Kid-Friendly Summer Dishes for Your BBQ Bash

So you've planned an epic summertime party.

Your table is set, your grilled fired up, and your strong pitcher of white sangria is prepped and ready to go. And then the inevitable questions comes to mind: What will the kids eat? Cooking kid-friendly party meals can seem tricky, but it doesn't have to be. Opt for unfussy favorites that your children will love and, more likely than not, any nearby grownups will reach for the same plates. We've chosen 6 simple dishes that are always loved by little ones. And remember to download our July/August issue for more event-worthy recipes.

Brown-Sugar Barbecue Chicken Drumettes

The sweet and sticky sauce in this recipe is so addictive, you won't mind the load of laundry you'll have to wash after serving.

2 cups ketchup
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 pounds chicken drumettes, patted dry

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Set aside 1 cup sauce for tossing raw chicken; use rest for baked chicken.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds; line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil.

3. Divide drumettes between baking sheets, and toss with reserved 1 cup sauce.

4. Bake chicken until opaque throughout, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating sheets and tossing chicken halfway through. Toss baked drumettes with 1/2 cup sauce, and serve with remaining sauce on the side.

Related: Hands Down, The 20 Grilling Recipes You Must Try This Summer

Lighter Beef Tacos

Find us kids who don't like tacos and we'll say that they haven't tasted these yet! Throw down an old sheet on a rainy afternoon and lay out all the toppings for an easy-to-clean-up indoor picnic!

1 teaspoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
1 large onion, chopped
2 bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3/4 pound ground beef sirloin
12 soft corn tortillas (6-inch)
Store-bought salsa and shredded iceberg lettuce, for serving

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and bell peppers; cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water; cook until water has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef. Cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season taco filling with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon filling onto tortillas, top with salsa and lettuce, and fold to enclose.

Chicken, Tomato, and Bread Cube Kebabs with Lemon-Oregano Marinade

Our July/August issue is loaded with kebab and marinade recipes so you can mix-and-match your favorite combinations. Bonus: let bigger kids get in on the action and skewer their own meal.

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for grill
1/4 cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 pints cherry tomatoes
4 cups cubed crusty bread

1. Combine oil, lemon juice, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reserve and refrigerate about 1/4 cup of marinade. Transfer remaining marinade to a zip-top bag and add chicken and toss to coat. Refrigerate 8 hours (or up to overnight).

2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Thread some skewers with chicken, others with tomatoes, and others with bread. Season with salt and pepper. Grill bread skewers for about 3 minutes, tomato skewers for 3 to 6 minutes, and chicken skewers for 12 to 15 minutes, turning all skewers frequently and brushing with reserved marinade.

Related: 34 Reasons to Eat a Burger Every Day

Cornmeal-Crusted Fish Sticks

Tastes like chicken. Seriously. In fact, you're probably better off not even mentioning that this golden-tinted, amazingly crunchy meal is made with fish. Watch in awe as your little ones chow down -- your secret is safe with us.

4 large egg whites
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound skinless tilapia fillets, cut into 1-by-3-inch strips
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable oil
Ketchup, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil; fit another with a wire rack. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; add fish, and toss to coat. In another large bowl, combine cornmeal and flour; season with salt and pepper.

2. Working in batches, lift fish from egg-white mixture (letting excess drip off), and dredge in cornmeal mixture, patting to adhere; transfer to foil-lined sheet.

3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Working in batches, cook fish until golden brown and opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once (if fish is browning too quickly, reduce heat). Transfer to wire rack, and keep warm in oven while remaining fish cooks. Serve with ketchup.

Grilled Tomato-Basil Pizza

One EDF editor recently made this basic pizza dinner for a very picky 3-year-old and was shocked to find his plate licked clean in under 5 minutes. Grill one side of your dough before removing it from the heat, covering with toppings, and cooking again (remember to save a slice for yourself!).

1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 ounces torn fresh mozzarella
Fresh basil leaves
Grilled pizza dough
Herb oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper

1. Heat it up: Set up a grill with heat source, coals or gas, on one side over medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill.

2. Stretch it: On a lightly floured work surface, stretch or roll 1 piece basic grilled pizza dough or 4 ounces store-bought dough into a 10-inch-long oval or other desired shape. Brush one side lightly with herb oil or olive oil and season with coarse salt and ground pepper.

3. Grill it: Using your hands, place dough, oiled side down, directly over heat source. Brush dough with herb oil or olive oil and cook until underside is lightly charred and bubbles form all over top, 1 to 2 minutes. With tongs, flip dough and cook until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Slide dough to cooler side of grill.

4. Top it: Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil; cover grill. Cook until cheese melts and toppings are heated through, 2 to 5 minutes.

Firecracker Ice Pops

These pops don't need any endorsement -- they're almost too beautiful to eat! And the fact that they're a semi-healthy treat (they're made from yogurt, raspberries, and blueberries) is a huge added bonus.

1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 pound blueberries (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 cups low-fat plain yogurt

1. In a food processor, puree strawberries with 1 tablespoon sugar. Transfer to a small bowl. In processor, puree blueberries with 1 tablespoon sugar. In another small bowl, whisk together yogurt and 2 tablespoons sugar. Pour the 3 mixtures, alternating, into ten 3-ounce ice-pop molds, making 3 to 5 layers in each. With a skewer or thin-bladed knife, swirl mixtures together in an up-and-down motion. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until solid, 2 1/2 to 3 hours (or up to 1 week).

More from Everyday Food:
35 Beyond Delicious No-Bake Dessert Recipes
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Fast, One-Pot Meal Ideas To Feed the Whole Family
Easy, Everyday Meatless Recipes