Read on and find out Toby and Roo‘s top picnic tips!
I am such a fan of picnics, especially during the summer. It is the ideal excuse to get the kids outside, running around and playing over a meal time. They nibble throughout the day and there is always something to eat or drink readily available. We have picnics in the garden, on family day trips, pretty much all of the time during summer, it’s not just practical with three kids and a pushchair but it’s also far cheaper than eating in a cafe or restaurant. I have put together my tips for the perfect summer picnics for toddlers and what to include (but also what not to include!).
What to take:
I’ve divided this into two sections: food and extras. It’s not really a picnic without something yummy to nibble while you sit on the grass or at a park table. So here is what I would recommend for a picnic for toddlers (that adults won’t feel uninspired by either):
- A mixture of sandwiches and wraps – I use cheese, tuna, ham, egg mayonnaise, chicken mayonnaise, prawn or even peanut butterI know that my boys really love their ham, cheese and Roo loves tuna, so I try to make them roughly 1-2 sandwiches each that they can nibble on throughout the day. It’s better than little snacks and is much more satisfying.
- Pinwheel pizzas are really easy to make and everyone (including the kids) loves them. Using puff pastry you simply spread tomato puree and cheese over the top then steadily roll it up and cut into round pieces, bake for 20-30 minutes until flaky.
- Mini Quiches are so easy to do, Reuben is the only one out of all of us who isn’t a fan, so quiche always goes down really well in our picnic basket.
- Any kind of flan is perfect for a picnic. You can try my flan recipe on my blog here, so just grab one from the shop.
- Samosas I make all the time for picnics, for nibbles and to be honest just for me! Samosas can be filled with pretty much anything, just use filo pastry and I always bake them instead of deep frying them.
- Marinaded chicken skewers are really easy to make and you can add such a punchy flavour to the picnic. I love soy sauce and honey, but you could try sweet chilli, lemon and thyme, tomato & balsamic or even just simple pesto with olive oil. Make the marinade the night before and leave the chicken in it. Cook it in the morning and leave it to cool before you wrap it up.
- Fresh fruit such as melon, bananas, apples and grapes are great because they don’t break down or go mushy, and I have found that if it is really hot and I have pre cut the strawberries they haven’t lasted very well. To me this is a much better alternative to sugary dessert ideas because I always find the fresh air combined with the sugar sends my kids loopy and we all end up falling out. Stick to fruit.
- Lots of water, preferably in a sports style bottle so you won’t get drips is essential. If you want Mum and Dad could take wine for them if it’s an all day family affair but we always have a BIG bottle of water ready for when the munchkins could back hot and flustered.
- A picnic blanket – There is nothing worse than sitting on the grass when it is still a little bit damp from earlier on. Plus, you can generally just roll it up and pop it back in the basket or under the pushchair if you have one.
- Wipes – It is so important to have wipes and if you don’t have a child in nappies the chances are you might not carry them all the time. Everyone will get sticky fingers!
- A plastic bag for rubbish – so easy to forget. Somewhere to put your rubbish so you aren’t scrapping about in the picnic basket at the end of the day.
- A cooler – if it’s really hot weather then to avoid the food spoiling you might want to invest in a cool box.
- A decent picnic basket – if you are as fond of picnics are we are then a decent picnic basket can be really helpful. We don’t bother with cutlery as I think it’s easier for our picnics to be finger food but some picnic baskets do have cups and little plates, which can be really lovely.
That’s it! My top tips for having a fabulous family picnic this summer!
Thank you Toby and Roo!