Simplify warm-weather cooking with this vetted list of summer meals. With easy options for each meal of the day meant to shorten the time you spend in the kitchen (and not turn on the oven as much as possible!), these are a great way to simplify in the summer.
I am always in favor of simplifying cooking whenever possible and summer is a great time of the year to do it. This way, we can enjoy more time at at the lake, pool, beach, playground, or with friends—or just take some of the load off when we have to go to work and feed everyone on normal days.
This post includes easy meal ideas that feature some seasonal and summery ingredients for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert. I hope it gives you some ideas to try with your kids!
(You may also like No-Cook Meals and Shortcut Toddler Meals.)
Contents hide 1 Summer Meals 2 Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here! 3 Summer Breakfasts 4 Summer Lunches 5 Summer Snacks 6 Easy Summer Dinners 7 Favorite Summer Desserts 8 Related Recipes
Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here!
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Below you’ll find some of my very favorite breakfast recipes to rely on in the summer. (We also love cereal and milk with fruit and bagels and cream cheese.) Many of these can be made ahead, which can be a great way to simplify the morning if needed.
Favorite Strawberry Overnight Oats
Make it easy to feed yourself and the kids a healthy breakfast, no matter how busy you are, with this simple make-ahead Strawberry Overnight Oats recipe.
Favorite Strawberry Overnight Oats This recipe makes enough for one adult or for one adult and one small child serving. It’s easy to double, so make more as needed! Get the recipe
Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt and Mango
With a bright tropical flavor and a simple method, these Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt are an easy make-ahead breakfast for the whole family. The Mango Overnight Oats take 5 minutes to stir together, and they store in the fridge for days!
Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt and Mango You can blend all the ingredients together to make a more uniformly smooth texture if your toddler (or you!) prefer. Get the recipe
Strawberry Smoothie with Yogurt
If your kids love those expensive bottles of drinkable yogurt at the grocery store or you’re looking for a super simple (and super yummy) smoothie recipe, you have to try this one. This Strawberry Smoothie recipe with yogurt has just 3 ingredients and can even be made ahead!
Strawberry Smoothie with Yogurt You can use fresh or frozen berries in this simple Strawberry Smoothie and the results will have a texture that is similar to drinkable yogurt. To make it thicker and to try different flavor options, see the Notes at the end of the recipe. Get the recipe
Favorite Coconut Chia Pudding
Transform simple ingredients into nutrition-packed Coconut Chia Pudding. It’s a perfect kid’s breakfast or snack that parents will enjoy too!
Favorite Coconut Chia Pudding I like to use canned full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor and creamy texture, though you can use “light” coconut milk if that’s what you can find at your store. Get the recipe
Favorite Strawberry Yogurt
Blend up this fresh Strawberry Yogurt for a quick baby snack, toddler breakfast, or even your own breakfast or snack. The method is easy, and stores well, too!
Favorite Strawberry Yogurt You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, freeze-dried strawberries or strawberry puree. This is an easy way to make flavored yogurt at home for breakfast or snack. Get the recipe
Air Fryer French Toast
A batch of Air Fryer French Toast is just the thing to make really quick work of breakfast or brunch—with the classic flavor and texture you expect, in a lot less time!
Air Fryer French Toast Use this easy method to make the best Air Fryer French Toast Sticks to share with your kids. They freeze so well! Get the recipe
Easy Zucchini Slice
This is such a fun way to use zucchini since it slices into bars that are easy to hold and dip. That means it’s a great baby-led weaning breakfast, it is an easy lunch or snack for any age, and it’s perfect to make ahead and stash in the fridge until everyone is hungry.
Easy Zucchini Slice (to Share with the Kids) Transform basic ingredients—including a pile of zucchini—into this protein-packed Zucchini Slice to share with the kids. It’s an easy breakfast or lunch that stores well and is easy to make ahead. (See the Notes for options to up the flavor as desired.) Get the recipe
Healthy Breakfast Bars with Jam
With wholesome ingredients and not a lot of added sugar, you can quickly bake up Healthy Breakfast Bars to serve for breakfasts or snacks throughout the week. And they are SO good!
Healthy Breakfast Bars with Jam Use Sunbutter to make these nut-free. You can cut these into smaller bars if desired. If you want them a little softer, serve them at room temperature rather than chilled. Get the recipe
Banana Oatmeal Muffins
With just a handful of nutritious ingredients, you can bake up super easy Banana-Oatmeal Muffins to share with the kids. Bonus: These store so well in the fridge for days!
Banana Oatmeal Muffins (SO Good!) With just a handful of nutritious ingredients, you can bake up super easy Banana Oatmeal Muffins to share with the kids. For the best flavor and sweetness, use bananas with a lot of brown spots. Bonus: These store so well in the fridge for days! Get the recipe
Make it a little easier to feed everyone the midday meal, whether you need to pack lunch or serve it at home, with these easy summer lunch ideas.
(You may also like my full post on Summer Lunches and my Camp Lunch Ideas.)
Easy Turkey Wrap Recipe
There was a day recently when my daughter wanted a turkey sandwich for lunch, but we were out of bread and had only tortillas. We made a simple wrap instead, and I was so happy (and admittedly surprised) to see how much she enjoyed it.
Easy Turkey Wrap Recipe (to Share with the Kids) Roll up a few simple ingredients to make this delicious Turkey Wrap recipe in minutes. It’s a great lunch wrap for home or school, and you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit the preferences of your child. This makes one wrap, so scale up as desired. Get the recipe
10-Minute Bagel Bites Pizza
Make quick, delicious work of feeding the family with this super simple Bagel Pizza recipe. In just about 10 minutes, you can have a satisfying meal on the table (without any fuss at all) to share with the kids.
10-Minute Bagel Bites Pizza For delicious homemade pizza without the work and in a lot less time, easy Bagel Bites Pizza to the rescue. Adjust this for allergies as you need and change up the toppings as you like for your family. Get the recipe
Quick Pizza Quesadillas
When I want a quick and easy kids meal using pantry staples, I often turn to Pizza Quesadillas. These are ready in about 6 minutes, have classic pizza flavor with a soft and easy to chew texture, and are almost endlessly versatile!
Quick Pizza Quesadillas (An Easy Kids Meal) This meal is perfect for when you’re short on time or when you want to make pizza with less fuss. Add a simple side of cut up fruit, applesauce, or a salad kit and call it good. Get the recipe
Quick Lemon Broccoli Pasta
I love this recipe because it takes just about 20 minutes, we only use one pot, and the flavor is so bright and fresh. It’s been a perfect vegetarian meal for my family—well, I sometimes make chicken nuggets to go with it—and I sometimes even make it for myself for lunch when the mood strikes.
Quick Lemon Broccoli Pasta Bursting with fresh, bright flavor, this Lemon Broccoli Pasta is one of our absolute favorite fast meals. It’s ready in less than 20 minutes, you can use fresh or frozen broccoli, and it’s perfect for little kids and us adults. Get the recipe
Favorite Salmon Salad Sandwich
Offering healthy fats to kids is easy when you keep a can of wild salmon on hand to make a simple open-face Salmon Salad Sandwich. The process is easy and doesn’t require any fancy tools—and a yummy meal can be ready in about 5 minutes!
Favorite Salmon Salad Sandwich This salmon salad is packed with protein, healthy fats, and calcium and can be used as a dip or a spread for sandwiches. We use homemade relish in this recipe, but you can use any that you like the flavor of. Get the recipe
Easy Pinwheel Sandwiches
I love making all sorts of wraps for kids and using the name pinwheel might be just the fun thing to make this an appealing lunch for the kids. To be clear, this can also be a great adult meal, so you can make everyone’s lunch at the same time!
Easy Pinwheel Sandwiches Change up the usual sandwich lunch for these easy and fun pinwheel sandwiches. With easy options for the filling to please a variety of eaters, this is a great kids lunch for home or at school. (And yummy for adults, too!) Get the recipe
Easy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
With a handful of simple, nutritious ingredients, you can mix up this fresh Mediterranean Quinoa Salad to have on hand for lunches or weeknight dinners for yourself—or to serve deconstructed for the kids. It even stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Easy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Mix up this grain salad to have lunches prepped for the week for yourself, or to have a dinner side or vegetarian main dish to share with the family. Get the recipe
Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese
Spinach Grilled Cheese is a veggie-packed variation on the classic sandwich that’s just so delicious. (This favorite kids sandwich is equally appealing to adults too!) It’s also easy to make and packed with iron…which is a nice bonus.
Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese You can also do this with full size spinach if that’s what you’re able to find. Just discard any stems before starting the recipe. Get the recipe
Easiest Homemade Uncrustables
Learn how to make a batch of healthy, homemade Uncrustables to stash into the freezer for fast kids lunch ideas. I love this method so much because you can decide exactly what to put inside, they’re crazy fast, AND they freeze beautifully. (Plus, you can adjust for allergies as needed!)
Easiest Homemade Uncrustables You can make one sandwich at a time, or make a batch of a few to stash in the freezer. Adjust this as needed for your preference. Get the recipe
Easy Hummus Wrap
Roll up just a few ingredients for satisfying (and really versatile) Vegetarian Hummus Wraps. This no-cook meal is an easy lunch for school or for work or home for you. And you can make it in less than 5 minutes!
Easy Hummus Wrap (to Share with the Kids) Quickly combine a few simple ingredients to make a really yummy lunch wrap. This recipe makes one wrap, so increase the serving size as necessary. Get the recipe
Cool off and fuel up with these easy summery snack options to share with the kids. These work for babies on up through adults, so you can feed everyone at the same time!
These homemade Strawberry Popsicles are a staple in our house. They are sweet, a tiny bit tangy, nutritious, and a cinch to make. They are versatile too, which means you can change the recipe up all year long according to what you have on hand!
Strawberry Popsicles (with Greek Yogurt!) With bright berry flavor and a creamy texture, these freezer pops are a delicious and nutritious dessert or snack. If making these for a baby, omit the optional sweetener. Get the recipe
Pack fruits and veggies into your next batch of freezer pops with these super simple and delicious Blueberry Popsicles. That’s right—they even have a dose of spinach inside for extra nutrition for the kids!
Blueberry Popsicles (with Yogurt and Spinach) If you have a high-powered blender you can add up to a cup of spinach. If you’re relying on a food processor you may want to reduce it to ½ cup. Start with the lower amount and add more as you like. Get the recipe
Favorite Yogurt Drinks
Learn how to make homemade Yogurt Drinks to save money, customize them just for your kids, and have a nutritious breakfast or snack to share with the kids in under 5 minutes.
Favorite Yogurt Drinks Learn how to make homemade Yogurt Drinks to save money, customize them just for your kids, and make a nutritious breakfast or snack to share with the kids in under 5 minutes. See the Notes at the end for flavor options. Get the recipe
Favorite Fruit Sticks
Fruit Sticks (also called Fruit Wands and Fruit Skewers) are one of my very favorite ways to help the kids find fruit more fun—especially when they’re reluctant to try new things—or even fruits they liked last week! This is an activity and snack the kids can help make, too.
Favorite Fruit Sticks Call them fruit sticks, fruit wands, or fruit skewers, these are a perfect way to serve up a mix of fruit. You can make as few or as many as you like—adjust the quantity of fruit as needed. Get the recipe
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls
Make a batch of these no-bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls to have on hand for hungry kiddos during the week—or to feed yourself a naturally sweet snack whenever you need one! They taste so good and are filled with nutritious ingredients. Plus: They’re ready in under 10 minutes!
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls These no-bake bites taste like a cross between oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookie dough. I use natural creamy peanut butter (like the kind from Smuckers), and it works really well. Get the recipe
Easy Carrot Hummus
This easy Carrot Hummus recipe, which packs in a cup of fresh carrots, is an easy homemade toddler lunch or snack. It’s flavorful, easy to make, and pairs well with bread or crackers.
Easy Carrot Hummus Taste the hummus and adjust for salt as needed. You may need more depending on whether or not you started with canned beans, and sometimes after the hummus sits in the fridge, it needs another sprinkle of salt. Get the recipe
3-Ingredient Cereal Bars
In just about 10 minutes, you can make seriously delicious Cereal Bars made with just three super simple ingredients. They’re crispy, flavorful, and a perfect snack for kids.
3-Ingredient Cereal Bars Made with just 3 pantry staples, these bars make an excellent kids snack. They hold their shape best when stored in the fridge and served cold. Get the recipe
Blueberry Date Bars
Wow, this recipe for Date Bars is so good. It’s super moist and easy for little ones to chew, and it’s made with a handful of wholesome ingredients that taste seriously good, too. It’s ready in under 30 minutes and stores amazingly well.
Blueberry Date Bars These Date Bars are super moist and easy for little ones to chew—and are made with a handful of wholesome ingredients that taste seriously good, too. It’s ready quickly and stores amazingly well. Get the recipe
Easy Watermelon Smoothie
Make hydration so very yummy with this super simple Watermelon Smoothie. With just two ingredients, you can blend up a smoothie for kids that’s packed with Vitamin C, protein, calcium, and pure deliciousness.
Easy Watermelon Smoothie (Hydrating and Delish!) Using frozen watermelon ensures a cold and creamy smoothie that blends easily in the blender. Plan to freeze the watermelon at least 6 hours before you want to make the smoothie. Get the recipe
Easy Summer Dinners
Use up that fresh produce and make quick work of dinner with these easy meal ideas. They can be adjusted for babies and toddlers, and are great family meal options.
Easy Zucchini Burgers
Here’s a new take on burger night—add some veggies and cheese right into the mix for extra flavor, nutrition, and easy eating. These Zucchini Burgers are so darn good!
Easy Zucchini Burgers Stretch your ground beef and add a veggie right into moist burger patties with this simple family dinner recipe. Get the recipe
Easiest Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
With just two ingredients, you can cook up deliciously moist and tender Instant Pot BBQ Chicken to use over noodles, rice, or in sandwiches. So easy!
Easiest Instant Pot BBQ Chicken You can double this recipe and use 2 pounds of chicken if desired. Just do your best to spread it into an even layer in the instant pot. (Note: The nutrition facts will vary based on the bbq sauce that you use.) Get the recipe
Quick Fish Stick Tacos
With a crazy-easy method and the most delicious crunchy texture, Fish Stick Tacos are an easy family dinner to share. They take less than 15 minutes and are so versatile.
Quick Fish Stick Tacos With a crazy-easy method and the most delicious crunchy texture, Fish Stick Tacos are an easy family dinner to share. Get the recipe
10-Minute Pita Pizza
For delicious homemade pizza without the work and in a lot less time, it’s easy Pita Pizza to the rescue. Adjust this for allergies as you need and change up the toppings as you like for your family.
10-Minute Pita Pizza For delicious homemade pizza without the work and in a lot less time, it’s easy Pita Pizza to the rescue. Adjust this for allergies as you need and change up the toppings as you like for your family. Get the recipe
Easy Broccoli Pesto
Serve up a dose of nutritious broccoli with this easy Broccoli Pesto. It has a bright flavor from the inclusion of fresh lemon, requires no cooking (other than preparing the pasta) and is a perfect sauce for both pasta and pizza.
Easy Broccoli Pesto (for Pasta and Pizza) This will likely make enough for two meals. You can freeze the leftovers for a future meal. (This recipe was updated to improve the taste and method in April 2019.) Get the recipe
Easy Ratatouille with Pasta
This easy Ratatouille Pasta is a fuss-free recipe you can make in about 30 minutes—or make ahead to freeze for later—that serves up a mix of vegetables with comforting Italian flavor. It’s so good for the whole family and so versatile.
Easy Ratatouille with Pasta This recipe makes enough for two meals. You can cut it in half if desired, but I like to make the larger batch and keep half in the freezer for a future meal—it’s the same amount of cooking effort, so why not! Get the recipe
Easy Cherry Tomato Pasta
With a no-cook, stir-together sauce, this easy Cherry Tomato Pasta is an easy family dinner. And OH so delicious and fresh. You can leave it chunky or blend it smooth—it’s so versatile for all preferences!
Easy Cherry Tomato Pasta (to Share with the Kids) With a no-cook, stir-together sauce, this easy Cherry Tomato Pasta is an easy family dinner. And OH so delicious and fresh. You can leave it chunky or blend it smooth—it’s so versatile for all preferences! Get the recipe
One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese
With a super easy method that only requires one pot, you can have this easy Broccoli Mac and Cheese ready for family dinner—or a kids meal. It cooks in about 20 minutes and has a solid dose of nutrients and deliciousness.
One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese The method on this recipe is streamlined to cut down on dish washing. Add the optional spices for more flavor if you like! Double it to make more. Get the recipe
Favorite Summer Desserts
This collection of recipes includes some of my favorites to share for dessert when it’s warm outside. There are fresh, fruity, and easy options here that are all seriously yummy.
Refreshing, simple, and ready in minutes, this Mango Sorbet is a seriously delish recipe to share with the kids. You don’t need an ice cream maker and yet, it’s perfectly creamy!
2-Ingredient Mango Sorbet Refreshing, simple, and ready in minutes, this Mango Sorbet is a seriously delish recipe to share with the kids. You don’t need an ice cream maker and yet, it’s perfectly creamy! Plan to serve right after making. Get the recipe
Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake
This fresh Strawberry Cake is absolutely bursting with fresh berries. And the sheet cake is my go-to dessert for a potluck or picnic since you can make it up to one day ahead and serve it straight out of the fridge. Easy, fresh and delish for the win!
Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake The sheet cake is my go-to dessert for a potluck or picnic since you can make it up to one day ahead and serve it straight out of the fridge. The Strawberry Frosting seals the delicious deal. Get the recipe
Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
With the exact texture and a similar flavor to classic Rice Crispy Treats, this version boasts only 3 ingredients and a natural sweetener. Plus, these Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats take only minutes to make AND they’re so super yummy!
Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats Look for brown rice syrup in the baking aisle near agave nectar and sugar. Get the recipe
3-Ingredient Ice Box Cake
Quick, easy, and no baking required? Yes, please! This easy Ice Box Cake is a delicious dessert to share with the kids—and it’s so darn simple to make.
3-Ingredient Ice Box Cake With just graham crackers and pudding, you can make the most delicious Ice Box Cake—no cooking or baking required. It’s a deliciously easy dessert to make and share with the kids. Get the recipe
These Chocolate Covered Bananas are frozen into popsicles that are so easy to make and so seriously fun. And they’re covered with a super creamy chocolate pudding that has the best texture. You need about 10 minutes to prep these, then the freezer does the rest!
Chocolate-Covered Bananas (Frozen Pops!) These Chocolate Covered Bananas are frozen into popsicles that are so easy to make and so seriously fun. The chocolate pudding has a perfect texture once frozen, you can add sprinkles if you want, and use either paper lollipop sticks or popsicle sticks. Get the recipe
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
With just a few pantry staples, you can make the creamiest, most luxe vegan Chocolate Mousse to share with the kids … or to just enjoy yourself. This takes minutes to make and is downright dreamy.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse With just a few pantry staples, you can make the creamiest, most luxe vegan Chocolate Mousse to share with the kids …o r to just enjoy yourself. This takes minutes to make and is downright dreamy. Get the recipe