Strawberries are in season and adults and kids alike love them. Picking your own is fun and nothing tastes better than local fresh picked. Bring the whole family for a fun activity.

I wanted my kids to participate in cooking or the food preparation process when they were young. As a parent, helping them understand where their food comes from was just as important as teaching them life skills. I involved them in both the harvest and cooking process. It seemed they gravitated towards cooking over the hot stove or wanting to cut things with sharp knives—which always scared me!

Finding recipes that were safe to cook or bake with my kids was a challenge. This recipe does have boiling water, but not over a stove. The kids chopped the strawberries with a pastry blender or a hard-boiled egg slicer—each easy for little hands to manipulate. 

A favorite memory was taking them to the strawberry patch. They loved picking berries. If they were worn out, they were happy to play with a toy alongside me. It was a win-win. They got to see and understand all the work and time that went into growing foods they loved.

When we got home, I prepped the strawberries and they would pick a recipe to make. 

This recipe contains three things kids love: Jell-O, strawberries, and ice cream. They can come up with their own flavor combinations. You’ll want to help them with the boiling water, but they can do most of the rest. 

Magic Ice Cream Summer Treat

Adapted from Barb DeRosier

Serves 9

1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (16-18 crackers crushed)

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup butter softened

3 oz. Jell-O any flavor or sugar-free

1 ¼ cup boiling water

2 cups ice cream, any flavor

1 ½ cups strawberries, chopped

In a large bowl, combine crushed crackers, sugar, and butter. With a hand mixer or by hand, mix until combined. Press into 8 x 8 square pan. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Dissolve the Jell-O in the boiling water. Add ice cream and stir until melted. Stir in fruit and slowly pour into the prepared crust. Refrigerate until firm. Top with more berries and serve. 

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes by emailing her at


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