Get kids BBQing this summer!

Get kids BBQing this summer!

Some adults probably think of the BBQ is their exclusive domain. There’s a designated griller in the family and they take the helm during the season. Why not let the kids help out and learn about cooking on the grill?

Grilling, a dry heat method used for beef, poultry, pork, fish, tofu, vegetables and fruit, cooks food on a grate quickly from below. With the intense, radiant heat of charcoal briquettes or gas flames, barbecuing sears the outside skin, sealing in moisture. This creates a pleasantly crisp crust, and distinctive roasted flavor and aroma, with smoky overtones. Because the fat drips off as it cooks, grilled meats have less fat and calories than, say, the pan-fried version.

Grilling is one of the perfect ways to spend time outside—out in the garden or on the deck. Plus, it takes a lot of the mess (dirty pots and pans) out of the equation and get you out of the hot kitchen. As long as you take a few safety precautions*, cooking with children using the grill is a great idea.

Kabobs

Shish kabobs are especially fun to prepare with kids. They can cut veggies and cube chicken (have younger ones slice only soft veggies, such as zucchini, using a table knife). But of course, the favorite part will be assembling the goodies on the skewers. Create just-protein and just-veggie kabobs or mix it up with Little Potatoes, alternating with colorful vegetables and beef/pork/prawns/tofu/etc., with whatever proteins you like.

For a summery dish, try chicken-and-Creamer skewers with mango, red peppers and cherry tomatoes, brushed with honey-mustard glaze or Easy Steak and Creamer Potato Kabobs. Add a dipping sauce on the side, and these finger-food dinners are as much fun to eat as they are to make!

Easy packs

Our Oven|Grill Ready trays are ideal for a quick and easy family meal. Let the kids open the package, add in a splash of olive oil and the (included) seasonings, and toss. Then you can place the tray right on the grill and roast for 30 minutes. (These come in Garlic Herb and Onion Medley.) If you want to get just a bit more involved, our Baked Little Potato Casserole is a winner, with sour cream, grated cheddar, green onions and bacon bits. Cook it on the grill. For breakfast al fresco, or on a camp out, make Cowboy Hashbrowns: tender Creamers with sweet onion, red pepper, eggs and Parmesan.

Mini

Most kids are obsessed with anything mini, so just roll with it. Barbecue mini burger or chicken sliders and serve on little buns. Add Grill|Oven Ready Creamers or Grilled Lemon Potato Skewers on the side, BBQ potatoes and vegetable medley or try cute Mini Twice Baked Potatoes on the BBQ.

Have fun making barbecuing a family affair! A new summertime tradition, perhaps with kids at the helm?

*To be safe, remind children not to ever touch the grill and that horseplay anywhere near the BBQ is a no-no. For littler kids, create a no-go zone about three-feet around the BBQ; you can use chalk to delineate the area. Investigate and discuss the grill up close together when it’s off; this is a terrific time to practice techniques and answer questions. Let them get into all the prep work: meal planning, following recipes, measuring ingredients, marinades, assembly, seasonings and so on.

HOW DO YOU GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED WITH COOKING ON THE BBQ? ANY SUGGESTIONS?

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