new piece of fruit or vegetable each time—or put the dip on your own plate.
  3. Show students the ingredients they’ll have to choose from and make a list of these ingredients in 2 columns (bases and mix-ins) on a piece of chart paper or on a chalkboard. Make sure that each ingredient has its own spoon or scoop so that kids don’t mix ingredients together—that might change the flavor!
  4. Teams should talk together first before choosing their ingredients. What would they like to try for their base? What mix-ins would they like to try adding? What fruits or vegetables will they dip into their creation? For this first recipe, teams should use just 1 base, but they can add multiple mix-ins if they would like. One important rule—whatever base they choose, teams can only use 1/2 cup of it in their recipe. Mix-ins should be measured in spoonfuls.
  5. Design your dips! Make sure to record the recipe so it can be made again later. When tasting your dip, remember the rule: each piece of fruit or vegetable can only be dipped into the dip once—NO DOUBLE DIPPING!!!

Make it Click

Let’s Talk About It

After each team has created 1 dip and tasted it, bring your students together to talk about what they have discovered. Are there any flavors that go well together? Did any teams try something that did not taste as good? It is as important to learn about flavors that do not go well together as it is to discover which flavors do work. What would teams change about their recipes?


Make it Better

Build On What They Talked About

Have teams return to their creations. They can create new dips if they would like or add ingredients to their current recipes. Make sure that they are writing down everything that they try. If they would like, students can now add multiple bases to their dips.

When teams have recipes that they are pleased with, ask them to invent a name for their new dip, then invite the whole class to try each other’s dips. Teams will need to make more of their dips for this sharing session. You can ask them to simply make 2 or 3 bowls of their recipe, or challenge them to double their recipe in 1 bowl (ex. they will now use 1 cup of their base—how much of each mix-in should they use?).

Have teams put the name of their dips on a piece of paper next to their dip bowl, a spoon in their dip and a list of fruits and/or vegetables that go well with their creation. A small bowl of these fruits and/or vegetables should also be placed next to their dip bowl. Teams can then sample their classmates’ recipes. If you would like to eliminate “double dipping”, each student can use a small plate that they carry around with them to spoon some of the dip onto before trying it.


  • Following the model used in the Soda Science – Marketing Your Soda activity, students can design a survey to use when other teams try their recipes. They can then make changes to their recipes accordingly.
  • Ask your students to make a list of some other ingredients they would like to try, and either ask them to bring them in from home or purchase these ingredients yourself to use in a second session. In this second session, ask teams to refer to their first recipe as they consider the changes they will make to perfect their dip.
  • Following the model used in the Soda Science – Advertising Your Soda activity, teams can design a print advertisement or commercial for their new dip.
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