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Montreal Families

Easy summer recipes to make with the kids

My 10-year-old’s food tastes are constantly surprising me. Last year, while watching me drop peppers and tomatoes into a blender he curiously asked “What are you making? Can I help?” and proceeded to take over the task. Afterwards, we had a lovely picnic outside with our jointly-prepared fresh gazpacho and finished off the meal with “fancy drink” of ginger ale and strawberries.

Since then he’s tweaked what he now calls “his” gazpacho recipe, and added some new foods to his resume. This summer we’re thinking about venturing into more cold soups like vichyssoise, or a refreshing-sounding watermelon soup like this one from The Spruce Eats.

If you want to try cooking with your kids and are looking for easy recipes, check out these tasty foods that you can make together. Not only are they easy to put together, but they’re quick summertime meals and snacks.

No-bake Watermelon pizza

This pizza doesn’t require any cooking and is a great foray into food prep for first-time chefs. They can wash the berries, slice the fruit (with supervision of course), and mix up the tangy-sweet glaze. There are no rules to what fruit you put on top, so try something you may not have had before like dragonfruit or kumquat.

What you’ll need:

1 seedless watermelon (or watermelon slices)
Your favourite fruits like cherries, peach slices, kiwis, or sliced grapes
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. orange juice


Mix cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth.
Add the Greek yogurt and oj and beat until smooth.
Add the powdered sugar and mix.
Keep the glaze cold.
Prepare the watermelon by cutting into thick circular slices, and then into triangle wedges.
Spread a bit of the cream cheese glaze on each slice.
Add your fruit and serve right away.

Mud cups

The hardest part of this recipe will be waiting for the pudding to set. If you want to make it even quicker, just buy some ready-made pudding.

What you’ll need:

1 Package Oreos
1 Package chocolate or vanilla pudding mix
1 Container whipped topping like Coolwhip, or heavy whipping cream
Gummy worms or other gummy critters


Put the Oreos in a large Ziploc bag and smash them until crumbly.
Prepare pudding mix.
Lightly fold the whipped topping into the pudding.
Place the crumb mixture into individual cups or small bowls.
Spoon in the pudding mix.
Sprinkle on some Oreo “dirt”.
Top with a couple of gummy worms and dig in.

Veggie face pizzas

Get the kids to load up on their veggies with their own artistic flair.

What you’ll need:

Whole wheat (or white) tortillas, pitas, or flatbread
Pizza sauce or a flavoured cream cheese spread
Vegetables (sliced peppers, cherry tomatoes, or zucchini. Shredded carrots. Chopped broccoli. Olives, or whatever other veg you like)


Prepare all the vegetables and lay out in bowls.
Spread your sauce of choice onto the base.
Let the kids decorate as much as they like. The more faces they make, the more veggies they’ll (hopefully) consume.

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Instead of making a milkshake on a sweltering summer day, have the kids help make this healthier five-ingredient smoothie instead.

What you’ll need:

Two bananas
Peanut butter or a nut butter


Throw it all in a blender and serve! Hint: you can freeze ripe, whole bananas. When ready to use, just put them under hot water for a minute and the peel will come right off. This tip helps to make smoothies even creamier and colder. For added nutrition, put in some uncooked rolled oats.

Walking tacos

Great for a quick lunch, evening picnic, or camp meal, the ingredients for this meal all get tossed right into the chip bag.

What you’ll need:

1 pound ground beef, pork or chicken
1 package reduced-sodium chili seasoning mix
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can of pinto, kidney, or red beans
Enough single serve bags of Doritos, Fritos, or corn chips for each person
Toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and sliced green onions


Cook the ground meat until done. Add in the seasoning mix.
Cut open the chip bags and pour in the rest of the ingredients and enjoy right out of the bag.

Ice Cream in a Bag

Kids can shake, shake, shake their way to homemade ice cream. This one is a great summer activity that ends with a rewarding treat.

What you’ll need:

1 cup half-and-half (10%) cream
1/2 cup fresh raspberries or strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups crushed ice
1 cup salt
2 heavy-duty large resealable plastic bags (Ziplocs)
1 heavy-duty XL resealable plastic bag


Place 1 large bag inside the other. Add the first 5 ingredients inside the inner bag then seal both bags, squeezing out as much air as possible.
Place the two bags inside an XL-size resealable plastic freezer bag. Add the ice and salt into this outer bag and seal.
Shake and squish the cream mixture until it has thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Serve!

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