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70 Easy Recipes Your Kids Can Make All By Themselves

These easy recipes for kids let them snack on what they want and give you one less thing to do. Score! Plus, it's a great learning experience. Find ideas for elementary, middle and high school-age students.

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Help your kids learn—even over lunch hour. By preparing and cooking their own food, kids can indulge in what they actually want to eat during the school day and perhaps even stumble upon a new hobby—in addition to these fun activities, of course. These easy recipes are appropriate for elementary, middle and high school-age kids.

See our guide to age-appropriate cooking tasks.

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Chocolate Chip Pb Banana Sandwiches Exps Hca18 103795 B09 29 1b

Elementary Age: Chocolate Chip, PB & Banana Sandwiches

I love finding new ways to combine peanut butter, chocolate and bananas. I was shocked when my nephews (who are very picky eaters) loved these sammies. —Charlotte Gehle, Brownstown, Michigan
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Blueberry Pancake Smoothie Exps Tohdj20 242974 B08 06 4b 8

Elementary Age: Blueberry Pancake Smoothie

My family loves this pancake smoothie in the morning. I don’t normally measure the blueberries, so go crazy! If you have fresh blueberries, I would recommend freezing the banana ahead of time. —Kailey Thompson, Palm Bay, Florida

Psst! Kids love these make-ahead breakfast ideas.

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Marshmallow Fruit Dip Exps Hca18 36262  D02 22 9b 2

Elementary Age: Marshmallow Fruit Dip

You can whip up this sweet and creamy dip in just 10 minutes. I like to serve it in a bowl surrounded by fresh-picked strawberries at spring brunches or luncheons. —Cindy Steffen, Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
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Elementary Age: No-Bake Peanut Butter Treats

Perfect for road trips, these peanut butter oatmeal balls won’t stick to your hands. Keep them in the refrigerator for portable snacks. —Sonia Rohda, Waverly, Nebraska
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Elementary Age: Loaded Baked Potato Dip

I never thought of using waffle-cut fries as a scoop for dip until a friend of mine did at a baby shower. They’re ideal for my cheesy bacon and chive dip, which tastes just like a baked potato topper. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota

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Elementary Age: Fruity Peanut Butter Pitas

My kids ask for these pita sandwiches all the time. They haven’t noticed that as good as they taste, they’re also good for them. —Kim Holmes, Emerald Park, Saskatchewan
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Elementary Age: Kiddie Crunch Mix

This no-bake snack mix is a delightful treat for kids, and you can easily increase the amount to fit your needs. Place in individual bags, or pour some into colored ice cream cones for a fun presentation. —Kara de la Vega, Santa Rosa, California
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Elementary Age: Raspberry Ice Cream in a Bag

Making homemade ice cream is fun for the whole family, and the fresh raspberry flavor of this treat makes it a perfect summer activity. Kids can shake the bags until the liquid changes to ice cream and then enjoy the reward! —Erin Hoffman, Canby, Minnesota
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Elementary Age: Peanut Butter Granola Pinwheels

I came across this easy and tasty snack while searching online for healthy munchies for kids. Great for after school, it's really quick to make and filling enough to hold the kids until dinner. To satisfy heftier appetites or to serve as a power lunch, cut each tortilla into fewer pieces or provide one per child. The recipe is easy to increase as needed. —Mary Haluch, Ludlow, Massachusetts

The whole family will love these at-home lunch recipes.

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Elementary Age: Rise and Shine Parfait

Start your day with a smile. This fruit, yogurt and granola parfait is so easy to make. If you like, use whatever favorite fresh fruits are in season and are looking best at the supermarket. —Diana Laskaris, Chicago, Illinois
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Ranch Snack Mix Exps15898 Thcwr143330b03 13 4bc Rms 2

Elementary Age: Ranch Snack Mix

This is a wonderful fast-to-fix munchie. The recipe makes tons and doesn't involve any cooking. It's a cinch to package in individual snack bags, it keeps its crunch and it's a savory alternative to the cakes and pies usually offered at bake sales. —Linda Murphy, Pulaski, Wisconsin
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Princess Toast Exps Dai19 230060 B08 15 1b 13

Elementary Age: Princess Toast

I made these sparkly treats for my daughter's Brownie troop and they're great for princess parties. Sometimes I use lemon curd in place of the jam. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Pumpkin Pie Smoothies Exps Sdon16 145412 A06 07 6b 4

Elementary Age: Pumpkin Pie Smoothies

My pie-flavored smoothie is loaded with fruit. The spices make it all come together. —Karen Sikora, Dayton, Nevada
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Lemon Apricot Fruit Pops Exps Thjj19 45186 B02 21 9b 11

Elementary Age: Lemon-Apricot Fruit Pops

With just 31 calories and less than 1 tsp. sugar per serving, these lemon ice pops are one light and refreshing summer dessert everyone can find room for! —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho

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Elementary Age: Snack Crackers

Our 13-year-old daughter, Dana, loves to make this crunchy and flavorful snack for us. Her four older brothers finish off a batch in no time. —Sue Manel, Milladore, Wisconsin
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Elementary Age: Glazed Doughnut Holes

Here's a simple recipe to create a colorful and fun breakfast—or snack! For the glaze, use any type of juice you like. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Elementary Age: PBJ on a Stick

Take the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the go with these skewers. They also make easy snacks. —Sara Martin, Brookfield, Wisconsin
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Elementary Age: Flying Saucers

These handy pita pocket sandwiches can be filled and served ready to eat... or you can set up a make-your-own buffet with ingredients that the kids can choose to suit themselves.
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Elementary Age: Granola Trail Mix

My family has always enjoyed this crunchy four-ingredient snack. When we go camping, each person includes one additional ingredient like mini marshmallows, corn chips or cookie pieces. The taste is never the same, and we're often surprised by the combinations. —Shelley Riddlespurger, Amarillo, Texas
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Strawberry Lime Smoothies Exps Hck19 43807 C06 22 2b 5

Elementary Age: Strawberry Lime Smoothies

Peak-of-freshness strawberries make this thinner, easy drink a summer staple. —Elizabeth Johnson, Greenville, South Carolina
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Elementary Age: Turkey Ranch Wraps

Here's a cool idea that's ready to gobble up in no time. It's a terrific use for deli turkey. Just add lettuce, tomato, green pepper, shredded cheese and ranch dressing for a flavorful blend. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Crunchy Granola Pretzel Sticks Exps Cbz16 193410 D05 20 5b 4

Elementary Age: Crunchy Granola Pretzel Sticks

I love this healthier portable snack that's sweet, crunchy and fun to make. If you don't have granola, use other cereals or nuts. You can even do bacon bits.—Kelly Silvers, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Elementary Age: Texas Tumbleweeds

Tumbleweeds blow across the roads in some parts of Texas, and I think these cute stacks look like them. I've been making these sweets with my sister for years. —Karen Lemay, Seabrook, Texas
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Middle School Age: Chicken & Bacon Roll-Ups

My children like these so much that they ask for them every day for lunch during the summer. Whenever I have leftover chicken or turkey breast, this is a delicious way to use it up. —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California
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Middle School Age: Cheesy Quesadillas

We serve these quesadillas as chili dippers or load them up with salsa and sour cream for a super starter. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, Colorado
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Middle School Age: Brownie Batter Dip

I’m all about the sweeter side of dips, and this brownie-batter variety fits in with my life’s philosophy: Chocolate makes anything better. Grab some fruit, cookies or salty snacks and start dunking. —Mel Gunnell, Boise, Idaho
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Key Lime Pie Cookies Exps Cbz16 197124 D04 27 4b 11

Middle School Age: Key Lime Pie Balls

The classic creamy filling, graham cracker crust and burst of lime are all mixed together in every bite of these rolled cookies. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Middle School Age: Garlic Bread Pizza Sandwiches

Middle School Age: Garlic Bread Pizza Sandwiches

I love inventing new ways to make grilled cheese sandwiches for my kids. This version tastes like pizza. Using frozen garlic bread is a timesaver. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Middle School Age: Frozen Banana Cereal Pops

When we want a healthy snack, we dip bananas in yogurt, roll 'em in cereal, then freeze. Ta-da! —Scarlett Elrod, Newnan, Georgia
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Apple Yogurt Parfaits Exps Hrbz17 44944 C08 30 3b

Middle School Age: Apple Yogurt Parfaits

Get the morning started right with this super simple four-ingredient parfait. Try chunky or flavored applesauce for easy variations. —Rebekah Radewahn, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Fruity Chicken Salad Pitas Exps Tohas20 245804 F04 08 1b 1

Middle School Age: Fruity Chicken Salad Pitas

I found this handwritten recipe tucked inside an old community cookbook I bought more than 40 years ago. I made a few changes over the years to suit my family’s tastes. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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Frozen Chocolate Monkey Treats Exps Sscbz18 176690 B09 27 1b

Middle School Age: Frozen Chocolate Monkey Treats

Everyone needs a fun, friendly way for kids to play with food. These rich bites are nutty and yummy. Just coat bananas in chocolate and dip them into peanuts, sprinkles or coconut. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin
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Middle School Age: Easy Cake Mix Bars

I take this dessert to work for Friday pick-me-ups. It's one of my favorite yellow cake bar recipes. I love to share them because they're so easy to eat, easy to make and easy on the wallet. —Amy Rose, Ballwin, Missouri
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Middle School Age: BLT Wraps

My mom and I used to make these easy wrap-ups for summer days at the lake with our entire family. These days, we love to bring them to picnics and days in the park. —Jonnah Burks, Brighton, Missouri
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Middle School Age: Chocolaty Chips

My two little guys can't get enough of this sweet-and-salty snack, which uses just three ingredients and is ready to eat in 15 minutes. The boys like to drizzle on the melted chocolate, too. Sometimes we replace the potato chips with apple slices. —Jami Geittmann, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Middle School Age: Cheddar Corn Dog Muffins

I wanted to riff on hot dogs, so I made corn dog muffins. I added jalapenos to this kid-friendly recipe and won my husband over, too. —Becky Tarala, Palm Coast, Florida
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Copycat Chicken Salad Exps Sdam18 205785 B12 05 4b 11

Middle School Age: Copycat Chicken Salad

This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and your family will love it. The sweet pickle relish gives it its signature taste. I like to use a thick, crusty oat bread for this sandwich. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Middle School Age: Garlic Toast Pizzas

Between working full-time, going to school and raising three children, finding time-saving recipes that my family likes is one of my biggest challenges. These quick pizzas pack a huge amount of flavor. —Amy Grim, Chillicothe, Ohio
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Middle School Age: Frozen Berry & Yogurt Swirls

I enjoy these frozen yogurt pops because they double as a healthy snack and a cool, creamy sweet treat. —Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Middle School Age: Cheese Fries

I came up with this recipe after my daughter had cheese fries at a restaurant and couldn't stop talking about them. She loves that I can fix them so quickly at home. Plus, the frozen fry packets can be refrigerated and reheated. —Melissa Tatum, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Middle School Age: Grilled Hummus Turkey Sandwich

I created this toasted sandwich last summer using homemade hummus and veggies from our garden. We really can't get enough! —Gunjan Gilbert, Franklin, Maine
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Middle School Age: Monkey Bread Biscuits

I came up with an easy, savory—instead of sweet—dinner version of monkey bread featuring garlic and Italian seasoning. —Dana Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Middle School Age: Yogurt & Honey Fruit Cups

This tasty combo of fresh fruit and creamy orange-kissed yogurt is guaranteed to disappear fast from your breakfast table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Middle School Age: Quick Taco Wraps

I was running late one night, so I shopped in my own fridge and came up with ingredients that became taco wraps. Everybody at the table was a happy camper. —Katie Mitschelen, La Porte, Indiana
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Middle School Age: Lunch Box Pizzas

When you have these fun-to-make mini pizzas, it's no challenge finding lunch fare that the kids enjoy. Plus they pack nicely in sandwich bags and travel well, so there's no mess. —Rhonda Cliett, Belton, Texas
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Fresh Strawberry Breakfast Tacos Exps Bbbz16 194812 D07 08 6b 11

High School Age: Fresh Strawberry Breakfast Tacos

When our son was growing up, this was one of his favorite breakfasts. I've used low-fat ingredients in the past with good results, too.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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High School Age: Bacon Cream Cheese Pinwheels

It's hard to resist a crescent roll, bacon and cream cheese in one bite! Kids, friends, everyone will scarf these cream cheese pinwheels down. Now I bake a double batch whenever we have a get-together. —Krista Munson, Sharpsburg, Kentucky
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High School Age: Hasselback Tomato Clubs

This no-fuss, no-bread riff on a classic is perfect during tomato season. Make it for lunch or pair with pasta salad for a light dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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High School Age: Turkey Wafflewiches

Who knew sandwiches could be so fun? This medley from our Test Kitchen will bring smiles to the whole table with its fantastic taste and whimsical fun. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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High School Age: Avocado Quesadillas

Avocados give quesadillas some nutritional value and, fortunately, my son likes them. Thinly slice the avocado, and add chicken or beef for extra protein. —Debbie Limas, North Andover, Massachusetts
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High School Age: Turkey & Apricot Wraps

For these everyday wraps, I combined the traditional southern appetizer of jam and cream cheese on crackers with the turkey, apple and Brie sandwiches we ate at my bridal luncheon. I like to sneak fresh spinach into all sorts of recipes because it has such a mild flavor. —Kim Beavers, North August, South Carolina
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High School Age: Cheeseburger Cups

A terrific recipe for moms with young kids and busy lives, this simple, inexpensive dish is made with handy ingredients and takes just a short time. Best of all, kids will go absolutely crazy for these darling dinner bites! —Jeri Millhouse, Ashland, Ohio
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High School Age: Microwave Egg Sandwich

If you're looking for a grab-and-go breakfast for busy days, this high-protein sandwich is low in fat and keeps me full all morning. Plus, it's only about 200 calories! —Brenda Otto, Reedsburg, Wisconsin
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Game Night Nacho Pizza Exps Opbz18 46936 C06 29 2b

High School Age: Game-Night Nacho Pizza

Some like it hot with jalapenos; others like it cool with a dollop of sour cream. But one thing’s for sure: This is “nacho” ordinary pizza night. —Jamie Jones, Madison, Georgia
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High School Age: Peanut Butter Oatmeal

My son and I eat this peanut butter oatmeal recipe every day for breakfast. It's a hearty, healthy way to jump start our morning. — Elisabeth Reitenbach, Terryville, Connecticut
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High School Age: Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

A spicy homemade seasoning blend shakes up everyone’s favorite finger food in this rendition of sweet potato fries. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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High School Age: Confetti Cake Batter Cookies

Mom and I took up cake decorating. Funfetti was our favorite cake, so we used the mix to make cutout cookies. Plain or decorated, they’re a fave at parties. —Danielle DeMarco, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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High School Age: Air-Fryer French Toast Sticks

Learn how to make air-fryer French toast sticks with this quick and easy recipe. They're nice to have handy in the freezer for a hearty breakfast in an instant. You'll find them great for buffets, too. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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High School Age: Cheesy Roast Beef Pinwheels

Take lunch to the next level with savory Cheesy Roast Beef Pinwheels. Rolled in crescent dough, cut into spirals and baked, they’re a tasty twist on the traditional roast beef sandwich. —Holley Grainger, Birmingham, Alabama
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High School Age: Bacon Breakfast Pizza

High School Age: Bacon Breakfast Pizza

I used to make this bacon breakfast pizza for my morning drivers when I worked at a delivery place. And they just loved it. Breakfast pizza is a quick and easy eye-opener that appeals to all ages. —Cathy Shortall, Easton, Maryland
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Salted Caramel And Banana Drinking Chocolate Exps Tohdj21 256610 B08 06 10b 3

High School Age: Salted Caramel and Banana Hot Chocolate

Sip on this salted caramel and banana drinking chocolate when the temperatures start to drop. It's the perfect cool-weather drink. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary
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Rotisserie Chicken Panini Exps Chmz19 50106 B10 30 9b 3

High School Age: Rotisserie Chicken Panini

This ooey-gooey, melty delight is packed with bacon, chicken, cheese and just enough lemon to tickle your taste buds. Other chicken panini recipes don't compare!—Terri McCarty, Oro Grande, California
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High School Age: Quick Icebox Sandwiches

My mother liked making these cool, creamy treats when I was growing up in the States because they're so quick to fix. Then I made them for my three kids.—Sandy Armijo, Naples, Italy
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High School Age: Waffle-Iron Pizzas

These little pizza pockets are a fun mashup using a waffle iron. Try adding your favorite toppings or even a few breakfast fillings, such as ham and eggs. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Smoked Gouda Veggie Melt Exps126756 Sd143203c10 15 3b Rms

High School Age: Smoked Gouda Veggie Melt

After a long day of teaching, I like to make these veggie-packed grilled-cheese sandwiches. My 8-year-old daughter is a big fan, too. —Charlie Herzog, West Brookfield, Vermont
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Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake Exps Scbz18 133470 C06 28 4b 4

High School Age: Slow-Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake

Everyone who tries this dessert falls in love with it. Using a slow cooker liner makes cleanup a breeze. —Latona Dwyer, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
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High School Age: Hot Dog Roll-Ups

Not only do my grandchildren love these cheese-filled hot dogs, they enjoy helping put the meal together, too. It's the perfect solution when you need a last-minute lunch. —Lyletta Searle, Morgan, Utah
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High School Age: Tuna Ciabatta Melts

Use any good crusty bread when compiling this tuna spread sandwich. Top with slices of crunchy cucumber or luscious tomato for extra freshness. —Barb Templin, Norwood, Minnesota
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High School Age: Berry Nectarine Salad

I've been making this recipe for years. Whenever my family has a summer get-together, everyone requests it. The nectarines and berries look beautiful together, and the topping is the perfect accent. —Mindee Myers, Lincoln, Nebraska
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High School Age: Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches

I'm a vegetarian, and this is a tasty, quick and healthy lunch I could eat for every meal. At my house, we call these sandwiches HATS: hummus, avocado, tomato and shallots. These are ingredients I almost always have on hand. —Sarah Jaraha, Moorestown, New Jersey

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.
Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.
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