American Classic Recipes That Kids Love
All-American BBQ Chicken Thighs
In this healthy chicken thigh recipe, bottled barbecue sauce--often loaded with sodium and high-fructose corn syrup--is replaced with a homemade barbecue sauce recipe. Use the barbecue sauce to baste the chicken thighs while cooking--but if you want to also serve the barbecue sauce at the table, separate some before grilling to avoid cross-contamination.
Star-Spangled Fruit Kebabs
Cutting naturally red and white fruits into star shapes to pair on skewers with blueberries makes a fun, patriotic fruit dessert you can feel good about eating and serving to your kids. This red, white and blue fruit "salad" will be a hit at summer barbecues, especially for the Fourth of July.
Better-Than-Takeout Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries
This healthy take on burgers and fries swaps in chopped mushrooms for some of the meat in the burger patties, to cut back on calories and saturated fat.
Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Give classic pasta salad a fresher, more flavorful spin. This fast pasta dish calls for avocado to replace some of the mayonnaise, which makes it extra creamy. Whole-wheat elbow macaroni and fresh vegetables lighten up this healthy pasta salad that you'll be making all summer long.
Blackberry-Lemon Ice Cream Pie
In this healthy ice cream pie recipe, crumbled gingersnaps make an easy and tasty crust for the blackberry and lemon filling made with nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt.
Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
A blend of whole-wheat panko and fine cornmeal gives this healthy chicken recipe the perfect amount of crunch even though it's not deep fried. Making an easy homemade buttermilk ranch dressing recipe means you can skip bottled, which may have additives and stabilizers.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie
Sweet strawberries and tangy rhubarb nestle into a flaky, buttery crust for a pie so beautiful, you almost won't want to cut into it. A slab pie is the ultimate dessert for time-crunched cooks: it's baked right in a jelly roll pan and makes enough to serve a crowd.
Baked Fish Tacos with Avocado
Instead of deep-frying, the fish fillets in this quick-and-easy 5-ingredient recipe are coated with a flavorful seasoning blend and baked. Several varieties of flaky white fish can be used for these tacos. When you go to the market to purchase fish, the best strategy is to be flexible and choose the variety that looks freshest that day.
Slow-Cooker Baby Back Ribs
This easy load-and-go crock pot recipe is a great dinner to make with your kids. Let the kids stir the sauce while you rub the ribs, then just let the slow cooker do the rest of the work! Serve with a colorful coleslaw and brown rice.
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Sweet strawberries are nestled between layers of sponge cake and a cream filling in this easy cake. We add nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt to whipped cream to lighten up the filling and give it a little tang.
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.
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.
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.
Chicken Fajita Kebabs
These grilled kebabs have all the makings of a classic fajita--seasoned chicken, onions and peppers. Warm a stack of tortillas in a foil packet on the side of the grill to turn the kebabs into an easy fajita dinner. Or serve with lime-and-cilantro coleslaw for a grain-free alternative.
Watermelon Fruit Pizza
This refreshing fruit dessert pizza recipe swaps classic cookie crust with a healthier watermelon "crust." Topped with yogurt sauce, your favorite berries and mint, this fresh dessert can easily be doubled for a party or halved for every day.
Farmers' Market Sliders
Grill up your veggie haul from the farmers' market and pile them on as toppings in this healthy burger recipe. Bell peppers work well too.
Broccoli Salad with Bacon
Classic broccoli salad, the perfect dish for a potluck, is updated with cauliflower, bacon and a sprinkle of crunchy sunflower seeds in this so-easy recipe that's sure to be a new picnic favorite.
Mixed Berry Hand Pies
What better way to take advantage of summer's bounty of berries than to enclose a mixture of berries in flaky pastry and bake up these delicious turnovers--the perfect handheld dessert for picnics and backyard parties. A dusting of sugar on top of the hand pies creates a crispy crust and eliminates the need for frying.
Almond Cookie Tart with Peaches & Berries
Consider this easy gluten-free fruit tart recipe your year-round secret dessert weapon. It serves a crowd, making it perfect for entertaining. Here we top it with summer stone fruit and berries, but try sliced persimmons and pomegranate seeds in the fall or citrus suprêmes come winter.
Turkey, Cheese & Veggie Plate
This colorful picnic dinner idea features tasty munchies you don't need utensils for and mild flavors that kids prefer, like deli meat, cheese and crunchy raw veggies. It's easy to assemble this complete menu, and adults will enjoy it as much as the kids. The menu calls for store-bought hummus and cookies, but you can easily make them yourself (see Tips, below).
Strawberry-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark
Lightly sweetened Greek yogurt gets studded with fresh strawberries and chocolate chips then frozen so you can break it into chunks just like chocolate bark (but healthier!). This colorful snack or healthy dessert is perfect for kids and adults alike. Use full-fat yogurt to ensure the creamiest bark possible.
Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas
One sheet pan is all you'll need to whip up these zesty chicken fajitas. They're quick and easy to make and cleanup is even faster!
Chocolate-Covered Banana Ice Cream Bars
Chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream pops get a vegan upgrade with this healthy copycat recipe. Vegan chocolate forms a shell around creamy peanut butter and banana nice cream garnished with your favorite toppings, like chopped peanuts or shredded coconut.
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.
Classic 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. To hard-boil the eggs while your potatoes are steaming, place them directly on top of the potatoes in the steamer basket. They'll be perfectly hard-boiled when the potatoes are tender.
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.