One of the best things about summer is the rainbow of seasonal produce it brings with it. Mangoes, melons, stone fruit, berries and cherries are everywhere and it’s always fun incorporating them into family meals.
Stephanie Alexander is the best-selling author of 14 cookbooks, including The Cook’s Companion, and she established the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation to teach kids about food and cooking.
Heading into summer, she says that for busy families with small children, planning is important for introducing variety into meals. If you believe producing and enjoy healthy food is a priority, you’ll need to think about it at the start the day. Consider your schedule and what shops will be convenient for you to buy health foods from. Buy enough for several meals at once if you’re time poor.
Stephanie shares her summer food favourites with tips on preparing them.
Listen to Stephanie on Kinderling Conversation:
Cut up the fruit into very small pieces, then let them marinate in their own juices at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
Kids love raw food, so fresh summer salads always appeal to them.
Dip and veggies platter
Making food look beautiful matters a lot to kids, so creating something visually appetising is important. Take a round platter, place dip, yoghurt or ricotta in small bowls in middle, then make a pattern with veggies around it. Kids love to be involved in doing that, for them it feels like they’re making party food.
Veggies like cauliflower and broccoli are often forgotten in salads; steam them quickly for a fabulous addition to a traditional mixed salad.
During summer, the BBQ comes into its own. Choose foods that aren’t overwhelming. Kids can easily hold meatballs, prawns, quail, and lamb chops. Accompanied with a bowl of tiny boiled potatoes, or another bowl of cherry tomatoes, it’s an accessible meal for small hands.
After a long, full on day, this can be something really easily for a shared or solo meal. Chop up shallots, garlic potatoes and carrots, toss them in some olive oil and rosemary, then tip the whole thing into a baking dish, pop it into the oven and forget about it for 40 minutes until cooked through.
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