Cucumber Dilly Dip

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A great way to encourage children to try new foods is by giving them opportunities to be involved in meal preparation, especially when you have a bit more time and aren’t racing to get hungry kids fed. Read more for a chart with ideas on what 2-5 year olds can do in the kitchen. And join us on November 5th at 7pm at Adas Israel to learn more about the First Bites program and to discuss healthy eating tips and strategies.  And follow us on Facebook to learn more.

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First Bites: Cucumber Dilly Dip

(Serving Size: 5)


  • 1 cucumber, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (low or full fat)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh vegetables to serve with the dip, like carrots, peppers, celery, cherry tomatoes


  1. Wash hands and clean the produce and workspace.
  2. Chop the cucumbers and add to a bowl.
  3.  Measure the yogurt and add to the bowl.
  4. Chop the dill and add it to the bowl.
  5. Measure the salt and olive oil and add to the bowl. Stir. Serve with raw veggies.

Hands on Learning for Children

  • Chopping the cucumber (depending on age and skill - adult supervision required)
  • Measuring the yogurt and adding it to bowl
  • Washing the dill and chopping it (depending on age and skill - adult supervision required)
  • Measuring the salt and olive oil and adding to the bowl

First Bites: Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches (Serving Size: 5)


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  • 1 cup full-fat or low-fat yogurt (Please do not use non-fat yogurt as it will not work)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 regular size cucumbers (cut into slices)


  1. Wash hands and clean the produce and workspace.
  2. Line a fine mesh strainer with a coffee filter. Rest the strainer and coffee filter over a deep bowl (see the picture). The bowl will ultimately collect the strained liquid, or whey, from the yogurt.
  3. In a new mixing bowl, stir the salt into the yogurt. 
  4. Pour the yogurt mixture into the coffee filter, which should be resting on a mesh strainer over the large mixing bowl. Let it sit for at least one day and up to two or three days in the fridge. 
  5. THE NEXT DAY. Slice the cucumbers. Put the cream cheese filling on one piece of cucumber and use the other piece to make a sandwich. Children can also dip the cucumber into the cream cheese if they prefer. Enjoy!

Hands on Learning for Children

  • Measuring and mixing the salt and yogurt
  • Pouring the yogurt into the measuring cup and into the mixing bowl
  • Preparing the mesh strainer and coffee filter
  • Pouring the yogurt salt mixture into the coffee filter
  • Slicing the cucumbers (this should only be done by children over the age of 5 with adult supervision and appropriate knives) 

Getting Children Involved in the Kitchen

 (Note: With appropriate supervision and assistance, younger children can do many of the things older children can do.)

How can two year olds help in the kitchen?

  • Scrubbing: the  table, vegetables (like carrots or potatoes)
  • Tearing, breaking & snapping: lettuce or other greens, broccoli or cauliflower, green beans, bananas

How can three year olds help in the kitchen?

  • Pouring: milk or water (give them a small pitcher or measuring cup)
  • Mixing: with clean hands or a spoon 
  • Shaking: small jars of food (like salad dressing)

How can four year olds help in the kitchen?

  • Peeling: shucking corn, peeling eggs, oranges or bananas.
  • Rolling: rolling meatballs or cheese balls rather than the standard cookie dough.
  • Mashing: using a fork to smash soft foods, such as a banana, using a potato masher to mash larger amounts to foods, like egg salad, applesauce, mashed potatoes or bean dip. 
  • Juicing: using a hand juicer to make orange juice or lemon juice

How can five year olds help in the kitchen?

  • Measuring: Show how to use the dry measuring cups to measure out dry ingredients, such as flour, cereal or pasta.  Show how to measure wet ingredients with a clear cup. Practice first with water in the sink. See how close   children can get to pouring a half-cup, three-fourth cup, etc.
  • Cutting: Start with plastic knives and semi-soft foods, such as eggs, cheese and bananas. Show how to safely pass a knife.
  • Grating: State with a small square, upright grater or one that fits securely onto the top of a container. Show how to hold the fingers away from the grater. Start with soft foods, such as cheese, apples or cabbage. 

Content modified from the University of California Cooperative Extension, Nutrition BEST

To learn more about First Bites or with questions or comments, you can contact Caron Gremont at Follow us on Facebook ( for more recipes, tips and eating philosophy information.