35 Kid-Approved Ways to Spice Up Your Next BBQ
Whether you're heading to a backyard bash or lounging around the house, Summer is always a popular time to gather round the grill. We've rounded up 35 great ways to make this weekend's barbecue especially kid-friendly. From easy eats to surprises and treats, click through and turn a few of our ideas into your own.
Homemade Ice Cream
Nothing says Summer like homemade ice cream! If you've got an old-fashioned crank ice cream maker, then Labor Day is the perfect time to drag it out and get everyone involved in churning this sweet treat. Or have fun making individual bags of ice cream that only take minutes to make.
Whole Wheat Pasta Salad With Feta and Peas
Make this kid-friendly pasta salad at lunch and serve through snack time; it actually tastes better the longer it sits. The whole wheat pasta is a filling option, and the pea shoots give it a nutritious crunch. It's a quick recipe you'll find yourself returning to throughout the Summer.
The basic dog has come a long way over the years, with tons of different varieties to choose from. You can find chicken hot dogs, kosher dogs, and vegan dogs at most grocery stores. Spruce your hot dogs up with handmade sides to make them a bit more special. Toss together your own homemade ketchup and mustard, easier-than-you-think sweet pickle relish, or tangy mango and avocado salsa.
What Is It? Reusable White Dinner Plates With Bees
Watch out for those bees on your plate! ($17) Oh, wait . . . never mind. These melamine plates play multiple tricks on the eye — they look like paper but are actually reusable, and those bees? Luckily, they're just part of the design.
There's nothing like a dripping-with-sauce rack of ribs on a lazy day off. Looking for a bit of grilling inspiration? Why not try this sweet and savory recipe for ribs from YumSugar? But, be warned, make sure to offer your guests lots of napkins! Looking for something with a different flavor? Try your hand at grilled Korean short ribs or honey-chipotle glazed ribs.
Home-Style Macaroni Salad
Creamy Potato Salad
Potato salad is a must have at any Labor Day gathering, and it's wonderfully easy to make. Try swapping plain yogurt for mayo, which makes salads more potable, and no one has to worry about the salad sitting out on a hot afternoon. And using a low-fat yogurt instead of mayonnaise cuts the calories in this creamy side! Make ahead or the day of your gathering and keep cold in the fridge. Try your hand at fingerling potato salad or a traditional potato salad that uses basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
What's wonderful about a big pot of baked beans is that you can let it simmer all day in a slow cooker, which keeps the heat out of your kitchen. Start your sweet and savory beans the night before so they're wonderfully tender when your Labor Day guests arrive. Here's an easy recipe for smokey bacon baked beans, or go vegetarian with this version of Boston baked beans.
Crispy and tangy, barbecue chicken is a crowd favorite. Kids love the sweet wings, making grilled birds a great addition to your Labor Day menu. Marinate the cut sections in a water brine that will keep your meat moist. Mix together one gallon of water, one cup of kosher salt, and one half-cup of sugar. Pour over the chicken, and let the meat brine for up to three hours before grilling. Baste with your favorite sauce or make your own — it's easier than you think! Here's a quick and easy barbecue sauce recipe from YumSugar.
Dipped Freezer Pop Soap
Imagine the looks on your kiddos' faces when you tell them to wash their hands, and there's a melting ice pop ($4) where the soap should be! Pick up one of these vanilla ice cream-scented soap bars for your next BBQ — it'll only enhance your reputation as the coolest mom in town.
Kikkerland Blink Ketchup and Mustard Bottles
At first glance, these may look like normal condiment bottles ($18), but spin them around and you'll see they're anything but. Turn your ketchup or mustard on its side, squeeze, and its eyes will close and open. They're wild, weird, and — when you see the reaction on your kids' faces — wonderful!