7 Kid-Friendly Summer Barbecue Recipes

posted: 05/22/15
by: Blythe Copeland
sliders hamburgers

Tired of serving up the same recipes at every summer barbecue from Memorial Day until Labor Day? This year, switch it up with kid-friendly takes on must-have favorites (like mini burgers, crescent-wrapped cheese dogs, and grilled pizza) and fun twists on everything from juice to s'mores.

1. Sliders

Burgers are a cookout staple, but these mini versions are easier for little hands to hold--and more fun for adults, too. You can use your favorite cheeseburger recipe and just size them down, or make a variety of different styles (try herb sliders, club burgers with avocado-ranch dressing, or 7-layer sliders from Every Day with Rachael Ray).

2. Grilled crescent dogs

Grilled crescent dogs are another unique twist on the picnic classic. Start with your favorite brand of hot dog, slice the top and fill it with cheese, and then wrap the hot dog in a crescent roll and grill on foil. Offer ketchup and mustard on the side for the kids to dip.

3. Grilled pizza

If you're feeding a picky eater who won't eat hot dogs and hamburgers, grilled pizza can be the ideal solution: It's convenient to make while you're grilling your other entrees, and you can customize it for even the most discerning toddler.

4. Fruit kebabs

Fruit salad is a guaranteed hit with just about everyone at your barbecue; try cutting melon with star-shaped cutters for a patriotic touch or laying out strawberries, blueberries, and bananas in a flag shape. Another option: Grill pineapple, peaches, and melon threaded on skewers and serve with yogurt or ice cream.

5. Layered drinks

Dress up your drink table with layered red, white, and blue mocktails. These nonalcoholic beverages get their striped look from simple science: The drinks with lower sugar content will rise to the top. The other key is to pour the drinks over ice, according to In Katrina's Kitchen, instead of adding the ice after you fill your glass.

6. Red, white, and blue Ooey Gooey Bars

These tasty desserts are part Rice Krispies treat, part cake, and entirely delicious. For this version, blogger Tonia from The Gunny Sack used white cake mix with blue food coloring, added red food coloring to the Rice Krispies treats, sandwiched marshmallow cream between the layers, and used a star cookie cutter to shape them after they cooled.

7. Campfire cones

Don't have a fire pit for making s'mores? Try these cone versions from Come Together Kids instead. Fill a sugar cone with chopped bananas, peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips; wrap in foil and grill until everything is melted.