summer food

Summer Kid-friendly Recipes

When I think of summer, I think of fun in the sun, lazy days, and relaxing as much as possible. The last thing I want to do is slave over a recipe in the hot kitchen for a meal that my kids aren’t going to eat anyways. Personally, I love to cook healthy and nourishing meals, and I hope to pass that on to my little ones.  But during these sweltering months, it’s got to be easy, fresh, and quick.  And if my kids can help, that’s even better! 

As a family, we try to eat as healthy as we can, but we also know that the occasional splurge is completely okay. We are just wrapping up another round of Whole30, and we plan to keep our diet as “real” as possible.  On our best days, we are mostly Paleo with a side of real grass-fed butter.  On our worst (best) days, we are Chuy’s, Chick-Fil-A, and Costco wine.  It’s how we roll.  

So if you can relate to that dichotomy, read on!  I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite kid-friendly recipes that are perfect for summer. Mostly healthy and a few indulgences that are totally worth it.  Starting it off with a few of my personal favorites! 

Watermelon Avocado Salad

This is one of my personal favorites and we’ve been eating it non-stop lately.  This is all you have to do:

    • Gather ingredients:  1 personal sized watermelon, 1-2 avocados, a handful of fresh mint leaves, and balsamic vinegar. 
    • Chop the watermelon into bitesize chunks.  Slice the avocado into small slivers. Tear or thinly slice the mint leave.  Mix it all together in a bowl.  Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar.  You may or may not need a pinch of salt, depending on how ripe and flavorful your watermelon is.  Eat! 


Green Zoodles

We finally tried zoodles (zucchini noodles) for the first time recently, and I was pleasantly surprised!  If you haven’t tried this latest health food fad, give it a shot.  I now prefer it over Spaghetti Squash as a pasta substitute.   You can get pre-made zoodles at most local grocery stores, or you can make your own with a little gadget like this.  Bigger kids can help with this, too. About 3-4 average zucchinis is perfect for this recipe.  Once you have your zoodles, this is how you put it all together: 

    • Gather the ingredients:  
      • Zoodles from 3-4 zucchinis (store bought or homemade) 
      • 1 large avocado
      • 1/2 cup fresh basil
      • 1/4 cup coconut milk (or any milk/milk substitute, except skim)
      • big handful of baby or chopped spinach
      • a spoonful of either parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast if dairy-free
      • 1 tbsp lemon zest or 1-2 drops Lemon essential oil (I only use Young Living)
      • the juice of half a small lemon
      • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
      • 1 clove of garlic
      • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
      • handful cherry tomatoes
      • cooked bacon (optional)
    • In a food processor or blender, pulse together the avocado, basil, coconut milk, spinach, cheese/nutritional yeast, lemon oil, & lemon juice.  Stream in the olive oil until the sauce comes together.  
    • In a large pan, sauté a clove of garlic and a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes.  Add the zoodles and shredded chicken.  Mix in the green sauce and warm until everything is heated through.  Top with chopped bacon if desired. Enjoy! 


Build-Your-Own Quesadillas

The options are endless with this one.  You can set it up like a quesadilla bar.  Then get the little ones involved and make dinner a breeze while using only one pan.  (This is also a great excuse for you to have a margarita with dinner.)

  • Grab tortillas, a frying pan, some butter, the fillings, and the toppings.  
  • Filling ideas: a variety of cheese, shredded chicken, beef, shrimp, salmon or other fish, black beans, corn, sweet potatoes, and sautéed vegetables like spinach, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, or squash.
  • Top with guacamole or plain avocado, salsa, fresh pico, sour cream, or queso (or all of the above). 

Then, simply fry them up in a pan with a little butter and you’re good to go! 


More Recipes: 

Pinterest has no shortage of “kid-friendly” recipes, so I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites for you.  

My kids have never met a pancake they didn’t like, including these 3-ingredient Paleo Banana Pancakes.
We also LOVE muffins big time in our house.  These Healthy One Bowl Blender Cinnamon Roll Muffins are delicious! 

It doesn’t get much easier than these Easy Peasy Lunch Kebabs. 
Or go back to the quesadilla theme with this Peanut Butter & Banana version. 

Make dinner ahead of time with this Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad.  
Or go all out and have a Make Your Own pizza night with whatever ingredients fit your diet.   Check out this awesome list of Healthy Pizza Crust Recipes made from Vegetables! 

Snack Ideas:
Frozen grapes.  Just pluck them off the stem and freeze.  Refreshing and oh so cold!
These Fresh Fruit Pops are so easy and fun. 
Super simple 2-ingredient FroYo bites.


Bon Appetit and stay cool, friends! 






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