Family Time Calendar: Get Relaxed - iVillage

The Fourth of July is right around the corner! Kick off the holiday weekend with a star-spangled dinner that will get everyone in the patriotic spirit. This flag-themed meal will give your kids the giggles, and it's easy on you, so you can focus on the important stuff: deciding where you're going to watch fireworks this weekend. (And if your local display is tonight, this meal can easily be packed up and taken with you. Though we'd advise skipping the flag presentation.)

What you'll need:

  • Patriotic-themed paperware
  • Chicken salad (homemade or store bought)
  • Cherry tomatoes or red pepper slices
  • All-American Potato Salad (make with blue-skinned potatoes, if possible, or with red-skinned potatoes; wash but don't peel the potatoes before cooking)
  • Reduced-fat vanilla ice cream
  • 1 pint blueberries, washed
  • 1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled, sliced

What you'll do:

To create a flag display for dinner: With the baking dish oriented horizontally, mound the potato salad into a square in the upper-left corner of the dish. Arrange chicken salad and cherry tomatoes or red pepper slices into13 alternating stripes, beginning and ending with the vegetables. (There are seven red stripes and six white on the America flag.)

Before everyone digs in, give a mini history lesson about the flag. Explain that the stripes each represent one of the original 13 colonies (hence the 13 stripes). See how many of the original 13 your kids can name, and how many of the current 50 states. (How many can you?)

Wrap up with dessert: fresh berries over vanilla ice cream.

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