Kid-Friendly Recipes to Try this Summer

by Joe Graceffa, on September 1st, 2017

No one likes to be stuck in the kitchen during the summer.  The days are longer and this is the time of year that you want simple food so you can run back outdoors to enjoy your family and fun in the sun.


Regardless of the season, getting a meal on the table can become a chore for any busy family. But enlisting your kids’ help with cooking and inviting them to pitch into help in the kitchen can be beneficial for everyone! Summer is the perfect time to get them involved when schedules are more relaxed.


Allowing your kids to participate in picking the recipes will virtually guarantee they will clean their plate. Their hands-on contribution will create smiles and giggles all summer long.


Try these kid-friendly recipes this summer with your children by your side:


1. Tropical Hot Dogs.
Summer is the perfect time for grilling the always favorite and family-friendly hot dog. In fact, according to one estimate, Americans consume 20 billion of these ever popular hot dogs a year. Skip the mustard and ketchup and go for tropical toppings instead with summer inspired toppings like pineapple and peppers.  Let kids help out by cutting up the pineapple into bite-sized chunks…under your watchful eye, of course!


Getting the perfect barbeque hot dogs has never been easier with gadgets like a stainless steel basket made specifically for this summer treat. It allows you to grill and flips six hot dogs all at once. This ingenious device can be “loaded” by your children and placed on the grill by Dad or Mom to prevent the hot dogs from rolling around on the grill. 


[Use a Sur la Table coupon and grab all the gadgets you'll need for summer cooking]


2. Grilled Pizza or Flatbread
Few things are easier than taking pizza dough, whether store-bought or homemade, and tossing it on the grill with whichever kid-approved toppings your crowd enjoys. To get the kids involved, make individually-sized grilled pies and let them each top their own. Encourage your little ones to include vegetables for an appetizing bright and healthy pizza.


3. Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
Perfect for those hot summer days, nothing beats the heat like a light pasta salad. Thanks to its tangy taste, this pasta salad will become a family favorite. Use fun shaped macaroni to make this a big hit with your little ones.  You can even grill the vegetables instead of putting them in the oven, which will keep your kitchen cool. Best of all, it can be made a day in advance! This light fare is a perfect addition to a meal that features chicken and it provides a healthier option to French fries as a side dish.


4. Oriental Salmon & Broccoli Traybake
Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fats, which have been shown to improve cognitive function in children. Omega-3s, specifically the type known as DHA, is a critical component of brain cell membranes. This light kid-friendly recipe makes fish a tasty treat, especially if ditch the over and grill the salmon for a smoky taste. Five ingredients are all you need to create this Asian flavored fish dish with healthy greens and fresh lemon.


5. Skewers
There's nothing easier or more fun to throw together and toss on the grill than a skewer or kabob. They're easy to marinate and assemble in advance, and kids can help from choosing the ingredients to putting them on the “stick.” Plus, they're perfect to have on hand in the refrigerator during grilling season and to toss in a container to take to to take to backyard parties. Steak cut into cubes is great for skewers and requires less effort for kids to eat. Try an Omaha Steaks coupon for the best deal on steak. Most importantly, the bite-sized pieces make them ideal for kids. You can stack them with any meat or vegetable your child will eat!


Since summer also means hungry kids are home all day, skewers are great for snacks, too! They’re portable and can be made ahead of time. Try kabobs with a perfect combination of fresh fruit and some protein from cheese cubes. This popular snack requires very minimal prep time and are can be waiting in the refrigerator for your kids to grab them on their own.


6. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Apples
Speaking of snacks, this perfect flavor combination of ingredients is a quick and easy solution for a healthy treat. The best thing about this recipe is that it is ready in five minutes. Plus there is no real cooking, just a few seconds to heat the chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave. Simple and fun, your family will devour this treat right before your eyes.


7. Cheese-Stuffed Burgers
No kid-friendly recipe list would be complete without the summer staple of a burger.  This recipe for cheese-stuffed burgers is a twist on the traditional cheeseburger. It gives kids, and adults, a gooey surprise when they bite into the all-American classic. Use a fun and easy Stuffed Hamburger Press to get your children involved in the preparation. This innovative tool shapes perfect meat patties. Then stuff them with your favorite cheese or savory fillings, all in one easy step!


(Williams Sonoma coupon code here)


8. Quesadillas
These popular and very simple tortillas concoctions are another crowd-pleasing kid staple. And they offer an easy way to sneak in some grilled summer vegetables, as in this corn- and zucchini-filled version. It’s easy to add protein with chicken from the grill in this simple classic chicken quesadilla recipe that only requires five ingredients. But don’t be afraid to think out of the box and experiment by adding ingredients if you’re looking for something heartier.


Give It a Try!
This summer, make the most of seasonal produce and fresh vegetables with tasty family meals and snacks that will keep everyone feeling light and bright.