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Veggie Train – A Kid-Friendly Appetizer for Parties

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sabra. All opinions and statements remain 100% my own.

Veggie Train - A Kid-Friendly Appetizer for Parties

Veggie Train – Kid-Friendly Appetizer for Parties

Summer is just about here & that means it’s time to start thinking about all those fun, summer parties & get-togethers you are going to host. Summer is the perfect time to host fun BBQ’s or summer picnics, full of all the best summer foods. One thing I love about summer food is all the fresh vegetables & fruit. Whether you grow your own fruit & veggies or pick up them up at your local Farmer’s market or produce stand, there is so much variety to choose from in the summertime.

An important staple at any summer get-together definitely needs to be the veggies as they are so healthy to fuel your body for summer outdoor play, but it can be tough to get kids to choose to eat vegetables, especially at a party, when they see all the other less healthy options to choose from. Over the years of hosting parties & get-togethers with kids, though, that the more fun ways you can feature veggies, the more chance that kids will choose to eat veggies at a party. In fact, we just had a How to Train your Dragon party for my daughter’s birthday this month & we cut up the veggies and placed into a dragon-shape – the kids thought it was so cool, so those veggies were gone quickly!

Veggie Train with Sabra Hummus Dip

So, we thought it would be fun to try a train-themed veggie “tray” to encourage kids to eat veggies at a party or get-together. The bell peppers make the perfect “train cars” to stuff full of different, colorful veggies, that make them so enticing to eat. And the “train cars” also are the perfect holders for dip – our favorite is to use different varieties of Sabra Hummus as a healthy & filling option to give kids energy for all those fun, summer activities. Kids will almost always eat more veggies when you pair it with a delicious dip – even better when the dip is part of the design, too.

Ingredients:

Veggie Ingredients for Veggie Train

  • Large Bell Peppers (multi-colored to make it an interesting train) – the amount you need
  • Cucumbers -these are for the wheels – you could also make a locomotive out of a cucumber
  • Assorted cut up vegetables – you can use whatever veggies you think kids would like to eat at your party – bell peppers, tomatoes, snap peas, celery, carrots, jicama, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, and more
  • Toothpicks
  • Any dip you prefer – I like to use Sabra Hummus as they have 14 varieties to choose from & are such a healthy, filling option. We used 2 different Sabra Hummus varieties in our train

Directions:

Sweet Peppers for Veggie Train

Cut up the bell peppers for your train “cars”. I cut off the top 3rd of the bell pepper and then scooped out all the seeds so it was hollow.  I also chopped the stem off (the picture above shows the stem, but I did cut that off for the train).

You will cut up as many bell peppers as you want for the length of the train. I liked using multiple colors to make it a colorful train, but you could stick with just one color, too.   {Save the top 3rd to cut into slices for your veggie train pieces to eat}

Adding cucumber wheels to Veggie Train

Cut  up cucumber into slices – I first peeled them so that the skin was showing on every other side to make it look a little more interesting as the “wheels”.

You then take your toothpicks & attach the cucumbers to the peppers & try to hide the toothpicks in as far as you can. You could chop the toothpicks in half, but mine just crossed inside & helped to hold up the veggies inside.

Veggie Train and Locomotive

You could also add a locomotive to the front if you’d like – I cut a cucumber in half and then cut the top 3rd of the cucumber off. I scooped out the inside & added jicama to make the smoke stacks. You could also use another piece of cucumber to make the smoke stacks, too.

After you’ve created your base of the train with the cars, locomotive (if you want) & wheels, you’re ready to start filling the train full of veggies & dip. Chop up all your veggies into long sticks (bell peppers, cucumber, carrots, jicama, etc), add tomatoes, broccoli, & cauliflower for variety with round shapes and then save several of the “train cars” for the dip.Veggie Train with hummus dip is a kid-friendly appetizer

We enjoy trying different varieties of hummus, so we used two different kinds of Sabra Hummus in our veggie train – Classic Hummus & Roasted Pine Nut Hummus . Having a dip as part of our Veggie train is a must with making it kid-friendly as kids love to dip anything & everything & when you have a dip that’s part of the food design, it encourages kids to eat the veggies with their dip.

What better dip to have than Sabra hummus, too, as it’s chock-full of plant nutrition with lots of protein and fiber with the chickpeas, tahini, oil, garlic & salt as the main ingredients. This means that it will be a healthy, filling vegetarian snack with the hummus & veggies for kids to enjoy at the party, instead of filling them with just sweets. Other dips can be so heavy with all the creams & cheeses & are counteracting the healthy veggies, so it’s better to use a dip that can fill them up with good nutrition.

Veggie Train with Sabra Hummus

This Veggie Train with Hummus is also the perfect “unofficial meal” as it can be such a filling, hearty snack for a party or get-together without having to provide a full meal at the party. I like to plan my girls’ birthday parties for mid-afternoon as you don’t need to provide lunch or dinner, but just snacks & appetizers. You want something that will tide them over until dinner, though, so that’s why having an option filled with protein & fiber like hummus, combined with the fresh veggies, makes for the perfect combination.

For more fun, kid-friendly ideas of ways to use hummus for an unofficial meal & for parties & summer get-togethers, head to Sabra.com or Sabra’s Instagram page for more inspiration. You’ll find countless recipes for main dishes, appetizers, salads, sandwiches & wraps & more. Check out why hummus is such a good source of plant-based nutrition.

Printable Recipe for a Veggie Train:

Veggie Train with Locomotive

Make sure to print this off for your recipe binder or add to your recipe collection.

Print

Veggie Train with Hummus Dip – Kid-Friendly Appetizer for Parties

Ingredients

  • Large Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers -these are for the wheels – you could also make a locomotive out of a cucumber
  • Assorted cut up vegetables – bell peppers, tomatoes, snap peas, celery, carrots, jicama, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, and more – choose kid-friendly veggies
  • Toothpicks
  • Any dip you prefer – I like to use Sabra Hummus for a healthy option full of plant based nutrition

Instructions

  1. Cut up the bell peppers for your train “cars”.
  2. Cut off the top 3rd of the bell pepper and then scoop out all the seeds so it is hollow.
  3. Chop the stem off the bell peppers
  4. Cut up as many bell peppers as you want for the length of the train. {Save the top 3rd to cut into slices for your veggie train pieces to eat}
  5. Peel your cucumbers for wheels (I peeled them so the skin was showing on every other side for interesting wheels)
  6. Cut up cucumber into slices
  7. Take the toothpicks & attach the cucumbers to the peppers
  8. Try to hide the toothpicks in as far as you can.
  9. You could add a locomotive to the front if you’d like – cut a cucumber in half and then cut the top 3rd of the cucumber off.
  10. Scoop out the inside & added jicama to make the smoke stacks. You could also use another piece of cucumber to make the smoke stacks, too.
  11. After you’ve created your base of the train with the cars, locomotive (if desired) & wheels, you’re ready to start filling the train full of veggies & dip.
  12. Chop up all your veggies into long sticks (bell peppers, cucumber, carrots, jicama, etc) & add to “train cars”
  13. Add tomatoes, broccoli, & cauliflower for variety with round shapes
  14. Scoop your dip into several “train cars”. I like to use Sabra Hummus for a healthy, filling dip & I used several varieties in the different “train cars”

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