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Dinner – Changing it up for Summer

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Mary Mary 5 years, 12 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Mary

    I’m looking for some suggestions on how to change up dinner for summer.  Sure, we do more pasta salad and hot dogs and hamburgers and of course more fruit, but what ways do other moms change it up?  Any specific recipes you use in the summer that kids love and parents too?

    Profile photo of Mary

    Thanks CDBalance.  Tried quinoa salad today.  First time eating quinoa and I have to say it’s pretty good!!  My kids weren’t the biggest fans, but I’ll keep trying because I liked and it’s so good for you.  Appreciate your sharing this simple and easy dish!


    Lots of fun salads! My son isn’t a huge fan of salad normally, but if I add some fun componants to it – cheese, strawberries, chicken, etc…he enjoys it a lot more. Also, giving him the opportunity to pick out his own salad dressing makes him more excited about eating salad.


    We grill just about everything (no AC in the brick house so this is a neccessity).  My daughter’s favorite is grilled pizza or grilled salmon.  With all the fresh veggies available we do a scramble once per week (my favorite is smoked salmon, goat cheese, and spinach).  We also do ambrosia a lot.  I am a health nut and make my own version for me that is super healthy and high in protein and my daughter recently decided that it is better than store bought.  I use (approximately) 1 cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt (**bleep**e), 1 scoop vanilla whey protein (Protein Freeze), 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, 1/4 cup drained pineapple chunks, 1/4 cup mini marshmallows (only when I am sharing), and (if I have it on hand) 1/4 cup fresh mango or mandarin sections (and some marichino cherries in hers)…even my wife who hates most of my protein concoctions admits that it is pretty tasty and will be even better when the "natural" version of my protein powder comes out so that it doesn’t have the "fake sugar" aftertaste.


    Toya C

    We like to do "appetizers for dinner" in the summer! It’s a good way to incorprate some fruits and veggies because the kids think of it more like snacking than eating a regular dinner. They love nibbling from lots of little side dishes. Hummus and veggies, fruit salad, different kind of dips, etc. You can find some fairly healthy dip recipes by doing things such as substituting yogurt for sour cream. I love these meals because it’s less time spent prepping in the kitchen! And, it’s out of the norm, so it’s fun for everyone in the family and seems like a treat.


    I recently discovered that my kids LOVE quinoa (pronounced "keen-wa") .  It’s a high-protein grain which can be used like rice or pasta and is especially nice in cold salads for summer time.

    One of our favorites is citrus chickpea quinoa salad.   Just cooked quinoa, cooked (or canned) chickpeas, scallions or whatever green veggies we have around finely diced, olive oil, lime juice (my kids like lots; sometimes I also zest a lime) and salt to taste.

    (You can also experiment with other herbs but my kids tend to like it on the simple side.)



    amy dempster

    We also make lots of salads in the summer and it’s fun to try different seasonal fruit, cheeses, and veggies in the mix. My daughter by rule doesn’t like her salad all mixed together so she gets each component of the salad on her plate. This is a fun way for her to try a variety of different items too. Our rule is that we get to decide what goes on the plate and she gets to decide what to eat. Of course we use the opportunity to encourage her to taste.

    The grill is our best friend too – no AC either. We like to grill quesadillas. Everyone makes their own so they can decide what items they want to have in it. This makes dinner prep a lot easier on those busy nights.

    Finally, we take advantage of the better-tasting local summer harvest and make lots of fresh veggies. Our daughter tends to eat more if they are local. Cherry tomatoes and corn on the cob are favorites so they make their way into a variety of dishes.

    Love the quinoa recipe. Mary – you might want to try substituting them for Mediterrean couscous (the pearl-size ones). They are a little softer to sensitive tasters. Though I don’t think they’re as nutritious.

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