Kid-Friendly Recipes for Summer Picnics and Cookouts
BBQ Carrot Dogs
Shock everyone with this recipe for veggie dogs that actually taste like hot dogs. They're an amazing (and healthy!) vegan alternative to traditional meat hot dogs. Serve in whole-wheat hot dog buns and top with all your favorite toppings, such as sauerkraut, relish, ketchup and mustard, for the ultimate barbecue meal.
Fresh Fruit Salad
This refreshing fruit salad is a classic combination that will be the favorite at any potluck or cookout. Serve with a creamy yogurt dressing to take this side (or dessert) to the next level.
Strawberry Nutella S'mores
Upgrade classic s'mores when you use chocolate-hazelnut spread instead of a chocolate bar in this quick recipe. We also added fresh strawberries and swapped graham crackers for thin lemon cookies in a fun, healthy twist.
Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Everyone will love this Mexican-inspired pasta salad recipe. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.
Hawaiian Turkey Sliders
Grilled pineapple tops flavorful turkey burgers to give this easy slider recipe Hawaiian flair.
You might want to double this recipe so you have extra for snacking. If using less-than-perfect tomatoes, consider adding a pinch of sugar to make up for the lack of natural sweetness.
Healthy Brownie Bites
These mini-muffin brownies are perfect for an afterschool treat or healthy dessert. They stay moist with a secret ingredient--zucchini, which melts into each bite right alongside the chocolate chips, giving them a nutritional boost that you won't even notice.
Rainbow Fruit Kebabs
Eating clean doesn't have to be boring! This fruit-salad-on-a-stick is the natural way to get in on the rainbow trend for a fun healthy snack or no-added-sugar dessert.
Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches
Lighten up classic egg salad by swapping in creamy avocado instead of using mayonnaise. Sandwich it between toasted whole-wheat bread and you've got an easy, packable lunch ready for work or school.
Barbecue Pork Chops
The quick, super-easy barbecue sauce in this recipe would be great on roasted chicken as well. Serve with your favorite slaw and a cold lager.
Camping Chicken Quesadillas
These make-ahead quesadillas are a genius campfire dinner solution. Assemble and wrap in foil at home, then once you get to camp, just throw over hot coals for a quick campsite meal.
Meat & Cheese Cucumber Roll-Ups Bento Box Lunch
Thinly sliced cucumber is used as a low-carb "wrap" in this satisfying lunch recipe. Pile sandwich fillings like lunch meat, cheese and veggies on top of the cucumber slices, roll up and cut into bites like sushi. Round out this easy packable lunch with fresh fruit and veggies for a fun meal to take to work or school.
Orzo Chicken Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing
The creamy quick-blend dressing is just the thing to top this inspired Southwest pasta salad. Both can be made a day ahead.
Campfire Banana S'mores
You'll never go camping again without this fun twist on classic s'mores made inside a split banana. Plus, it's easy to make gluten-free or to cut some carbs--just ditch the graham crackers and scoop this gooey treat up with a spoon instead.
Guacamole & Dippers
We like bell pepper and carrots but swap in any crunchy vegetable, like celery or cucumbers, to make this your favorite healthy snack.
Classic Dill Chicken Salad
We lightened up the creamy dressing in this healthy chicken salad recipe with a combo of mayonnaise and plain Greek yogurt. Dill, grapes, celery and walnuts make up this classic chicken salad but feel free to experiment with your favorite fruit, vegetables and herbs. Serve it open-face on toasted bread or scoop it on top of fresh salad greens.
Color-Changing Lemonade Slushies
Kids and adults alike will be wowed watching this delicious slush turn from blue to pink and purple in an instant. The magical concoction is made with natural blue tea (see Note) and refreshing lemonade for a fun science experiment that's tasty too. Perfect for your child's birthday party! (Adults may enjoy spiking their drink with a little vodka or gin.)
Bacon & Mango Tango Sliders
With a touch of sweet from the mango, savory from the bacon, plus a creamy avocado spread, this healthy slider recipe with takes burgers to a whole new level. Double the avocado mayo and use it for your next BLT.
Peanut Butter-Banana Roll-Ups
These healthy roll-ups with peanut butter and bananas make eating lunch fun! Kids will love the bite-sized version of this sandwich. Try sunflower seed butter as an allergy-friendly alternative.
Three-Herb Potato Salad
In this healthy and creamy potato salad recipe, yogurt replaces half of the mayo and we keep the potato skins on for more fiber and potassium. The herbs give this potato salad a fresh and bright flavor. Feel free to experiment with your favorites.
One-Bowl Monster Cookies
If you thought it wasn't possible to make healthier monster cookies, think again. These peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chip and M&M cookies have less butter and sugar than traditional recipes, but they have just as much flavor and tenderness, thanks to more peanut butter. Even better, they're made in one bowl for easy cleanup.
Great news--crunchy, flavorful fried chicken can be healthy with this oven-fried chicken recipe. We marinate skinless chicken in buttermilk to keep it juicy. A light coating of flour, sesame seeds and spices, misted with olive oil, forms an appealing crust during baking. And with only 7 grams of fat per serving in this oven-fried chicken recipe--rather than the 20 in typical fried chicken--that is good news.
Fire Ants on a Log
Update classic ants on a log, a favorite childhood snack, when you swap dried cherries for raisins.
Apple Mini Fruit Pizzas
Round apple slices make a sweet, crisp, no-bake crust for these easy fruit pizzas topped with almond butter, chocolate chips and crunchy pistachios. This fun snack or healthy dessert cuts carbs from a classic cookie-crust fruit pizza.
Healthy Dark Chocolate "Puppy Chow"
Crunchy, sweet, salty ... healthy?! Yes, indeed. We gave this classic sweet treat, also called muddy buddies, a grown-up makeover using whole-grain cereal and dark chocolate. Dig in!
Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions
Traditional pulled pork is barbecued, which gives it a smoky flavor. But the slow cooker happens to be the absolute easiest way to cook pulled pork--and you can get a hint of smoke by adding chipotle chile. Serve the pulled pork with potato salad, collard greens and grits. Or make it into a sandwich and serve it on a bun with coleslaw.
Purple Fruit Salad
Serve this refreshing fruit salad featuring juicy plums, grapes and berries on its own or with other colorblock fruit salads (like red, green and orange) for a fun, crowd-pleasing rainbow side dish.
Quick Broccoli Slaw
Use up unused broccoli stems by making your own broccoli slaw instead of using the bagged slaw in this easy potluck favorite. Trim and peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler, then cut 3 cups of matchsticks with the julienne blade on a mandoline or by hand.
Banana Peanut Butter S'mores
Mix up the classic s'mores recipe by swapping graham crackers for chocolate wafers. We love the flavor of the banana with the chocolate and peanut butter, but apples are delicious too.
Picnic Bento Lunch
Get all the flavors of al fresco dining wherever you are. This easy and healthy packable lunch idea includes all your picnic favorites for a satisfying meal to take to work.