Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy the delicious flavor of grilled foods, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to get your children interested in cooking and in the food they eat. Cookouts are one of the summer’s best things and, if you’re like most people, you’ll host and attend several events. While the kids can always play in the backyard while you cook, allowing them to assist you with the grilling is a great way to spend time with one another and it gives your child knowledge about cooking and delicious flavors. There are many ways that your child can help at your cookout, so assign them a task or two. Your child can feel all grown up by pitching in with drinks, picking the recipes, and even preparing some of the ingredients that will be used during your outdoor event.
Here we will share with you a few ideas for getting the kids involved with the cookout. We’ll also share some recipes that your child will love to make as much as they love to eat them.
The Drink Station
Drinks are an important part of any successful cookout. Put your child in charge of this easy and simple task. They can easily prepare lemonade for guests to sip on, or they can create delicious concoctions that will add a tasty and unique touch to your cookout. A few ideas:
- Orange Dream Punch: This delish punch is made with orange juice concentrate, ginger ale, and orange sherbet.
- Banana Bonkers: Grapefruit juice, bananas, and sherbet and you have Banana Bonkers, a drink that your kids will love as much as the guests.
- Minty Green Iced Tea: Even kids love the minty flavor of this tea so there is no question it will be a big hit at your BBQ.
Remember these are just a few drink ideas. As long as the drink requires only one to three ingredients, most kids should be able to easily prepare it for guests.
Older children may be able to come into the kitchen or get on the grill and help out, but little ones are often left to find something else to do entirely. For your next cookout, make sure that kids of all ages are included in the fun. The little ones can man the food stations at your event or help with food prep.
Your cookout should have separate stations for vegetables, fruits, and for protein items. These stations should be spaced apart to avoid large crowds in one area at a time. It just makes it comfortable for everyone.
Your hot dog station should include items such as buns, ketchup, relish, sauerkraut, etc. A veggie station should contain lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, pickles and other similar items. The hamburger station will be very popular. Remember that today people are very creative with their burgers. It is so much more than the addition of bacon that makes a great burger. Have all of the essential veggies for the burgers, but also include items such as barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, onion rings, chili, jalapenos, lime, and even crab meat.
Why not let your little one help you cook, too? A skewer is an easy item for the kids to prepare and get involved in the cooking. The possibilities for skewers are endless. You can add pineapple, chicken, shrimp, peppers, tomatoes, bacon, and more.
Side items are important for your cookout. Your children can easily handle these stations as well. Some of the best items to include on the side item stations:
- Baked Potatoes
- Potato Salad
- Corn on the Cob
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Roasted Peppers
- Portobello Mushrooms
Many people like to also include a selection of fruit at their cookout. If you want to do this, consider fruits such as:
Grilling for Kids: Food Everyone Loves
Here are a few recipes that you can use at your next cookout that allows the little ones to help out. Let your child create shopping lists for ingredients and take them with you to shop!
Quesadillas are kid-favorite meals that can easily be prepared by little ones, as well as cooked on the grill. A veggie fajita is easy to prepare on the grill and one of those food items that kids can help you with. Your fajita should contain beans, veggies, and all of the other ingredients to make it your own.
If you’ve never experienced pizza prepared on the grill now is the time to change that. Everyone loves pizza, and when it is hot of the grill, it is that much better. Kids will gobble it up just as well as the adults.