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Creative Summer Recipes to Create with your Child

Summer is here and what better way to embrace the new season than by getting your child’s hands dirty in some summer garden recipes! These recipes are fun and simple ways in which your child can bring a little bit of summertime right into their bellies!

First up is the classic Dirt Cake! Oreos, gummy worms, and cream: what’s not to love? This no-cook recipe is doable for children of any age.

Dirt Cake

Servings: 3 Time: 20 minutes


● 1.5 oz chocolate pudding mix

● 1 cup milk

● 3.5 oz condensed milk

● 2 oz cream cheese

● 3 oz Cool-Whip

● 4.5 oz oreo cookies

● 1 package of gummy worms


  1. Make chocolate pudding according to the package directions and place in fridge

  2. Smash up Oreos using a large plastic bag and a rolling pin or your fists

  3. Beat condensed milk, Cool-Whip, and cream cheese in a medium-sized mixing bowl until well mixed.

  4. Cover the bottom of a glass container with a thin layer of crushed up Oreos.

  5. Add a layer of chocolate pudding

  6. Add a layer of cream mix

  7. Top with the remaining oreos

  8. Garnish with gummy worms

  9. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and enjoy!

Next, we’ll be getting a little less messy and a little more creative with these Ladybug Appetizers! If you can, try to pick cherry tomatoes right out of the garden to use in this recipe!

Ladybug Appetizers

Servings: 12 crackers

Time: 20 minutes


● 2 oz cream cheese, softened

● ⅛ cup sour cream

● Black paste food coloring

● 1 tsp minced chives

● ⅛ tsp garlic salt

● ⅔ tbsp minced fresh parsley

● 12 round crackers

● 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered

● 6 large pitted ripe olives

● 24 fresh chive pieces (about 1-½ inch long)


  1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth

  2. Remove 1-½ tbsp of this cream cheese mixture and tint black using a small amount of food coloring. Place in a small plastic bag and set aside.

  3. Add the minced chives, garlic salt and parsley to the remaining cream cheese mixture.

  4. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crackers.

  5. Arrange 2 tomato quarters on each cracker for the ladybug wings

  6. For heads, halve the olives and place one half on each cracker

  7. Insert two chives into olives for antennae.

  8. Use tinted cream cheese mixture to pipe spots on to wings by clipping the corner of the plastic bag.

  9. Enjoy!

About the author: Megha Patel is a dietetic intern at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is earning her Master’s degree in nutrition. Megha is passionate about pediatric nutrition and the importance of healthy eating at a young age, and enjoys helping parents learn about nourishing their children.

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