There are plenty of reasons summer break strikes fear in the hearts of even the most doting parents. The child care. The camp shuffle. The constant need for sunscreen. The struggle to stave off boredom. The food.
Yes, the school year is good for a lot of things, especially keeping your kids occupied and fed, whether it’s thanks to the cafeteria or your totally-with-it brown-bagging self. But once the kids are home, even the best-laid schedules and meals can go out the window, with kids rattling around the kitchen with nothing to do and (they say) nothing to eat. So! Let’s tackle both of these problems at once with a couple of kid-friendly recipes from our archives. They’re great ways to get kids involved in the process, not to mention put something tasty on the table.
Over the Top Banana Pops, above. Here’s one that covers all kinds of bases: Getting rid of some of those craft sticks you inevitably have in your closet, using up odds and ends of cookies or cereal languishing in your pantry, and getting your kids to eat a bit more fruit. At the grocery store, let them pick their preferred flavor of yogurt, which is what binds the banana and toppings together.
Mexican Rice Balls. Adults — or at least older kids — can make the rice, but little ones will enjoy shaping the rice into balls and stuffing cheese cubes into the center of them.
Fruit Salsa. This kid-developed recipe is fun to assemble and eat, not to mention look at — you may think it’s a traditional veg salsa based on first glance, but you’d be wrong. Don’t be afraid to adjust the fruit to suit your family’s tastes. If your child is just getting interested in basic knife skills, this is a good recipe to let them practice on.
Cinnamon Honey Wheat Thins. Even if you have to assemble the dough, you can unleash your budding chefs to roll it out and help you transfer the cut squares onto the baking sheets. If you feel comfortable having them wield a knife or pizza wheel, they can pitch in on cutting them, too.
Hummus Wraps With Grilled Zucchini and Dukkah. I hear you — zucchini! Dukkah? With kids, Becky? You must be out of your mind! Not totally — or at least not in this instance, anyway. Even if you don’t follow the recipe exactly, it’s a great template. Grab some flatbreads, some hummus (generally a food young people can get behind) and let the kids pick the rest of the filling, whether it’s carrots, olives, cherry tomatoes, what have you.
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