Packing the Perfect Picnic


If you’re ready to head out in the warm weather, you simply need a picnic to take along with you – but what kinds of picnic foods should you bring for your children, especially young ones? Healthy and delicious ones, of course.

In your life before children, a picnic most likely included wine, cheese, crackers and a bit of romance. Today’s picnic will involve juice boxes, bug spray and a rowdy game of chase. And when the merriment dies down, it will be time to eat.


The most basic items you can bring along on a picnic is a sandwich. Of course, your child might not be ready for a peanut butter sandwich, and he may balk at ham and cheese, but prepare a stack of sandwiches or just bring along the ingredients to keep the bread from getting soggy, and you can make a platter of sandwiches for those that do enjoy them.


A childhood favorite, pasta travels very well. Make a big pot of noodles at home – the pasta shells, twirls and other fun shapes work well for children. Prepare the noodles, drain the extra water and stir in some butter to keep them from getting sticky. Then place the noodles inside a thermos to keep them warm, or just serve the noodles to your picky toddler at room temperature when its’ time to eat.


A good fruit salad is a great way to feed both adults and children. Most kids love fruit salad, and if they don’t love the whole salad, they likely love at least one portion of it. Use a variety of fruits and bring along small bowls to serve it. Then your pickiest eaters can pick out what fruits they want to eat and you can enjoy what’s left.


A bag of crisps is a perfect compliment to a picnic. Bring along several small bags designed for school lunches if your family has trouble deciding which flavor they like the best. You should also bring extra along just in case there is a squabble over who gets which packet.

Hot Dogs and Hamburgers

If your picnic site has a grill, a packet of hot dogs and buns or hamburgers and buns are a fast, hot meal that can be enjoyed by everyone. Be sure to bring along your family’s favorite toppings, however.


The best dessert around, cupcakes are easy to eat with little fingers and they always taste best as a special treat. Eat dinner and send the kids around for a game of hide and seek. When they return, have delicious, frosted cupcakes ready to enjoy. If cupcakes are too messy, cookies or brownies are always an excellent alternative.

Juice Boxes and Bottled Water

To drink, bring along plenty of juice boxes and bottled water. The water with a sport cap on it is easiest for children to enjoy as they don’t lose the cap. As each juice box is finished, it can be chunked into the trash and you don’t have to worry about spilled cups or trying to fill a sippy cup. Of course, if your child is too young for a juice box, a sippy cup or bottle will be necessary as well. You might even try to bring along wine, but plastic glasses might be your best serving option with so many little hands and feet around.

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