The skies are blue and blazing, and cooking is the very last thing you’re interested in right now. Good thing good food is abundant during the sweltering dog days of summer. And the best summer foods require no cooking — lucky you!

Lobster rolls. Banana pudding. A classic wedge salad. Juice pops. Icebox cakes. Tomato sandwiches on squishy white bread. Caprese anything. Alllll the beverages.

Five-minute meal prep is a legit form of summer self-care.

Summer self-care also includes “resting your eyes”, because — you know this from experience — the heat may wipe you out, but your littles can go on all afternoon. Your strategy for this scenario is Mud Pies. Yup. Set the kids up to practice their non-cooking skills so they can be just like you.

Here’s the recipe:

  1. Hand over your oldest plastic mixing bowl, and all those half-sets of measuring cups and spoons.
  2. Lay out a Conversion Chart Mat on the grass or sidewalk. Explain the concept of equal measurements in cooking.
  3. Give permission to dig in a particular area of the garden.
  4. Provide a source of water.
  5. Tell your kids that Mud Pies take a full hour to make, and they cannot be rushed. Set a timer.
  6. Find some shade, and close your eyes.

When the Mud Pies are done (and you’ve had a rest), hose everything and everyone down. Then: serve watermelon and potato chips for dinner, and know you’re passing down nothing but recipes for success to the next generation.