Fourth of July is for grilling in many cities in America.
While just about every adult loves a good cookout, grilling can be hit or miss with the kids. If you’ll be grilling for the family, you may want to stick to serving foods that are attractive to adults and kids alike, that way you can ensure that everyone ends dinner with a full belly.
The next time you’re grilling, consider these kid-friendly grill favorites.
- Cheesy corn on the cob: Peel back the husks and remove the silks. Using kitchen twine, tie the husks together to make a handle to help little hands hold onto the corn. This also helps keep the husks from burning. Soak corn in cold salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain the corn and place it on the grill. Close the lid and let cook for 15 minutes, turning it occasionally. The grill should be set to medium heat. Once the corn is golden brown, remove it from grill and brush with melted butter, chili powder and grated Parmesan cheese.
- Kabobs: Kids love nothing better than food on a stick; take corn dogs, Popsicles, and lollipops as a testament to this fact. For this reason, kabobs are a popular kid-friendly grilling option. You can include the kids when threading the food onto the kabobs and they will like them even better because they helped to make them. Remember, your kabob options are endless. You can make anything from peppers, onions, and chicken to pineapple, tomatoes, and ham, both of which are sure to be a hit.
- Sausage on a stick: Make your own sausage on a stick. Try using regular polish sausages or the sausages with cheese on the inside of them. Next, thread them on soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers lengthwise, as if it was a corn dog. Place them on the grill. These sausages on a stick are fun to eat and much easier to manage than a bulky bun loaded with toppings.
- Peaches: If your kids like peaches, and even if they don’t, you have to try this sweet grilled variation of them. Cut the peach in half and remove the pit. Then dip the peach half into granulated sugar and place it on an oiled grill. Keep the heat on the low side because it doesn’t take long for these beauties to warm through and get some grill marks on them. Pull them off the grill, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have tasty treat.
- Sliders: These small size burgers are easier to hold, and there’s less to eat so they work well for little hands and stomachs. Take 2lbs. of hamburger and mix in salt and pepper to taste. Form your sliders using a 2” biscuit cutter. You should be able to get 12 sliders from 2lbs of meat. Press your thumb into the middle of each slider and chill patties for about an hour. Place some party rolls, split side down on the grill. Grill for about 2 minutes keeping an eye on them. Take them off, butter them and tent them with foil. Put the sliders on the grill and cook for about 3 minutes per side. Take the patties off the grill and slide them on the toasted buns. Add any toppings your kids like.
- Pizza: What kid doesn’t like pizza? Use your own pizza dough recipe or buy some pre-made dough. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Have the kids pat their dough into a rough circle while you preheat the grill on high. Throw some flour on the counter to make it easier for the kids to press out their dough. Add the rounds to a baking sheet covered in a dusting of corn meal. Take your tongs and a clean towel dipped in oil and oil the grill. Then carry the dough rounds out and put the pizzas on the oiled grill. After they cook for 2 minutes, flip the pizzas over and have the kids add their toppings. Pizza sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and any other favorite toppings can be added to create the ideal pizza. Close the lid and continue to cook the pizza for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the grill and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
- Grilled potatoes: If you go camping you’ve probably heard of this recipe. Take 3 large baking potatoes and cut them first in half and then into 1” slices. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Preheat the grill to medium-high and then add a layer of sliced potatoes onto 2 layers of heavy duty foil that’s about 20” square. Fold the foil around the potatoes tightly and grill for about 30 minutes turning the packet every 10 minutes. Make sure the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork and enjoy.
- Veggies and dip: Cut 2 zucchini and 2 summer squash into ½” slices cut on the diagonal. Toss slices into ½ cup of Italian dressing. Then grill for 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill. To make the dip, mix together 2/3 cup sour cream (low fat is fine), 2 chopped scallions (optional), ½ t. Worcestershire sauce, 1 t. lemon juice, 1 t. salt and a little pepper. Kids can help mix up the dip while the veggies are grilling.
- Grilled bananas: While younger children may need a little help with this recipe, older children can certainly make them themselves with supervision. Place bananas on the grill in their skins. Keep turning them until the skins are blackened. Remove the stem and skins and slice. Serve them over ice cream for a special treat
- Pizza dogs: Cut slices into the hot dogs about ½” apart and ¼” deep. Grill the hot dogs until heated through and the hot dog should be open at the cut marks. Serve hot dogs on a bun with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. For younger children, be sure to slice the hotdog lengthwise before serving.