Who doesn’t love a picnic? They are a great way of making mealtimes more interesting and with summertime upon us they are the perfect option for alfresco dining with kids.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could make picnics fun and healthy without spending hours preparing them? Look no further; here are my top picnic foods which do just that…
1. The good old sandwich. Sandwiches are the ultimate finger food – perfect for picnics as you won’t need to carry extra utensils. Use shape cutters to create different shaped sandwiches.
Sandwich Filling ideas
• Tuna mayonnaise with sliced cucumber,
• Peanut butter and banana,
• Humus and grated carrot
• Avocado and mozzarella
Top Nutrition tip: Always include some fruit or vegetable in the sandwich. It’s a great way of helping to achieve your 5-a-day
2. Cheddar cheese cubes with raisins. Another great finger food option, this simple snack is easy to prepare and provides a healthy accompaniment to the sandwiches.
3. Cooked sausages. If you have a bit more time to prepare your picnic, try cooking some sausages the night before and slice them into finger shaped pieces for an added picnic extra. I recommend avoiding cocktail sausages or sausage rolls – they are usually poor quality with very little meat content. Instead go for sausages with a meat content of 80% or more (check the label on the back of the packet).
4. Vegetable crudités with dip. Salad is tricky to eat at a picnic but don’t leave the veggies out. Chop some raw carrot, cucumber and celery sticks into finger shaped pieces and grab a pot of hummus, cream cheese or salsa dip to dunk them in
5. Hard boiled eggs. Whilst you’re preparing the sandwiches and packing the rest of the picnic boil some eggs for 7-8 mins in a pan. Once they are cool pack them with the shell still on so they are easier to transport and when you reach your picnic spot get the kids to pick the shell off to reveal another tasty and nutritious picnic snack. Couldn’t be simpler!
6. For something sweeter fruits are a great option and if you ask me you can’t beat a punnet of ripe strawberries, raspberries or nectarines for a juicy picnic treat.
7. Plain popcorn – another nutritious treat and one you can get the kids to help you prepare; pop some plain popcorn at home in the microwave or the pan (make sure it is plain popcorn you are using and not salted or sweetened) and once cooked sprinkle some cinnamon and chopped dried fruits to sweeten the popcorn. A tasty, wholegrain treat without overloading on sugar.
8. Scotch pancakes or plain scones
9. Drinks: put some water bottles in the freezer a few hours before you leave and they will double up as an ice block for chilling your picnic. By the time you reach your picnic spot your food will still be cold and you’ll have a nice chilled drink too. If you prefer juice avoid ones with added sugar and sweeteners and dilute the juice with 10 parts water for the under 5’s for over 5’s juice should be diluted 50:50 to protect teeth from decay.
Sure its messy but picnics are outdoors so who cares?! You won’t be the one hovering up afterwards!