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The last thing that a person wants to do when it’s hot outside is stand in front of a hot stove to make dinner to feed the family. To beat the summer heat, think about alternatives to your typical dinners. For example, replace your usual meatloaf or lasgana with a delicious cold dish such as a cold deli sandwich or a light and healthy salad. With a little creativity and planning, you can whip up a variety of cold summer dishes that your family and friends are sure to enjoy.

Salads As Healthy Summer Meals

Planning meals for your family during hot summer months means that you have to figure out nutritious, delicious dishes that you can make with as little heat as possible. One of the most popular options for summer meals is salad. While traditional salads usually include a base of lettuce, tomatoes and croutons, you can add nearly anything you want to your salads. From fish to tofu to barbequed chicken, the choices for your salad additions are nearly endless.

When making salads for children, you may need to get a bit more creative. Consider including some of the following in salad recipes for kids:

  • almonds
  • cherries
  • cherry tomatoes
  • grapes
  • peanuts
  • raisins
  • sliced apples, oranges or pears
  • strawberries.

Not only do these salad toppers look appealing on a plate, but they are also tasty to children, which will likely persuade them to gobble down your salads.

Fun Summer Picnics for the Family

Going on picnics is a fun way to enjoy a beautiful summer day while spending time with your family and friends. When packing food for picnics, salads and other cold foods are usually good choices because they hold up well and offer relief from the summer heat.

Just as you can top a traditional lettuce salad with just about anything, so too can you change the base of the salad from lettuce to just about any type of food. Salad options for picnics include:

  • broccoli salad
  • cucumber salad
  • fruit salad
  • German potato salad
  • macaroni salad
  • pasta salad
  • potato salad.

In general, the above types of salads also include veggies and some kind of dressing, usually a vinagrette or a creamy, mayonnaise blend. If these flavors aren’t appealing to your children, keep in mind that you can always make substituions or special additions to make any type of salad more kid-friendly. For example, adding cheese, if it goes with the other flavors of the salad, can usually win kids over.

Another great option for picnics with the whole family is a do-it-yourself sandwich spread. Bring the bread, meats, cheeses and anything else you could want on a sandwich, and let each person assemble his own sandwich. This way, kids and picky eaters will be just as pleased as everyone else. Don’t forget the following sandwich additions:

  • lettuce
  • mayonaise
  • mustard
  • olives
  • onions
  • peppers
  • pickles
  • tomatoes.

Also, don’t forget to bring disposable plates, napkins and utensils, as well as a trash bag. This will make the cleanup process much easier.

 Posted on : September 18, 2013