7Spice Cajun Seafood Restaurant, Houston

7spicecajun
7spicecajun

Kid-Friendly Seafood Boils: Fun for the Whole Family

Summer is a time for celebrating the sunshine and warmer temperatures with loved ones, and in the south, kid-friendly seafood boils equal fun for the whole family! There is just something about a seafood boil that brings everyone to the table for good company and even better food. With such close proximity to Galveston, thousands of Houstonians host seafood boils every summer.

Whether you choose to host a kid-friendly seafood boil for the whole family on the deck of a gulf side coastal rental or in the coziness of your own home and backyard, this is a fantastic way to kick off summer weekends!

There two ways to handle a kid-friendly seafood boil:

  1. Do it yourself (which requires getting all the supplies and ingredients)
  2. Ordering from a renowned local seafood restaurant

For those that decide to do the seafood boil themselves, these are some of the supplies you will need for cooking:

  • A large stock pot (12-quart or larger)
  • Water
  • Shrimp, scallops, crab legs, crawfish or other type of preferred seafood
  • Bay leaves
  • Lemons
  • Salt
  • Kid-Friendly seafood seasonings (choose a mild spice that doesn’t have much heat)
  • Optional additions such as onions, potatoes, corn, sausage, etc.

It is important to remember that there may be some party attendees and children that do not like or cannot safely eat seafood. To better accommodate them, it is wise to also offer a non-seafood option such as chicken. This will require additional and simultaneous preparation but is worth the effort.

For those that choose to order their seafood boil from a favorite local restaurant, the end product is the same – just without all the work. Be sure to choose a restaurant that has multiple offerings like shrimp, catfish, chicken, and Boudin balls (a mixture of rice, sausage and ground pork that is rolled into a ball and fried). If you have an attendee that does not eat seafood or meat, red beans and rice can be a nice option.

However you choose to host your get together, don’t forget to involve the youngest participants with foods they will enjoy.

Incorporate Milder Kid-Friendly Seafood Seasonings

The spices you use to season your seafood boil may need to be light if you are catering to younger kids not fond of spicy or hot flavors.

If doing your own seafood boil recipe, you will either need to choose a milder spice or do two separate stock pots- one with a milder spice and one with more heat for the adults.

Finding the right flavor that is not too hot for the kids but that still has enough zing to make the adults happy can be a bit of a challenge. Since the seafood boil is the star of the show, it is best not to leave this to chance. Research your options in advance of purchasing and consider enlisting the help of a professional who has experience in this area to give you recommendations.

Should you choose to order your seafood boil from a local restaurant, they will likely have a couple of options when it comes to spices so that they can better meet the needs of all their patrons. This means that you can order both spicy and mild seafood boils to please the whole crowd.

Kid-Friendly Side Dishes and Snacks for Your Seafood Boil

Kids like variety, so to make kid-friendly seafood boils fun for the whole family, don’t forget to have fun with the sides as well.

Some of the sides can come from the boil itself, like the corn and potatoes. However, if you have one or more children who want something that tastes a little different, you may want to consider:

  • Dirty rice
  • Fried rice
  • Coleslaw
  • Green salad
  • Bread (sourdough and French bread are usually crowd favorites)

For the picky eaters, some families choose to offer French fries as a side, even though they are not typically a traditional side served at a seafood boil.

Get the Kids Involved

To really get the kids excited, don’t just accommodate the heat level of the spices, incorporate the kids into the planning of the event.

Let them help you set the menu. Maybe they can choose the type of seafood for the boil or what kind of sides you will serve. If you are boiling shrimp, let the kids help with peeling them and make it an educational experience too. Don’t forget to let them help you choose some fun drink options as well, whether it is root beer out of the bottle, lemonade, or something else. Dessert planning is also an area where kids like to have their voices heard.

Ask them to help you with setting the table. The kids will have fun covering the table with newspapers or a plastic tablecloth that all the food will be poured onto, and this will help the kids be excited because it is not the norm. You can also ask for their help with extra decorations like balloons, banners, posters, and more.

Allowing the children to have more ownership in the event helps them to take pride in everything they do to prepare for it.

Don’t Forget the Seafood Boil Entertainment for Kids

Just as most adults enjoy the reward of leisurely eating and visiting with friends and family after cooking a meal, kids want to feel that same kind of reward (although it usually doesn’t involve sitting still at the table). For this reason, it is a good idea to have some entertainment options lined up for the kids.

Some ideas that can increase the fun level of a kid-friendly seafood boil include:

  1. Set up a kiddy swimming pool with water toys
  2. Set up a wading pool filled with sand for a makeshift sandbox
  3. Turn on the sprinkler so the kids can run through it to cool off
  4. Host a water balloon fight
  5. Rent an inflatable bounce house
  6. Offer backyard games like ladder ball, putt-putt, frisbee, giant Jenga, and football
  7. Provide coloring sheets and crayons or markers
  8. Show a backyard movie with a projector and a bedsheet
  9. Bring out the bubbles
  10. Pull out the sidewalk chalk

 

If you have never considered hosting kid-friendly seafood boils that are fun for the whole family, give some thought to making it an annual summer tradition. Just because you are short on time does not mean you have to forgo the event all together. Let 7Spice Cajun Seafood help you make your seafood boil an event to remember!