Summer Food for the Family

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As warmer weather approaches, families enjoy barbecues, potlucks, and holiday celebrations—all featuring fabulous summer foods! We’ve got some great recipes for you to savor featuring the wonderful flavors of summer. Enjoy!

With the arrival of summer comes a return to the great outdoors for families. Whether kids are camping, picnicking, partying or playing, one thing is for certain—they’re going to get hungry! So if you’re planning to light up the grill or are just looking for a quick way to cool your child’s appetite, we’ve got plenty of tasty summer recipes your family is sure to enjoy.

Fruits for the Season

Fresh fruits, abundant in the summer months, are nature’s desserts—and many are great sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Juicy and sweet, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are healthy and delicious favorites that even little ones can eat one by one, right out of the bowl. They’re great in fruit salads, smoothies, pancakes, and on top of waffles, too!

Melons are at their peak flavor in the summer. Offer a bowl full of cut-up watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew at your next meal to satisfy your family’s sweet tooth, or serve it to the kids for a snack after an afternoon at the park for a refreshing treat.

Take advantage of summer’s bounty to expand your child’s taste buds! Chopped nectarines, peaches, apricots, papayas and mangoes are delicious additions to a bowl of oatmeal. Try offering them with a bit of yogurt for dipping. And on a hot day, frozen grapes, peach and pineapple cubes are a yummy treat.

For more fun with fruit, try these delicious recipes:

Fabulous Fruit Pizza: This attractive summertime treat is great for parties or as a family dessert everyone is bound to love. 

Marinated Fruit Medley: Serve this pretty citrus marinated fruit at your next summer barbecue or even your child’s birthday party! It tastes great after the flavors blend in the refrigerator.

A Variety of Veggies

Have you ever taken your child to a farmer’s market or fresh produce stand? Who doesn’t love the beautiful rainbow of vegetables, with eye-catching rows of deep red, yellow and green peppers that are delicious served with grilled meats or in easy-to-make quesadillas. You’ll also find purple eggplants, green cucumbers, heads of colorful lettuces and juicy red ripe tomatoes all in season to enjoy. 

Don’t forget that perennial favorite, corn on the cob. Serve it tonight and ask your family how they eat their corn on the cob—across in rows, or around the cob? It certainly tastes great either way!

Try these fun recipes to get your family eating their vegetables:

Green Bean Dippers: Kids will have fun plunging their snappy green beans into a puddle of tasty basil sauce. As an added bonus, you don’t need to heat up your kitchen to make this fun side dish.

Colorful Pasta Salad: Plan ahead for this crowd-pleasing dish since it needs to chill.

Cheesy Zucchini: Do you have an abundance of zucchini from your summer garden? Here’s a yummy dish that dresses zucchini in a popular kid-pleasing favorite: cheese!

Barbecue, I Love You

There’s no doubt about it, kids love hot dogs! Little ones can enjoy them just off the grill, cut into small pieces with a bit of ketchup to dip them in. Older kids may enjoy their dogs on a bun with a variety of flavorful condiments, including ketchup, mustard, relish, chopped onions, chili and cheese, green chiles, and even tangy sauerkraut.

The classic, juicy hamburger hot off the grill is a favorite summer meal, too. Let kids pick their additions—ketchup, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce and American cheese slices are all popular favorites. Your family may like different types of cheese for variety, or steak sauce in place of ketchup. For other easy changes to the traditional burger, try some of these suggestions (or get creative and make up your own!):

Fiesta Burgers: This mouth-watering grilled hamburger has a great south-of-the-border flavor. 

Souped Up Burgers: This tasty burger takes very little work to prepare and its pleasing flavor is grilled right in.

Barbecue Kebabs: These finger-licking good kebabs can be made with ham, chicken, or even hot dogs to suit a variety of tastes.

Ice Cream and Freezer Pop Treats

As the days heat up, so will your kids’ appetites for something cold and refreshing. These quick-to-make treats are sure to please on a steamy summer afternoon.

Orange Creamsicle: Do you remember the smooth, classic flavor of a creamsicle from childhood? You may want to make extra of this for yourself!

Watermelon Slushy: Keep cool with this frosty drink bursting with watermelon! 

Homemade Pudding Pops: These calcium-packed pops are fun frozen treats, great after a run through the sprinkler or as a quick afternoon snack to eat on the porch. 

Blue Banana Smoothie: This smoothie is quick to whip up for a sweet treat.

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