Boston Children's Museum
308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210
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.
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?
Make up a recipe for your own vegetable or fruit dip, try it out and then make it even better!
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?
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.