Youth Retreat Food Menu Ideas

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Burgers and hot dogs may not be gourmet fare, but they're crowd-pleasers.
Burgers and hot dogs may not be gourmet fare, but they're crowd-pleasers. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Youth retreats bring together children of different ages and adults, all of whom have their own favorite foods and things they’d like to see on the menu. If you’re running a retreat of this type, you need foods that appeal to even the most picky eater. You also need a menu with more than one option for each meal, in case of food restrictions or food allergies, and for foods that appeal to the adults in the group. Using kid-friendly foods goes a long way in keeping everyone happy.

Wraps

Wraps are a smart choice because each person in your group will have the chance to customize theirs. They work for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Heat enough tortillas to provide one for everyone in the group and lay the stack next to the fillings. For breakfast, use scrambled eggs, cheese and fresh vegetables, then serve lunch wraps with deli meats, chicken or tuna salad, cheese slices, lettuce, tomatoes and condiments. At dinner, make chicken and steak fajitas by grilling marinated meats. Let the retreat members top their fajitas with sour cream, cheese, salsa, guacamole and shredded lettuce.

Burgers and Hot Dogs

Burgers are another simple dish the kids can customize and they’re easy to make, especially if you purchase frozen hamburger patties. Give the kids a number of toppings for their burgers, including fresh vegetables, condiments, cheese and some more distinctive toppings, such as leftover chili from another meal. Offer turkey burgers or veggie burgers if you have kids with dietary restrictions.

Side Dishes

Any meal needs a side dish to make it complete. Macaroni and cheese, salads and mashed potatoes are all kid-friendly options that work with different lunches and dinners. Use dishes that work with your entree, such as a cheese and rice casserole served with baked chicken or salad with Italian dressing for a spaghetti dinner.

Cookie Bar

It doesn’t take a lot of time to set up a cookie bar, but it does put a smile on the faces of those taking part in a youth retreat. Buy cookies or make your own and include different types, such as sugar, oatmeal and chocolate chip. Lay out toppings for the cookies, including frosting, sprinkles, chocolate sauce and miniature marshmallows. Let each people pick out their favorite cookie and decorate it using the toppings. Brownies, cereal treats and other small desserts work well, too.

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