Do you love summer time as much as our family does? It’s not just a nice change in weather, but also a welcomed change in the foods we eat. Fresh veggies and fruits are in abundance, and meals and snacks pull together quickly, with summer recipes for kids that emphasize local ingredients.
The best part is that summer is usually a less stressful time to get your kids involved in the kitchen. It’s a great time for learning basic skills, exploring healthy foods, and having fun creating new dishes.
Real food for kids matters when it comes to health and well-being, and it can be tasty and delicious at the same time. When your kids are part of the process, picky-eating takes a backseat.
Summer is a perfect time for kids to choose new healthy snacks to try, and explore by touching, smelling, and tasting new foods. They can also have fun learning how to prepare fresh, healthy ingredients.
This post is FULL of easy, healthy summer recipes for kids to make or help with, and the whole family can enjoy eating!
Easy summer breakfast recipes
Each of these breakfast recipes are simple for kids to follow. You can make them the day before and be ready to go for a refreshing start to the day.
You can even pack these summer breakfasts along for a healthy snack on the morning of a road trip.
Nutty Banana Overnight Oats
Hot oatmeal on a hot summer day may sound less than appealing. But, overnight oats can be enjoyed cold, and made the night before — a win, win. My boys love these Nutty Banana Overnight Oats on summer mornings.
Fruity Cocoa Yogurt Parfait
The texture of both the chia seeds and the cacao nibs in this Fruity Cocoa Yogurt Parfait always win me, and my kids, over! Adding your favorite berries and sliced banana is all the sweetness you need to jazz up a plain whole-milk, or dairy-free, yogurt.
Raspberry Almond Chia Pudding
Whether you are cooking with toddlers or teens, kids love to watch the transformation of the chia seeds as they soak up liquid and expand overnight. This Raspberry Almond Chia Pudding recipe is a great basic pudding to start with, and adjust based on favorite additions.
Blueberry Yogurt Parfait
This Blueberry Yogurt Parfait literally takes minutes to put together. With unsweetened yogurt, fresh fruit, and grain-free granola, your kids will be on their way to a healthy breakfast.
Smoothies for summer
Kids of any age seem to LOVE smoothies, so they can be a great way to get them excited about helping in the kitchen. These recipes will help your kids gain independence in the kitchen, with various levels of help — kitchen safety for kids is always top priority.
Besides, hot days and cool snacks are a perfect pair.
Pineapple Banana Green Smoothie
Green smoothies are a fun way to get more greens into your kids, and this Pineapple Banana Kid-Friendly Green Smoothie recipe will satisfy their little taste buds at the same time!
Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl
While pumpkin is usually associated with fall, it can be enjoyed any time of year when pureed and frozen ahead of time (or by using organic canned pumpkin). It’s nutrient dense and the flavor pairs perfectly with banana and raisins in this refreshing Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl — the toppings make it for my kids.
This Coco-cado Smoothie was the first smoothie that my own kids started making on their own. It combines creamy banana, avocado, and cacao for a chocolatey healthy snack.
Acai Kiwi Smoothie
Packed with antioxidants, this Acai Kiwi Smoothie is a beautifully layered, creamy and tart recipe that’s ideal for summer.
Pineapple Cilantro Smoothie
Ever thought of adding cilantro to a smoothie? It gives it a unique zip that even kids enjoy. This tropical Pineapple Cilantro Smoothie is cooling and delicious on a hot and humid day.
Quick and easy to put together, summer snacks are a simple way for kids to get involved in the kitchen, have fun, and try new flavors.
Apple Salami Bites
Even your youngest sous chef can help put these simple Apple Salami Bites together! Sliced apples, all-natural salami, and avocado combine into crisp, sweet, salty, and creamy bites of nourishment any time of day.
Healthy Banana Boats
Our family is full of banana and almond butter lovers, but these Healthy Banana Boat snacks take it to a whole new level. The addition of toppings adds texture, color, and taste to get the kids through the afternoon. Perfect for the practice of spreading, sprinkling, and trying new flavors.
Fancy Bugs on a Log
When it comes to summer recipes that kids can make or help with, simplicity is key. These Fancy Bugs on a Log are super easy to assemble, but also super fun for kids to create using their imaginations!
Using muffin tins is one of my favorite ways to engage kids in the kitchen. There’s something about all those little cups filled with different foods that’s even exciting for adults to play with. Your kids can explore their senses with Apple Dippers, and the recommended dips and toppings.
Simple food — sophisticated fun! Biting whole, colorful foods off a stick is primal and exciting. Selecting foods, ordering them into patterns, and safely skewering each piece, are all steps kiddos can take to successfully make these Snack-time Skewers.
Guac for a Crowd
Chips and dip are a summer favorite. Why not make it a healthy favorite? This Guacamole for a Crowd recipe is a terrific dip full of nutrient-rich ingredients. Mashing, dicing, measuring, and stirring provide engaging tasks for any age. Fruits and veggies are awesome replacements for actual chips to make this a healthy summer snack.
Apple Butter Sandwiches
Apples, nut butter, raisins, and coconut are nothing new when it comes to snack-time foods. But, the way these ingredients are put together can bring new light to standard fare. Kids love layering and stacking — that’s just what these Apple-Butter Sandwiches are all about!
Prosciutto Wrapped Cantaloupe
Taking ingredients that your kids love, like cantaloupe, and pairing them with new flavors, like mint and prosciutto, can be just the ticket to expanded palates. Have your kids help you pull off the mint leaves and wrap these Prosciutto Cantaloupe Nuggets for a special summer snack!
Snack bite recipes
Snack bites, or protein balls, are recipes that kids help make any time of year! I like to have a batch stored in the freezer during the summer months for a cool energy boost between our family meals.
Tropical Turmeric Snack Bites
Tropical flavors and hot weather go hand-in-hand. The buttery flavor of macadamia nuts is a mild base for young palates, and allows for exploration of new experiences in the ginger and turmeric.
If you don’t have access to these fresh roots, substitute one to two teaspoons of ground ginger and ground turmeric in this Tropical Snack Bite recipe. Adding honey is a natural sweetener that kids love.
Cookie Dough Bites
No need to sell these Cookie Dough Bites to any kid. They are delicious (and nutritious)! Kids of any age can have fun adding ingredients to the bowl of a food processor, watching the foods swirl together, and rolling the “dough” into balls.
Coco-Almond Butter Balls
No-bake peanut butter balls with a twist! In this Coco-Almond-Butter Ball recipe we highlight almond butter, coconut butter, seeds, and chocolate for a kid-friendly, healthy, and satisfying snack.
Salad recipes for summer
Salad may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to recipes for kids, but when the fixings are fun and flavorful, salads that kids make can be a summer favorite. Here are some salads that kids give a thumbs up for.
BBQ Pork Jar Salad
Jar salads are a salad style that can brighten a kid’s day. Mine love them because they highlight the fixings more than the leafy greens. This BBQ Pork Salad is a winner with its sweet BBQ dressing and crisp green apples.
Southwestern Taco Salad with Beef
When it comes to this Southwestern Taco Salad recipe, I recommend an “eat the rainbow” challenge with your kids. See if they can come up with real food toppings from each color of the rainbow. This is a great dish for the whole family to pull together quickly.
Oregano Salad with Citrus Dressing
Teaching your kids to cook with fresh herbs is great for their health and maximizing flavor. This salad emphasizes fresh oregano and a citrus dressing, but you and your kids can easily swap out different herbs and vegetables for a different spin.
Raw Brussels & Kale Salad
There are so many great techniques that kids can learn in this Raw Brussels & Kale Salad — from removing the ribs of kale leaves, to softening them with a salt massage, to mixing up a homemade dressing. The raspberries in this salad are, of course, the winning ingredient in our home.
Citrus Tarragon Chicken Salad
Knowing how to make a mayo-free chicken salad is a good skill for any kid to have. This Citrus Tarragon Chicken Salad is simple, fresh, and draws kids in with its orange slices and creamy avocado.
Grape & Avocado Salad
Adding sliced grapes to a green salad can be just the ticket to grab a kid’s interest. If they are still unsure, a deconstructed salad works wonders. This Grape and Avocado Salad can be served by placing the salad greens, chopped avocado, sliced grapes, microgreens, sunflower seeds, and goat cheese in their own spots on this dish with a side of olive oil and vinegar for dipping.
Fruity Green Salad
The fruits of the season may be all you need to excite your kids to make this Fruity Green Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette. Salads can be so much more than a bed of greens and ranch dressing. The textures, colors, and flavors in this summer recipe will delight your family.
Cucumber Radish Salad
The crispy texture and mild flavor of cucumbers are a favorite for kids. This Cucumber Radish Salad takes this favorite and adds a pop of color, and a touch of unique flavor to open their minds to new possibilities.
Strawberry Avocado Salad
As a nutritionist, I look at salads as a great opportunity to get a variety of nutrients. As a mom, I look at salads as a great opportunity for exposure to new flavor combinations. With this Strawberry Avocado Salad, both are accomplished and kids are always drawn to the beauty of sliced berries.
Kid-friendly summer main dishes
These next recipes are great for lunch or dinner on a hot summer day. It’s not just about putting a meal on the table — summer recipes can make for fun nutrition activities.
Italian Sub Pinwheels
Pinwheels are mesmerizing to the eye, and these Italian Sub Pinwheels are mesmerizing to your taste buds. This recipe is a great one for kids of all ages to help with. The littlest of hands can place ingredients on the tortillas, and use a butter knife to practice spreading hummus. Older kids can help roll, secure the wraps, and even slice them into pinwheels.
Avocado Caprese Turkey Wrap
So simple, yet so tasty. These Avocado Caprese Turkey Wraps are a quick and balanced meal (or snack) with plenty of protein, fat, and fibrous veggies. Encourage your kids to serve these alongside fresh fruit, cashews, or plantain chips.
Charcuterie Boards can be a work of art, and as a kid, a ¼ or ½ sheet pan becomes a blank canvas for creativity. A combo of quality meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and veggies, and any extra fill-ins will build a balanced meal and a beautiful tray.
Nutty Tomato Tart
Tomato up! Teach your kids that tarts can be savory, too. Fun layers of fresh summer ingredients make a hands-on experience for kids to be involved in with this Nutty Tomato Tart. Creamy, nutty, and slightly sweet — feel free to make some ingredient swaps and experiment with flavors.
Summer Squash Chicken Boats
Using zucchini and yellow squash as a “boat” to hold chicken and veggie fixings can put a new spin on healthy food for kids. This Summer Squash Chicken Boat recipe includes an olive tapenade — many kids actually love the taste of olives.
Summer side dish recipes
Soups, salsas, and slaws are side dishes that jazz up any meal. Here are a few fun examples that will intrigue kids to broaden their food horizons and help you prepare.
Creamy Celery Soup
Learning how to make a simple pureed soup is a great life skill. This Creamy Celery Soup recipe may sound too sophisticated for kids, but many kids actually love celery and the combination with potatoes mellows out the flavor.
Mango Avocado Salsa
This chunky homemade Mango Avocado Salsa recipe is an awesome, mid-day summer snack, after school snack, or topping to any grilled meat. It’s sweet versatility makes it a great dish for kids to learn to prepare!
Fennel and Cabbage Slaw
Sweet slaws make a fabulous summer BBQ side, and this Fennel and Cabbage version combines savory and sweet ingredients with a simple mayo-free dressing. Shredding cabbage and whisking homemade dressing are skills that help gain kitchen confidence.
Summer treats for kids
A cool surprise, a refreshing drink, and a sweet treat are all part of making summer memories. These healthier versions are perfect for kids to dive into and help make!
Homemade popsicle recipes for kids are so easy, and yet so rewarding! Every kid loves a good frozen pop, but store bought treats are usually full of processed ingredients. This Patriotic Popsicle recipe is packed with clean eating for kids and plenty of deliciousness.
Sparkling Lavender Citrus-ade
Nothing says summer like homemade lemonade. Rather than fill your pitcher with sugar, try this Sparkling Lavender Citrus-ade with a honey sweetened fresh lavender syrup and sparkling water. The neighborhood kids come running whenever this brew is ready!
Almond Butter Blossoms
Do your kids ever turn down a good cookie? Mine certainly don’t. My kids love making these Rich and Chewy Almond Butter Blossoms any time of year!
Be sure to check out this recipe roundup of healthy cookies for kids for more ideas.
Creating Your Own Fun Summer Recipes for Kids
With this assortment of summer recipes for kids, you are now ready to tackle the kitchen and enjoy the fresh flavors of the season. Gather the family, pick the recipes that first catch your eye, and get cooking.
If you need more guidance on transitioning to a real food lifestyle as a family, make sure to check out the Four Weeks of Real Food eBook today.