Fun Summer Meals for Kids

Now that it's summer vacation season, the pressure is on to dish out more meals throughout the day.

When the temperatures soar, you aren't always in the cooking mood but that's not stopping your little guys from getting grumbly tummies. We put together some of our go-to foods to keep those summer appetites satisfied without making a huge mess of your kitchen.

And as a group of busy moms, we're fans of simple meals. 

Not only are they easy to whip up in a flash, but they're dishes that are actually healthy. So these Food Network top picks of ours are redefining summer time "fast food."

 2011 Hungry Girl. All Rights Reserved.

2011 Hungry Girl. All Rights Reserved.

Pepperoni Pizza Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 stick light string cheese
  • 1 medium-large high-fiber flour tortilla with about 110 calories
  • 2 tablespoons pizza sauce
  • Dash Italian seasoning
  • Dash garlic powder
  • Dash onion powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup canned stewed tomatoes, roughly chopped, patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
  • 6 pieces turkey pepperoni, chopped

Directions

Set toaster oven to highest setting.

Break string cheese into thirds and put in a blender or food processor-blend at high speed until cheese takes on a shredded or grated consistency. (Or just tear string cheese into pieces and roughly chop.) Set aside.

Place tortilla on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 10 seconds, or until just warm. Evenly spread sauce onto the center of the tortilla, and sprinkle with a dash of each of the spices. Top with spinach, stewed tomatoes, Parm-style topping, chopped turkey pepperoni, and shredded/grated string cheese.

Wrap tortilla up like a burrito, folding the sides in first, and then rolling it up from the bottom. Place wrap on a microwave-safe plate, seam side down, and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Transfer wrap to the toaster oven and cook until hot on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside, about 3 minutes. Dig in!

 Photograph by Hallie Burton   [Courtesy Ellie Krieger for Food Network Magazine]

Photograph by Hallie Burton   [Courtesy Ellie Krieger for Food Network Magazine]

Butterfly Rainbow Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bow tie pasta, preferably whole grain
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup shelled edamame, thawed if frozen
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
  • Salt

Directions

Cook the pasta as the label directs. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil to prevent sticking; let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta with the corn, edamame, bell pepper and carrots. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Add the parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss again and season to taste.

 Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Italian Ice Pops

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag or 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons simple syrup, recipe follows
  • 14 wooden ice pop sticks

Simple Syrup:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.

In a blender, combine the raspberries and the mint. Puree until combined. Add the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of the simple syrup. Blend to combine. Taste the mixture and add the remaining 1 tablespoon simple syrup if you like. Spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for approximately 30 minutes, or until partially frozen. Insert the wooden sticks and return trays to the freezer for another 3 to 5 hours.

Simple Syrup:

In a saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Take pan off heat and cool the syrup. Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container.