Keeping Summer Food Fun

At this point in the summer you’ve probably heard “I’m bored” more than once from your kids. Summer camps are getting boring, games are getting boring, tv is getting boring, and every meal you make is boring.

While we can’t help you convince your kids that they should get off the couch and go play,  hopefully we can help you get out of your meal rut. Keep reading for some ideas to get into a new groove with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


  • Have a kid in the house who will only eat cereal for breakfast? Try pushing their boundaries a bit by introducing this spin on cereal that adds yogurt and fruit to their bowl.
  • Try out smoothies. Mix and match different flavors of yogurt with different types of fresh or frozen fruit, add a handful of ice cubes, and sneak in a little spinach – the kids won’t notice! Need a recipe to follow? Check out this Breakfast Shake.  


  • Have little ones? Try a silly lunch. Set out different finger foods (grapes, cucumbers, cold cuts, blueberries, cheese, etc) and let your kids build a face on their plate before eating.
  • Have older kids? Start giving them some responsibility in the kitchen. Sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, eggs, and fruit salads are a few examples of foods that kids can make for themselves.
  • Have a sandwich rotation. Start with tuna, cold cuts, chicken salad, hummus, or black beans; then add your choice of cheese; and finish with spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, apples, and/or lettuce.
  • Or, check out this post on quick lunches that you can adapt for kids.


  • Have breakfast for dinner – cook up some eggs, add a side of fruit, and finish it off with toast.
  • Read this post for ideas on quick dinners like salads and sheet pan meals.
  • Don’t forget leftovers. If your kids don’t want to eat the same meal again, try repurposing your leftovers. A side of rice can now be the beginning of fried rice, meat can be sliced up and served in a sandwich, and vegetables can get incorporated into a stir fry or soup.

Hopefully these ideas help freshen up your summer meals. For some people, the concern isn’t whether lunch is boring but whether or not lunch will get served. If you’re struggling to feed your children this summer, you can bring them to a summer meal site for a free meal. Click here to find a meal site near you. You can also find meal sites near you by texting “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877.

Written by Rachel Caty, MPH, RDN, LDN