Easy Kid-Friendly Fourth of July Recipes

Easy kid-friendly Fourth of July recipes take the cake-literally. Cakes or gelatin desserts are always a hit with children. But, when it comes to the main dish, hotdogs are hands-down the favorite Fourth of July food.

To keep children enthralled with their meal, put the emphasis on fun. Kids love picnics and get-togethers, whether they take place inside or outside. As long as you incorporate food into the fun festivities in some way, you will have satisfied both the children and their parents.

Cooking Hotdogs
One great way to get kids excited is to announce that everyone will roast their own hotdogs, and the dessert will be S'mores. In order for children to roast their own hotdogs and marshmallows, however, you will need several adult supervisors and only one or two children at the fire at a time.

When roasting hotdogs and marshmallows over an open flame, it's important that you are attentive. Children tend to turn their whole bodies in the direction they look, which means the stick can swing out of the flames and into the exposed skin of another child or adult who is beside the fire. This can happen in the blink of an eye, and food is extremely hot when it is being roasted over an open fire. Marshmallows are particularly dangerous because they're sticky. When a roasted marshmallow comes into contact with skin or clothing, it sticks and continues to burn. This type of burn can be very serious. Be particularly careful that the marshmallows don't catch fire. The natural reaction is to beat the fire out, but this action often results in a marshmallow sailing through the air, placing everyone in danger.

Fourth of July Cake and Gelatin Recipes
If you would rather prepare the dessert ahead of time and skip the S'mores, several Fourth of July cakes can be made with a simple cake mix and a little bit of creativity.

Red, White and Blue Cake
Ingredients You Will Need:
1 white cake mix
1 package red raspberry gelatin
1 can blueberry pie filling
1 tub Cool Whip
2 cups fresh blueberries

Make the cake according to the box directions. Use a 9- x 14-inch cake pan. When the cake has cooled, make holes in the cake by pushing in and pulling out a toothpick. Cover the entire top of the cake with holes spaced about one inch apart. Set the cake aside, and make the gelatin according to the box directions. When the gelatin has been mixed, pour it over the top of the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator to set.

When the cake has cooled and the gelatin has set, pour the blueberry pie filling over the entire top of the cake. Spread the Cool Whip over the top, or add a dollop of Cool Whip to the top of each piece of cake. Sprinkle fresh blueberries on each piece of cake.

Patriotic Parfaits
Ingredients You Will Need:
1 3-ounce box red gelatin
1 3-ounce box blue gelatin
Cool Whip or whipped topping
Candy confetti sprinkles

Mix the red gelatin according to the box directions. Pour the gelatin into parfait glasses, allowing about 2 inches of headspace, and then place the glasses into the refrigerator to set. When the gelatin has set, push a large drinking straw into the parfait to make tunnels and designs, hugging the insides of the glass.

After you have made tunnels or stripes around the parfait glass, set the dessert back in the fridge while you make the blue gelatin. When the blue gelatin has dissolved, slowly spoon it into the parfait glasses and watch the blue gelatin race down the tunnels the straws left behind. (Mix and match by making some parfaits with red as the main color and some with blue as the main color.) Allow about 1 inch of blue gelatin to cover the top of the red gelatin. Place the parfaits back in the refrigerator to set.

When you are ready to serve the parfaits, add a layer of Cool Whip or whipped topping over the blue gelatin, and then sprinkle candy confetti over the top. Fresh blueberries, cherries or strawberries also work well as a garnish for this dish.

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