Partners & Parents

4 Tips for Grilling with Your Kids This Summer

With thanks to Trager Grills for sponsoring this content.

Nothing quite kicks off summer like firing up your grill. It doesn’t matter if its charcoal, gas or an open flame, grilling is a time-honored Dad tradition that has stood the test of time. While commanding your grill, you are no longer a mere mortal. You are a primitive hunter feeding his hungry family. You are a cowboy out on the range swapping stories while you tend the cook fire. You are a grilling master. Meat, Veggies, even fruits bow to your whims as you conjure and manipulate the elements forcing the fire to
bend its will to yours. You are a glorious grilling wizard concocting secret recipes passed down from grandfather to father and father to son! But as Uncle Ben taught us, with great power comes great responsibility. It is up to use your powers to instill the love of grilling to the next generation. Here are 4 tips for grilling with your kids this Summer.

Let your kids take part in the planning:

Let’s face it, kids can be finnicky eaters, so getting your children involved in the planning for a family cookout can be a great opportunity to get them to try some new foods. Take them to the market with you and let them pick out which items you’ll be throwing on the grill. Take this opportunity to teach them about what are the best items to put on the grill. Teach them how to pick out good cuts of meat and quality vegetables. This is also a great time to discuss portions and how much of each item you’ll
need to ensure everyone has enough to eat. Let your kids explore their creative side by picking a theme for your next backyard cookout and plan a menu around that theme. The more invested they are in the planning of the event the more excited they’ll be.

Make it an interactive experience:

Much like letting them take part in planning, the more they can contribute to the barbecue the more it’s going to mean to them. This is an excellent time to teach some cooking basics. Break out the spices and, with guidance, allow them to create the perfect seasoning blend. Put them to work shucking corn and snapping green beans. Break out the mallet and let them tenderize. The sense of accomplishment they’ll feel from helping to cook the family meal matched with the learning of important life skills make this the perfect family bonding activity.

Safety first when it comes to flames, knives and raw food products:

Grilling can be a dangerous activity. There are open flames, sharp knives, raw meat, etc. It’s very important to take the time to talk about safety with your kids if they’re going to be involved in the barbecue process. With kids and fire of any kind there is no such thing as taking too many precautions. Advise younger children on the importance of staying a safe distance from a hot grill. With older kids, it’s best to go over the features of a grill and how to operate it safely. It’s also a good idea to make sure everyone knows where the fire extinguisher is…just in case. The grill itself isn’t the only place to teach about safety. It’s important for everybody to know how to handle raw meat and ingredients in a way that is not only safe, but sanitary as well. Be sure to stress the importance of hand washing, avoiding cross contamination and cooking food to the proper temperature.

It doesn’t really matter what you do with your kids, just spend the time!

Grilling with your kids is a great way to spend an afternoon. Not only does it offer the opportunity to impart knowledge, but it is the perfect way to bond as a family. As fathers, we take on a great deal of roles and responsibilities. One of the greatest of which is to create memories that will last a lifetime. Even something as simple has teaching your kids the secret to cooking a perfect steak can be something that sticks with them, long after you’re gone. Get out there, fire up that grill and start making some memories!

…and don’t forget that right now, you can get up to $150 off Traeger Grills at the Smokin’ Summer Sale!

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