One of the best things about summer is the rainbow of seasonal produce it brings with it. Mangoes, melons, stone fruit, berries and cherries are everywhere and it’s always fun incorporating them into family meals. Stephanie Alexander is the best-selling author of 14 cookbooks, including The Cook’s Companion, and in 2004 she established the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation – an initiative designed to teach kids about food and healthy eating habits. Planning meals is important – especially for busy families with young children. We spoke to Stephanie to find out her meal prep tips and a few of her summer food favourites. Listen to the full interview:
Here are five meal ideas for busy families this summer
1. Fruit salad
Cut up a selection of your favourite summer fruits into very small pieces — pineapple, kiwifruit, strawberries, mango, nectarines and peaches are all great options. Once this is done, let them marinate in their own juices at room temperature for a few hours before serving. This way, there’s no need for added sugar.
2. Summer salads
Kids love raw food, so fresh summer salads always appeal to them. Veggies like cauliflower and broccoli are often forgotten in salads; steam them quickly for a fabulous addition to a traditional mixed salad.
3. Dip and veggies platter
Making food look beautiful matters a lot to kids, so creating something visually appetising is important. Take a round platter and place dip, yoghurt or ricotta in small bowls in the middle. Then make a pattern with veggies around it.
During summer, the BBQ comes into its own. Choose foods that are easy to hold and aren’t too overwhelming. Some great options are meatballs, prawns, quail and lamb chops, as they fit in small hands.
5. Simple roast
Roasts are a great option if you’ve had a long day and need something simple and delicious. Chop up shallots, garlic potatoes and carrots, toss them in some olive oil and rosemary, then tip the whole thing into a baking dish, pop it in the oven and forget about it for 40 minutes until cooked through.
For more information on family health, visit Better Families.
Medibank and the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation are working together to grow healthy kids. The partnership will see thousands more children and their families gain access to pleasurable food education across the country, as Medibank helps us build the future health of the next generation and enable more Australian children to experience, learn and adopt lifelong healthy eating and living habits through the Kitchen Garden Classroom.