Kids eating summer sandwiches

5 tips for feeding kids during summer vacation

What is it about the summer months that seem to ramp up kids’ appetites? The increase in outdoor play time, lack of structure, and boredom might all send your kids to the kitchen begging for a snack. Sticking to a meal and snack schedule can help, but sometimes it still feels like you’re chasing your kids away from the pantry. Try these ideas to help you keep your sanity until fall. 

1. Shop for snack deals

When it feels like your kids are eating you out of house and home, it’s more important than ever to make the most of your grocery budget. Save money on groceries with cash back deals from Ibotta on your favorite brands. You can also look at making some recipes at home, buying in bulk, and trying new brands that might be cheaper than your usual brands. 

2. Make a snack board 

Grownups aren’t the only ones that love a charcuterie board! According to pediatric dietitian Megan McNamee, serving up a bunch of foods on a cutting board is a great way for a low-pressure lunch or snack. Picky eaters might be more likely to try that broccoli if it’s presented in this fun way and they can dip it! 

Make a veggie board with ranch dip, a snack board with crackers and cheese, a fruit board with cream cheese dip, or tiny sandwiches for a tea party spread. Anything is more fun when it’s chopped up and served up on a big tray. 

3. Take it outside

Summer provides so many great opportunities to get outside, and that includes food. The grill is a standard at summer barbeques, but you can grill way more than burgers and hot dogs. Fruits, veggies, and even cake can level up when you put them on the grill.  

Camping always brings opportunities for new cooking. Try the classic hot dogs on a stick, roasted marshmallows and more. You can also make foil packet meals that are great for a day camping dinner. 

4. Remember to hydrate

The heat and extra activity means your kids probably need more fluids than usual. Mix it up with new water bottles, fun twisty straws, or shaped ice. You could also try fruit water infusions, for a colorful and tasty way to liven up their water. 

And not all hydration needs to come from water. Other drinks count too, and also foods. Fruits with high water content are a great hydration snack. And of course popsicles are always a favorite, buy some from the store, or make your own with fruit juice and purees and freezer molds. 

5. Don’t slave over the stove

Putting together three meals a day can be hard work, especially if you’re trying to stay out of a hot kitchen. Put your crockpot, instapot, air fryer and other kitchen gadgets to work to reduce the amount of time you need to spend in front of a hot oven or stove. You can also opt for easier box meals as main dishes or sides to get to the table faster. And when all else fails, choose sandwiches, salads, and other dishes that don’t require cooking at all

There are a lot of meals between now and when your kids go back to school. So remember to keep it simple when you can! Summer is a fun time to try new recipes, try different eating spots, and throw out the dinner rulebook. Ibotta is here to help you stick to your grocery budget so you can make those summer memories. 

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