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ATK Kids

Celebrate the Start of Summer With These Kid-Friendly Recipes

Kids can kick-start the season with these recipes that highlight summer’s peak produce!
By Published June 25, 2021

Long days, no school, and hot weather all mean that summer has arrived. And along with it come the delicious, summer-ripe fruits and vegetables that grown-ups and kids alike love to eat. Below, we’ve gathered a collection of some of our favorite kid-tested and kid-approved recipes that are perfect for young chefs spending summer at home. (Sign up your young chef to be an at-home kid recipe tester!) From a sweet fruit tart to savory pesto, these recipes are sure to make a splash.

From left: Free-Form Summer Fruit Tart, Strawberry Cream Paletas, and Blueberry Cobbler

Free-Form Summer Fruit Tart

Does it get any more summery than ripe peaches and berries? This colorful dessert puts the fruit front and center, making for a beautiful dish kids will be proud to serve. Your young chef can use any combo of stone fruit and berries—substitute plums, nectarines, or apricots for the peaches, and swap blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries for the blackberries.
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Strawberry Cream Paletas

These frozen treats made with fresh fruit are popular in Mexico, and they’re perfect for hot summer days. All the ingredients are combined in the food processor before they’re carefully poured into ice pop molds and frozen. (These ice pop molds are our favorite!) Kids can prepare the paletas in the morning and enjoy them as a refreshing late-afternoon snack. If they’re more into mango than strawberry, they can make these popsicles inspired by the flavors of mango lassi instead.
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Blueberry Cobbler

Summer is prime berry time and sweet-tart blueberries make a colorful cobbler that calls for a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Siblings of different ages can work on this recipe together. Younger kids will enjoy stirring together the simple filling, and older siblings can be in charge of dropping scoops of buttermilk biscuit dough on top of the filling. Teamwork can be so sweet.
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From left: Basil Pesto, Summer Tomato and Peach Salad, and Chili-Lime Roasted Corn

Basil Pesto

Summer often means a bounty of fresh basil in your garden or at the grocery store and farmers’ market. Young chefs can turn this leafy herb into a bright green, savory sauce with a handful of ingredients and a little help from the food processor. They can spread their pesto onto a sandwich, toss it into a pasta salad, or even spoon it onto pizza, right when it comes out of the oven.
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Summer Tomato and Peach Salad

Tomatoes and peaches are at their best in summer, and this salad puts them front and center. Kids cut their produce into chunks before gently tossing them in a light olive oil and lemon dressing and topping their salad with torn mint leaves. Want to blow your young chefs mind while enjoying the fruits of their labor? Tell them that tomatoes are actually a fruit, not a vegetable, thanks to the seeds that grow inside. They can try their hand at our Fruit or Vegetable? quiz to learn about other surprising fruits.
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Chili-Lime Roasted Corn

Summer-sweet corn on the cob is finally here. This recipe combines the flavors of elote (Mexican street corn) with a kid-friendly method for one deliciously savory side dish. Kids use the microwave to cook halved ears of corn (oven mitts are a must when removing the bowl of cooked corn from the microwave) before slathering their corn with a mayonnaise mixture flavored with garlic, feta cheese, chili powder, lime juice, and cilantro. Roasting the coated corn in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet circumvents the need for a grill while still delivering a hit of charred corn flavor.
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