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Healthy Kids Recipes: Pinto Bean Dip with Pita and Carrots

As my daughter prepares for daily preschool, school lunch has been on my mind. My husband and I will be making her lunch everyday, and, like parents everywhere, we are looking for easy lunch options that are healthy, but also appeal to the, let’s say, limited diet of a preschooler.

Enter pinto bean dip. Packed with nutrients, this dip recipe will please parents and kids alike. A playful combination of pinto bean dip, pita triangles, and carrot sticks make for an easy, fun kids lunch. The best lunches, especially for young kids, are easily managed and foster a sense of independence. Dip is a great option because kids really get a kick out of dipping things. With a variety of textures, shapes and colors, this meal is nutritious and satisfying. Pinto beans are a great source of fiber and protein. And since you’re using the food processor anyway, try adding a bit of chopped kale or other leafy green to up the nutrition content.

Healthy Pinto Bean Dip
makes about 2 cups of dip

1 can pinto beans, well rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini
zest of 1 lemon
small clove garlic (optional)
1/2 cup packed, chopped kale (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

If using kale, combine that and the olive oil in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until you achieve the desired level of puree. Then add the beans, tahini, zest and garlic. Pulse a few more times, again catering to the texture sensibilities of your child. Check the flavor and salt levels and add the lemon juice and/or olive oil to smooth out the texture.

Serve in a small, wide-mouthed container with carrot sticks and pita triangles.

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