Summer Dinner Ideas- Lunch and Dinner During the Summertime
Asking the kids for summer dinner ideas is a great way to get them
thinking during their summer holiday. Children know what they like
and with encouragement, they can delight themselves and you with
their culinary ideas. As the kids transform their great ideas into
delicious meals, they develop practical living skills.
Planned Kids Cooking Curriculum
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Grilled pizza is a fun favorite and the variety of pizza is endless
from apple crisp pizza to zucchini pizza. For the vegetarian and
non-vegetarian, vegan grilled pizza is a change of pace.
- Hummus instead of cheese for this pizza
- 1 sliced thin tomato
- 1/3 cup of diced pepperoncini
- 3/4 tsp. of dried oregano, basil and mixed Italian spices
- pizza dough
Prep your pizza dough and make small 6 inch pizza rounds. Oil the
grill grates then slide the pizza dough onto the grill. When the
heated side is starting to brown, flip it over and spread the hummus
on the done side of the dough. Layer the sliced tomato on top of the
hummus and sprinkle the remaining ingredients on the pizza. Place
pizza back on the grill; cook until bottom crust is golden brown.
Kabobs prompt creative and varied summer dinner ideas. Garden fresh
vegetables are delicious treats roasted on the grill. A nice sweet
and salty marinade is equal parts of soy sauce and honey.
1 lb. of sirloin steak cubed in one inch squares
24 grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, optional
mushrooms, carrots, other vegetables you'd like
Marinate the steak cubes for at least a half hour before grilling.
Alternate the cubed steak chunks and the tomatoes on the kebob
sticks and then baste the tomatoes and the chunks as they cook on
the grill. Serve when the steak reaches the desired doneness.
The versatile wrap is another idea that can spark creative summer
dinner ideas. Fresh vegetables, cooked vegetables and any kind of
meat can be prepared and served in a wrap. Cherry chicken lettuce
wraps provide a substantial and delicious meal.
- 2 tbsp. of canola oil
- 1 tbsp. of minced fresh ginger root
- 1 1/4 lb. of skinless boneless chicken, cut into bite size
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 lb. dark sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 1- 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/2 chopped green onion
- 1/3 cup of toasted and sliced almonds
- 12 lettuce leaves
Heat 1 tsp. of oil in a large skillet; add the ginger and chicken
and sauté until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside.
Whisk 1 tsp. of oil, vinegar, teriyaki sauce and honey until it is
mixed together. Add the chicken mixture, cherries, carrot, green
onion and almonds and toss together.
Spoon equal amounts of the mixture onto the center of each lettuce
leaf, then roll up the leaf and serve.
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Fresh garden salads complement grilled foods and can produce great
summer dinner ideas.
One salad that is a meal in itself
is Polish Summer Salad
- 2 medium cooked white potatoes
- 7-8 cooked carrots
- 1/8 of a leek
- 8 -10 hardboiled eggs
- 1 jar of refrigerated, kosher dill pickles
- 1 can of sweet peas or cooked garden fresh peas
Dice potatoes, carrots, leek, eggs, and pickles. Drain peas and add
to the other vegetables. Mix with mayonnaise to the desired
are a great cold treat and easy for the kids to make.
1 (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix ingredients until smooth and freeze in freezer pop molds and it
is likely take at least five hours to freeze or overnight. Makes 4
larger popsicles. If you'd like more pour into small paper cups and
peel paper off before serving.
Lighter icy snacks are fruit pops which can be as simple as freezing
fruit juice in a freezer pop mold. Adding soy milk to the juices,
and then freezing can make a cream pop dessert.
Summer lunches for kids can be challenging to find the balance of
healthy + easy at the same time. But this combination is incredibly
important because this is going to help fuel them through the
afternoon and onto dinner time. And since were all super busy
parents or caregivers or babysitters having the easy aspect is
right at the top of the list as well because unless youre a
die-hard cook, you probably dont want to be spending a boatload of
time in the kitchen.
7 Ways to Make Summer Lunches and Dinners for Kids Easy
We are always trying to find various ways to make our lives a little
bit easier so, lets start with some ideas to make meals easy during
1. Minimal Ingredients
the fewer ingredients that you have
to take out of the cupboard, fridge or drawers, the less cleanup
youll have to do! Now, minimal absolutely does not mean unhealthy
but is a nice balance for your children.
2. Cut up Your Vegetables/Fruit on a Specific Day Each Week
Set aside a specific day where you can cut up all the vegetables
that your kids will eat at their lunches. That way you can rotate
and pull out whatever vegetables you want and theyre all cut up and
ready to be served up on their plates.
3. Make sure you have Enough Food for Lunches for the Upcoming
I have to laugh at myself because there have been so
many occasions where Ill open up my fridge and Ill be at a loss
for what to feed my kids! Ill draw a blank. But lately, Ive had a
plan and made sure that I at least have everything that I need for
that week, and most likely two weeks.
4. Plan out What Youre Going to serve the Day/Night Before
Once you know that you have enough food for the upcoming week,
have your kids plan out what they are going to pull out for lunch
each evening. You could even label your fruit and vegetables and
side dishes to be for a certain day to make everyones life easier.
5. Have Everyone do their Own Dish
when your children are
done eating their lunch, have them rinse off/wash their dish and put
it in the dishwasher. Then have them each wash the spot where they
were sitting. This saves on the cleanup that you have to do. :)
6. Have a Lunch Day for Each of Your Children
children to the work and tell them whats for lunch and have them
prepare it for their siblings. This teaches them responsibility and
helps them to see what work actually goes into making lunch. If your
kids are a little too young to handle making lunches for everyone
then at least have them assist you in the kitchen, bringing things
to you, helping you set up plates, and putting things away.
7. Use Paper Plates Just at Lunch Time
This can save a lot
of time and energy. Yes, its not especially thrifty but sometimes,
your time is worth more than washing a bunch of dishes so consider
using disposable tableware at lunchtime.
25 Easy Summer Lunches for Kids
1. Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup
2. Baked Potato + Sour Cream + Bacon Bits on top or You could even
do Cheez Whiz + a Side of Broccoli. This is made easily in the
microwave and the broccoli takes less than 5 minutes to also make in
3. Ham and Cheese Sandwich + Pretzels + Baby Carrots with Ranch
4. Turkey and Cheese Sandwich + Trail Mix (Make your own Mixture of
Peanuts + Raisins) + Broccoli with Ranch Dressing
5. Tuna Fish Sandwich + Pretzels + Orange Slices
6. Refried Bean Burro + Yogurt with a Can of Fruit Cocktail Mixed in
7. Black Bean Burro (heat can of black beans; put in a tortilla and
top with shredded cheese) + Cantaloupe + Cheddar Cheese Slices
8. Crackers with Cream Cheese and Ham on them + Yogurt + Orange
9. Box Pizza Splurge :)
10. Peanut Butter with Banana + Wheat Thins + Broccoli with Ranch
11. Egg Salad Sandwich + Cheese Chunk Slices + Little Cutie Oranges
12. Bologna and Cheese Sandwich + Hardboiled Egg + Celery with
13. Hot Dogs + Potato Chips + Cantaloupe
14. Crackers + Cheese + Sausage + Grapes
15. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich + Hardboiled Egg + Applesauce
16. Apple with Peanut Butter + Triscuits + Cheese Slices
17. Cheese Crisp (Place a tortilla on a cookie sheet, top with
cheese, salsa, black beans. Then, place in the oven at 400 degrees
for 10 minutes.) + Applesauce
18. Ham, Cream Cheese and Pickle Roll Ups + Carrots with Ranch
Dressing + Mini Marshmallows
19. Cheese Sandwich + Watermelon Chunks + Pretzel Sticks
20. Mini Quiche Muffins (that are leftover from the night before) +
String Cheese + Mandarin Oranges
21. Corn Dogs + Potato Chips + Yogurt (Unhealthy Splurge Day!)
22. Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich + Frozen Grapes + Popcorn
23. Pepperoni Slices, Cheese and Crackers + Trail Mix + Broccoli
with Ranch Dressing
24. Tortilla chips with Shredded Cheese Sprinkled on Top + Frozen
Grapes + Teddy Grahams
25. Spaghettios + Crackers with Peanut Butter + Apple Slices
Salads, grilled food and icy cold desserts all contribute to great,
nutritious and delicious meals. Sharing and preparing summer dinner
ideas is one more way of bringing the family closer together as the
kids learn practical cooking skills.
More Summer Recipe Ideas
Fun Summer Recipes
Summer Cake Ideas
Favorite Picnic Recipes
Ideas to take to the Beach
Share your Summer Meal Ideas
Submit your favorite kids recipe
Do you have a favorite recipe your kids love to make? Or a recipe your kids ask you to make again and again? Share it with us!
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