Summer Meal 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.
Kids Cooking Activities Teaching Materials
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in theme sets and books with an easy to read format
Perfect for teaching!
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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.
See more grilling
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.
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in one easy to read format.
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
More salad recipes here.
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.
More Popsicle recipes here.
7 Ways to Make Summer Lunches and Dinners for Kids Easy
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 we're all super busy
parents or caregivers or babysitters having the "easy" aspect is
right at the top of the list as well because unless you're a
die-hard cook, you probably don't want to be spending a boatload of
time in the kitchen.
We are always trying to find various ways to make our lives a little
bit easier so, let's 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 I'll open up my fridge and I'll be at a loss
for what to feed my kids! I'll draw a blank. But lately, I've 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 You're 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 everyone's 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
- assign your
children to the work and tell them what's 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, it's 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.
Summer Beverage Ideas
recipe by Faith
- 3 strawberries diced (You can put more if you want more fruit
- Sugar to taste
- Cup of Water
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
First you take a cup of water and put it in a mini blender... then
and lemon juice, strawberries, and sugar. Blend it up and put it in
a cup. Drink up!!!
Lemon Lime Smoothie
Recipe by Miranda
- 1 banana
- 1 lime
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 Cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 Cup diet 7UP
- 1 Cup ice cubes
1. Cut lemon and lime in half and remove seeds.
2. Squeeze lemon juice and lime juice into cups.
3. Peel then slice bananas.
4. Combine all ingredients in blender.
5. Blend until smooth.
Adapted from jacolynmurphy.com
Homemade Slushies & Slurpees
Homemade Slushies and Slurpees are a great way to cool off on a hot
day or just enjoy a cool treat. They really aren't hard to make and
kids will love experimenting with different combinations.
Watermelon Cherry Slushie
I make these watermelon cherry slushies for my grandkids.
1 medium watermelon, cut off the rind and take out as many seeds as
Put it all in a blender and liquefy.
Strain it out so you don't have any seeds
Add one packet of watermelon cherry Koolaid.
About 3/4 cup of sugar (to taste)to watermelon puree
Add about 1 cup mixture in blender. Add ice about 1/2 way and let
the ice crush up to make a slush.
this recipe for Watermelon Slushie also.
Fruit Punch Slushie
- 1 can fruit punch frozen concentrate
- 2 Cups apple juice
- 3 Cups ice cubes
Add ingredients to your blender and blend until ice cubes are
crushed. You can mix and match ingredients as you would like such as
different juice flavors or frozen juice flavors. 3 Cups of ice cubes
are an estimate. Add more if you want more slush.
- 46 oz can unsweetened grapefruit juice
- 46 oz can unsweetened pineapple juice
- 1 large can frozen lemonade made with 7-up
- 1 large can frozen orange juice made with 7-up
- 1 quart cranberry juice
Start with 2 ice cream buckets and pour 23 ounce of unsweetened
grapefruit juice in the first bucket and the remaining 23 ounces of
grapefruit juice in the second bucket. Repeat the same process with
the pineapple juice.
Pour the thawed frozen lemonade into a pitcher and fill the empty
lemonade container three times with 7-up. Stir completely. Pour half
of the prepared lemonade into each bucket. Repeat the same process
with the orange juice.
Pour 1/2 quart of cranberry juice into each bucket.
Stir the contents of each bucket and place lid on top. Set in
freezer and allow to freeze 1-2 hours before stirring. Return to
freezer and freeze completely.
To enjoy: chip out a glass full of slush and top with 7-up.
- 2 Cups crushed ice
- 1 Cup frozen apple juice concentrate
- 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
Take a blender, and put apple juice, lemon juice and crushed ice in
a blender. Then blend until it become slushy.
- 1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
- 3 T. fresh mint, crushed
- 1-2 T. real maple syrup
- 3 T. honey
- 3 c. water, divided
- ½ c. fresh lemon juice
- 1 c. club soda
- Ice cubes, to serve
- Mint sprigs
- Fresh blueberries
- Lemon wedges
1. To prepare the blueberry maple simple syrup, combine the
blueberries, mint, maple syrup, honey, and one quarter cup water in
a small saucepan set over medium heat.
2. Simmer until the mixture is heated through and starts to thicken,
approximately 4-5 minutes. As the mixture simmers, gently press the
blueberries with a wooden spoon to release juices while stirring to
combine with the other ingredients.
3. Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer to
separate the solids. Reserve remaining liquid syrup and set aside to
4. Add lemon juice and remaining water to a large pitcher. Add
blueberry maple simple syrup, to taste, and stir to combine.
5. Fill 4 glasses with ice and fill each 2/3 full with the blueberry
lemonade mixture. Top off each glass with some club soda and garnish
with sprigs of fresh mint, blueberries, and/or lemon wedges, if
More Summer Recipe Ideas
Fun Summer Cooking
Summer Fun Cake
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