How to Feed Your Kids on Summer Vacation

Summer vacation can sometimes throw a wrench into the usual meal planning schedule. With the kids home full time (or maybe they never left….thank you, virtual school) and road trips on the calendar (hopefully!), you will need to make a plan to accommodate the changes.  When you take away the schedule and structure of either going away to school or virtual learning, the kitchen seems to have a revolving door every 30 minutes.  We are all hoping to sneak in a family trip of some sort but even if you’re just staying in town visiting the zoo, the library, and local parks, you will still need snacks to take with you.

The first step is obviously to stock the freezer with some kid-friendly freezer meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course snacks – but you will also want some meals for travel days. Or keep your kids busy by inviting them to help you in the kitchen! Here are our best tips and recipes for those long summer days with the kiddos home.

Stock the Freezer with Kid-Friendly Freezer Meals

Summer is a great time to plan simple, family-friendly meals and work on making dinner a special time together. We have several resources for back-to-school (here and here), and some of those recipes can double as summer lunches and breakfasts. Here are our favorite meal ideas for easing into the summer schedule on days when you are all home together. Our Members* can use MenuBuilder to create custom meal plans using these recipes. You can even let your kiddos help you pick the ones they want!

Build meal plans for FREE!

Create a no-credit-card-needed OAMM membership account to explore and see if OAMM is the right fit for YOU!

You’ll be able to:

  • search the 13,500+ freezer recipe database with hundreds of filters available.
  • build and save for later use up to 3 meal plans of 5 recipes each.
  • favorite recipes you find and want to try later or have cooked and love.
  • view nutritional data of each recipe.

*For more information on paid vs free membership check this out.





*Pizza is a kid-friendly favorite! Why not institute a weekly family pizza night where you all stay in and bake your own? There are a few ideas on this list, but you can get creative with your own homemade dough, sauce, and toppings. In the same vein, you could make up a big batch of taco meat and put out the toppings, and have a build your own night. 

Kid Friendly Freezer Meals for Summer Vacation

Prepare Healthy Snacks for the Road

Any time you are making a trip with kids along for the ride, you will need provisions. Packing your own kid-friendly meals and snacks can help you to save money on eating out, but it is also a great way to ensure that you all consume something healthy on your trip (even though you will undoubtedly allow some special treats.) Keeping little tummies full of nourishing food can help make the occasion much more enjoyable by reducing meltdowns and keeping energy levels up. For those dealing with food allergies or sensitivities, packing safe, homemade snacks is a must.

The tendency is to take a break from cooking and eat out on vacation, but this can be difficult with young children in tow, not to mention expensive. You can absolutely prep freezer meals and bring them along in a cooler so that you can still have a break while you are away. Marinades and slow cooker meals are your best friend. Imagine returning from a day at the beach and simply grabbing dinner from the slow cooker? That is what I call a vacation!

Snacks and Lunches on the Go

*Snacks from the list above can work here too!

Easy, Take-along Dinners

*Depending on the length of your drive, your freezer meals should stay frozen packed in a cooler with ice (meals take at least a full 24 hours to thaw in the refrigerator). If you are worried about temperature or melted ice leaking in the car, you can order dry ice to keep your meals cold. Just be sure to handle it properly. 

Invite Your Kids to Help in the Kitchen

Boredom can strike hard and fast when kids are suddenly free to play all day long (I don’t get it!) If your older children show an interest, offer to teach them a little about cooking. For younger children, being mom or dad’s kitchen helper for the day is a treat in itself right? Getting your kids into the kitchen is a great way to provide them with practical life skills, but it also means that they can actually be a big help to you! Check out these posts from our archives on teaching kids of all ages how to cook.



Kids in the Freezer Cooking Kitchen recipes for kids to cook


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