We all need a little break from the dinner grind from time to time, right? While that used to mean getting takeout for us, now I suddenly find myself with kids that are old enough to prepare food. So instead of ordering in, we may just start asking our tween to help out in the kitchen now and then.

If your kiddos are like mine, the idea of a build-your-own-burger bar is so fun that they won’t even mind pitching in. My son loved preparing all of the ingredients (the instructions below are extra detailed just for beginner chefs) and having us go through the line “buffet style.” I love that the meal is customizable too, so the whole family can make their burger however they wish. For an ultra-low-carb option, you can omit the buns. We’ve gone this route many times, and you’d be surprised: With the right combination of toppings, you won’t even miss the bread.

Nutritional Information

Serves: 6

Serving Size: 1 burger (including 1 patty, bun, and cheese slice; not including optional toppings

  • Calories: 213
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Total Fat: 8.5g
  • Protein: 19g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 14g


  • Toppings of choice (such as tomato, avocado, grilled onions, lettuce, pickles, bacon), optional
  • 6 hamburger patties or 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Burger seasoning of choice, optional
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 6 slices American cheese
  • Sauce of choice (such as ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, mayo), optional

How To Make It

  1. Wash, slice, and prepare your toppings of choice. Set aside.
  2. If using ground beef, divide the meat into six equal balls. Form into thin 4-inch round patties, handling the meat as little as possible, so you don’t squeeze out the juices. With your thumb, make a small indentation in the center of the patty.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; melt butter in pan and swirl to evenly coat the bottom.
  4. Add the patties to the skillet, placing them so that they don’t touch. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to work in batches. If your pan is hot enough, it should sizzle when you place them in the pan. Sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper or burger seasoning.
  5. Cook 4 minutes for medium doneness or 5 minutes for well-done burgers. Flip the burgers, add a cheese slice to each one, and continue to cook for an additional 4 minutes for medium doneness (internal temperature of 145°F), or 5 minutes for well done (internal temperature of 160°F). Remove burgers from skillet and set aside on a plate.
  6. Drain grease from the skillet by spooning the liquid into a disposable container (like an empty coffee can). Once the grease is cooled and hardened, toss the container in the trash.
  7. In the same skillet, toast the hamburger buns for a couple of minutes, until lightly browned.
  8. Set prepared ingredients along a table or countertop and let family members assemble their own burgers.

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.