Summer BBQ kabobs with the kids

Michele Borboa, MS

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If you've been looking for a meal to cook with your kids, kabobs may be the answer. In addition to helping you with the preparation, they can learn about the delectable array of meats, vegetables and even fruit that can be cooked on the grill.

Chicken Kabobs

Tips for tasty kid-friendly kabobs

1Let the kids pick out the ingredients.

Tell the kiddos that they get to plan dinner. Give them a list of ingredients and have them choose three or four (include a variety of proteins, vegetables and fruits that are amenable to being skewered). Best yet, take them to the grocery store or farmers market for inspiration.

2Mom and dad do the chopping.

The beauty and ease of kabobs comes from chopping ingredients into bite-sized pieces. As compared to whole chicken breasts, fish fillets or steaks, the smaller kabob pieces cook quickly and make the presentation of the meal far more exciting. However, mom and dad should do the chopping to ensure little fingers don't get cut.

3Marinate the ingredients.

For extra flavor, marinate savory ingredients in a flavorful mixture of citrus juice, wine, fresh herbs, garlic or store-bought marinades. Add a sweet component to meats and seafood by whisking in a bit of honey, fresh pureed berries or fruit preserves. Let ingredients marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.

4Soak the skewers.

If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes to keep them from catching fire on the grill. No need to soak metal skewers, but make sure you use tongs or an oven mitt to remove them from the grill - they get hot.

5Time to skewer.

Place the variety of ingredients on the counter and give the kids freedom to thread the skewers any way they want. The following recipes have ingredients singly alternated but your kids might think two or three of one ingredient together is ideal or they may enjoy random skewering. The final dish will taste the same so let them have their creative way.

6Serve with complementary side-dishes.

Once your kiddos choose their kabob ingredients, get their input on accompaniments to round out the meal. Excellent choices for meat kabobs are potato salad, mixed greens, or even warm couscous or tortillas for an ethnic spin. Vegetable skewers make great side-dishes by themselves and can be served with other grilled goods or with grains. Seafood skewers pair deliciously with rice. Fruit skewers are a natural with ice cream for dessert.

7Make it a tasty learning experience.

As you grill the skewers, explain to your kids how you are cooking them. You'd be surprised by what they will remember. Next thing you know, they will be telling their friends or neighbors how to best put together a delectable kabob dinner. Happy eating!


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Michele Borboa, MS
Michele Borboa, MS is a contributing editor for specializing in health, fitness, and all things food. She is a veteran health and fitness professional, personal chef, and mom in Bozeman, Montana. She is also the author of the time-saving cookbook Make-Ahead Meals Made Healthy (Fair Winds Press, July 2011). You can contact Michele at or give her a tweet at