The Best Child Friendly Picnic Foods

 

children eating at picnic

As the sun comes out, it’s only natural that we want to spend more time outside. While kids are home for the summer holidays it can be difficult to think of activities for all the family; a picnic is a lovely way to spend time outside no matter your age. It’s cheaper than going to a restaurant, it’s an excuse to get some fresh air, and can help encourage kids to keep active! However, an important part of a picnic is planning. Making your own food allows you to save money and have more control over what’s available to you, yet planning healthy and interesting foods for kids can be difficult. In this article, we will share 8 kid-friendly foods to take on a picnic!


Sandwiches and Wraps

Sandwich wraps

Sandwiches are a staple for any family outing, they’re easy to make, they travel well, and you don’t need any cutlery to eat them! Egg mayonnaise and lettuce, cheese and tomato, cucumber and cream cheese are all examples of healthy two-ingredient sandwiches that most children will love. The beauty of sandwiches is that you can choose what goes inside! Try different things and ask your children what they like. 

How to make sandwiches more interesting - if you and your kids are bored of regular sandwiches there are few ways to switch it up. You can toast your sandwiches, use pitta bread or tortilla wraps, or cut them into fun shapes.


Bento Box

Kyaraben

What is a bento box? A bento box is essentially a Japanese style packed lunch where a variety of dishes are fitted in. Bento boxes specifically for children are called ‘kyaraben’; these are lunches presented in fun shapes and characters while still being nutritionally balanced. If you decide to make a bento box make sure that you include all of the main elements: one half of the box should be carbs, ¼ of the box should be protein, and the remaining ¼ should be vegetables and fruits. For the protein, I recommend trying a Japanese style rolled omelette, know as Tamagoyaki, they are easy to make and commonly used in bento boxes. The combination of all these different food groups do not only make the meal healthy and balanced, but they also add a nice amount of colour that your children will love! There are plenty of videos on social media of people showing what they put in their bento boxes that can provide plenty of inspiration and get the creative juices flowing. 


Drinks

  • Smoothies or milkshakes: both smoothies and milkshakes can be packed with healthy fruits and are a sweet refreshing drink that kids love. The recipes are quite simple, all you really need is fruit, juice or milk, and a blender! Have a look at this recipe for mini milkshakes or this one for four healthy smoothies for kids.
  • Water: make sure that you bring plenty of water for your kids, especially if they are going to spend long amounts of time in the sun. If they don’t like plain water maybe try naturally flavoured water of coconut water. By infusing water with fruits and herbs you can add extra nutrition. Coconut water is a great alternative for sports drinks as it has electrolytes and vitamin C


  • Family picnic food

    Sweet Treats

    We all deserve a sweet treat once in a while, and a family day out in the sun is the perfect occasion. If it’s a hot, sunny day we want to keep the deserts simple and light.

  • Fun Fruit: if you want to encourage your kids to eat more fruit, you can cut the fruit into fun little shapes and designs. Using cookie cutters on different kinds of fruit will help you create an interesting and healthy snack.
  • Frozen fruit: this next suggestion is a personal favourite! Frozen watermelon and frozen grapes. These are so easy to make and incredibly refreshing. Wash the fruit, place them in freezer bags and leave overnight. Once they’re frozen you can take them out and pop them in your cooler ready to enjoy on your picnic. You can also place an ice lolly stick into the watermelon wedges so your children can easily hold them.
  • Candied fruit: candied fruit is fresh fruit coated in a thin candy shell. The shell adds a delicious crunch to the juicy fruit while enhancing its sweetness. It’s a delicious sweet treat that is slightly healthier than store brought sweets. (Click here for a recipe for candied strawberries.) Once they are made just pop them in a small container and pack them with the rest of your picnic.
  • Smoothie Ice lollies - smoothie lollies are a great way to keep cool while encouraging your children to have part of their 5 a day. These are pretty much self-explanatory; by pouring a smoothie into some ice lolly moulds and leaving them overnight, you and your kids will wake up to a refreshing snack. Make sure to put them in your cooler with plenty of ice, we don’t want a smoothie flavoured puddle in your bag!

  • Other things to keep in mind

    If you plan on spending long amounts of time outside on a sunny day, it is essential that you and your child stay safe! Using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, taking breaks in the shade, and wearing sun hats and sunglasses are all helpful ways to stay safe while having fun in the sun. 

    Family picnic in the garden



     



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