Get Smart with Veggies

Play with your food!

As a registered dietitian, childhood nutrition expert and mom, Jodie Shield knows first-hand the challenge of ensuring kids eat nutritiously especially during school hours. Shield has put together some creative tips, to help get kids excited about eating and loving vegetables.

Create veggie critters as an after-school treat by assembling a variety of pre-cut vegetables with ranch dressing "paste" into bug shapes.

For more great back-to-school recipes, creative nutrition tips and fun activities, visit LoveYourVeggies.com.

Veggie Critters

1 packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix

2 8-ounce tubs reduced fat cream cheese

A wide variety of chopped, colorful vegetables such as asparagus, cherry tomatoes, crinkle cut carrots, baby carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, eggplant, shredded carrots, and olives.

1. Add the seasoning mix to the cream cheese.

2. Stir until well combined.

3. Build critters with your child.


Use asparagus for the body. Use the ranch and cream cheese mixture to attach crinkle-cut carrots for wings. Add decorations to the wings with bits of bell pepper.

Lady Bugs

Slice a cherry tomato in half. Use the ranch and cream cheese mixture to attach the tomato to a slice of cucumber or eggplant. Attach the other cherry tomato half for the head. Then, attach lady bug spots with bits of olive.

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