Our mummy blogger Anneliese says: ‘Toddlers and children in general can be quite fussy when it comes to food. I spend a fair amount of time trying to think up new ideas to tempt my 4-year-old. Lunch is a particular struggle and food is often left untouched. However, there is one thing that guarantees a clean plate and that is dip! A dip is a great opportunity to add raw vegetables to your child’s diet as they’ll usually happily tuck into carrot sticks, as long as they have a bit of dip on it! Instead of reaching into the fridge for a chilled dip, I thought we’d have a go at baking one in the oven. The cheesy, tangy sauce combines beautifully with the broccoli and provides an irresistible warm dip – yum!’
- 100g (approximately) broccoli florets, finely sliced
- ½ onion, diced
- 125ml mayonnaise
- 150ml sour cream
- 60g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and find a medium sized bowl and lay it on the worktop. Your little helper can be in charge of measuring the mayonnaise and sour cream into the bowl while you slice and dice the broccoli and onion.
Once the vegetables are prepared they can join the mayonnaise and sour cream in the mixing bowl.
When it comes to grating the cheese, you can pass this task to your child if they are alright to handle a grater, or you might choose to do this part yourself. How about doing a little bit each? My boy managed quite a bit himself but I took over as the piece of cheese grew smaller and fiddlier.
Tip 50g of the grated cheese into the mixing bowl, keeping 10g back for later. Now move your attention to the garlic. We used a garlic press to squeeze our garlic into tiny pieces. I was told that the press was like a playdough tool!
Now it’s time to give everything a good mix to combine, so hand your helper a spoon and let them get busy.
Your little one can now spoon the cheesy mixture into a small ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the remaining 10g of grated cheese over the top of the dip.
Time for your child to stand back while you transfer the dish into the hot oven. The dip will take approximately 20-25 minutes to cook.
Once the dip is bubbling and golden, carefully remove from the oven. Leave to cool a little before serving.
If you want to make your warm dip look more appealing and fun for kids, why not get crafty and add a cute cat face! Simply slice a cherry tomato in half for the nose, slice thin long pieces of carrot for whiskers, add raisins or sultanas for the eyes. We shaped slices of cucumber for the ears and mouth but celery should work just as well. It only takes 5 mins to put together and it looks adorable!
We served our warm broccoli and cheese dip with bread sticks, pitta bread and lots of fresh vegetables, sliced into sticks. Our favourites are carrot, cucumber, red pepper and celery. There are so many different variations to try. Enjoy!