Kid-Friendly Summer Food Recipes & Activities at Home
It's coming. Yes, we mean summertime, when you'll want to have on hand a list of kid-approved recipes they'll love to make and eat. We've gathered a few uncommon ideas for you to try out, and you'll be glad you did when you see the smiles on your kids' faces all vacation long!
Homemade Ice Cream Day
There's no need to head down to the boardwalk to grab a cone of the cold stuff. It's so easy — and even healthier — made at home, and you don't even need an ice cream machine. The absolute easiest ice cream is a one-ingredient, cream-free version made with bananas.
Just Bananas Ice Cream:
- Slice a couple of ripe, peeled bananas that you've frozen overnight.
- Add them to your food processor or blender and blend until you've created "ice cream."
- Serve immediately as soft-serve or freeze for an hour to firm up.
- Gather candy bits, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts to add so everyone can make their personal favorites.
- Note: For a creamier texture, add a tiny bit of coconut milk, or, try this recipe that uses milk. You can also create chocolate ice cream by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder for every 3 small bananas you use.
If your gang is ready to try your hands at more ice cream without a machine, use these tips!
Whipped Creamery Day
Your foodies-in-training will be thrilled to whip up some sweetness together. Grab a few cartons of heavy whipping cream from Food Lion, clean glass jars with lids, and a handheld mixer. It's time to beat the heat with these cool recipes for butter and whipped cream. Set up a bagel, muffin, and toast bar for butter tastings and an ice cream or fruit bar the next day for whipped cream tastings.
Butter recipe for bread bar:
- Fill each jar halfway with cream. Use small jars so everyone can have their own batch and get a chance to shake things up.
- Screw the lids on tightly.
- Shake, shake, and keep on shaking the jars — this can take minute.
- After a couple of minutes of serious shaking, open up the lids to find whipped cream.
- Put the lids back on and keep on shaking until you hear some liquid sloshing around in the jars. Shake through the sloshing, and soon you won't hear liquid anymore — you've made butter!
- Pour off any excess liquid (which is actually buttermilk) and take the butter out of the jar. Put it into a bowl.
- Gently rinse the butter under cold water, kneading it a bit as you rinse. You'll remove the rest of the buttermilk that way.
- Taste it and add salt for flavor. Slather it on your bread and enjoy!
- Note: There are no preservatives in this butter, so pop it in the fridge where it'll keep for a few days.
Whipped cream recipe for your ice cream bar:
- Early in the day, put an empty metal mixing bowl and your metal hand-mixer whisks in the fridge to cool down.
- Pour heavy cream, a small splash of vanilla extract, and a sprinkling of either table sugar or confectioners sugar into the chilled bowl and mix it together on medium speed.
- Keep mixing until the cream creates little stiff peaks, but don't over-mix or you'll have more butter.
- Taste and mix in more sugar if necessary.
Edible Playdough Day
You can make playdough that's easy to play with and great tasting — if someone happens to eat it. Add to the fun with lots of cookie cutters, candy molds, rolling pins, scoops, mashers, and ice trays so kids can make their own creations. This edible playdough recipe is easy and fun to make. It'll even make your house smell great when you use ingredients. Encourage your kids to play with the playdough and only nibble on it for fun, but keep in mind it won't harm them at all if they take bigger bites.
Tasty Playdough Recipe Ingredients:
- 2 cups water
- 3 ½ cups white flour
- ½ cup salt
- Packages of various fruit-flavored drink and/or lemonade mixes for flavor and color
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Boil the water and remove it from the stove. Mix the dry ingredients together and then stir in the oil with a spoon. Pour the hot water into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir it. Cool the dough down and put it on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until it's smooth, about 10 minutes. Now it's time to sculpt, smash, and mash away! If your kids are clamoring for homemade slime, too, here's a great recipe — just don't eat this one.
Mix it up a bit with this amazing soup and some tasty sandwiches. This gazpacho is the perfect cooling antidote to a hot summer afternoon, especially if your littles are big tomato fans-and if not, it is a good way to sneak in some veggies. You won't even need to heat up the stove! Gather your blender and the following ingredients:
- 1 unpeeled large cucumber, seeded and diced into chunks
- 2-3 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and diced into chunks
- 5 Roma tomatoes
- ½ to 1 red onion
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves
- 3-4 cups tomato juice, depending on your preferred texture
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼-½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
To make this super soup, blend all the veggies and garlic in your food processor. Add the tomato juice, vinegar, and olive oil and blend again. Season the soup with salt and pepper, and place it in the fridge to chill down before lunchtime.
The Real Slushy
Don't put that blender or food processor away just yet! Homemade slushies have a little bit of natural sugar, no artificial colors, and genuine flavor with all the cooling down your kids need in the summer. To make these tasty treats, add a cup of crushed ice and about a half-cup of fruit juice to the blender. Run it until the drink is the perfect consistency-a little less thick than a milkshake. Mix juices or even toss in a couple tablespoons of frozen fruit juice concentrate if that's what you have on hand. Grab a few straws and relax during afternoon storytime.
For more kid-approved recipes, head to Foodlion.com. You'll find many more warm-weather treats, including Peach Nectarine Pops, Whole Fruit Ice Pops, Watermelon-Kiwi Popsicles, and activity ideas to make this summer your best yet.