Socializing with friends in the summertime used to mean restaurant patios, appetizers, and leisurely strolls home from our quaint downtown. Could you imagine doing that with a toddler and baby? We’ve tried, and we can get through one drink and an appetizer before racing home because someone has had a blowout. SO, in order to keep our social life in check while keeping the kiddos and ourselves happy, we opt for cookout’s at home!
And because our cookout’s typically involve more kids that our own, I’ve put together a few tips when it comes to creating a kid-friendly cookout!
1. Make recipes that appeal to both adults and kids. Why make more work for yourself when it comes to the cooking and cleanup? You don’t need to! So I look for easy recipes that I know both kids and adults will enjoy. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of our recipes from my friends over at Produce for Kids. They have a new FREE e-cookbook, Simply Summer: 20 Fresh Cookout Favorites, filled with fresh, in-season fruits and veggies! Even if you aren’t hosting a summer cookout, you’ve got to download the cookbook and try the PB&J Popsicles. They are Joey’s new favorite!
2. Keep your backyard stocked with toys. Kids need entertainment beyond the food. Yes the kids will eat, but they’ll likely want to play more! From bubbles to soccer balls to hula-hoops to sidewalk chalk, make sure your backyard is stocked with toys. And just in case it rains, keep an episode of Paw Patrol or Daniel the Tiger on deck. If everyone is crammed inside you might want a calming activity for the kids, and an episode of a TV show won’t hurt!
3. Create a special drink for the kids! Essentially this is a mock-tail, but it’s for kids! And your pregnant friends. I’ll usually have 100% fruit juice on hand with frozen berries that can be used as ice cubes. Or better yet, you could make fruit ice cubes for water or lemonade! These are the trays I used below.
4. Ask parents about special dietary needs beforehand. Chances are if you have a friend whose child has a food allergy they’ll let you know or offer to bring something special. I’m sensitive to this because we have family and friends with children who have nut allergies. But if there’s someone new to the group I always ask. The last thing you want is to have a child feel singled out OR have to rush and make something extra last minute. You want to be able to enjoy time visiting with your guests!
5. Have a food activity for the kids. There’s always the make your own ice cream sundae bar, which is a favorite for adults and kids. Beyond dessert, you could have the kids make their own fruit kabobs, or better yet, pizza kabobs! We’ve also had a make-your-own S’more Station, which was fun for both kids and adults! Click here for the pizza kabob recipe.
Oh I just thought of another food activity— involving dessert of course. The kids could decorate their own cannoli cream pie cups! Find the recipe for the cannoli cream pie cups here.Plan a kid-friendly cookout with these 5 simple steps! Click To Tweet
I’d love to hear how you please both kids and adults when planning a kid-friendly cookout!