Keep ‘em busy at your next boy-girl teen (or pre-teen) luau party by having them make the food AND cook it!
With supervision, preteens and certainly teens are capable of grilling kebobs. Give them the tongs and the oven mitts and keep an eye on things, and it will go fine. Kids aren’t stupid and they’ll handle the grill appropriately.
But let them create their own combinations to grill. Have chicken pieces, cut-up hot dogs or other sausage, perhaps cubed beef if it’s in the budget for them to string on the bamboo skewers. Remember to soak the skewers in water for about ½ hour right before the party. Marinate the meat if you wish. And have a cornucopia of veggies they can string up along with the meat- red and green peppers, mushrooms, grape or quartered big tomatoes, bottled or quartered sweet onions. Maybe even some fruit like pineapple or mango chunks.
Have sauce options too- your favorite barbecue sauce and a teriyaki alternative should be sufficient.
Keep the fire going for them as they never seem to get full and will be coming back for seconds- especially the boys.
Keep the relatively healthy and luau theme going with a big side salad for them. A real hit at the last outdoor kids party we had was a rice salad- just cooked white rice with a host of cut up (diced small) veggies in it (cukes, carrots, celery, peppers, a bit of sweet onion, even raw broccoli), all dressed with just Wishbone Italian dressing. They kept coming back for more, and then more again.
When the kids participate in the food part of your party, it gives them something to do and a ‘safe place’ to go and do it when they need to step back from whatevers going on around them. Young teens need that as they try to navigate their social scene.