Planning a picnic with children
What better way to get the whole family team out of the house on a sunny day than with a family picnic. They’re simple to plan, cheap and fun for the whole family. But as everyone knows for most family trips out the house with little ones in tow, preparation is key. There’s nothing worse than getting to the park only to realise you’ve got the salad but no fork to eat it with.
To help make the whole adventure easier we have thought about our own personal picnic hero’s and what we have found useful with our picnic planning to help you become the picnic professional! From our top products to our fool proof recipes that are always a crowd pleaser, you can have the perfect picnic of your dreams.
There are just those few products that will simply come in so handy at picnics with children and we wouldn’t venture out without them.
Most importantly you need something to sit on, whilst most people opt for the picnic blanket as standard, we use something a little different. We absolutely love the Play & Go storage bag, it’s a game changer. The amazing concept is a bag to store and carry all their toys in, then you simply open up the bag and voila it transforms into a place for the whole family to sit on. Then when it’s time to go home simply pull on the rope and everything is gathered neatly into it ready for the journey home. The Outdoor Surf design is specifically designed to be taken to the beach or park with it’s waterproof covering.
As with every picnic planning, there is always copious amount of tupper wear involved. It is well known that here at Natural Baby Shower we are always trying to help parents reduce the amount of plastic they use, so we have the perfect picnic companion alternative to plastic pots. GoSili are a brand of eating and drinking utensils all made from silicone instead of plastic and are absolutely amazing. Their GoSilli bowl is the perfect product to store your picnic food in. Simply pop in your food, place the lid on top to create an air tight seal, then when it comes for time to tuck in you can simply remove the lid and use it as a plate as well as the bowl. For the younger ones, you could take along the reusable babymoov foodie start kit pouches to store their weaning purees.
If you are lucky enough to plan your picnic on a super hot day (we can dream right?) then you may need to think about how to keep your food cool and fresh. The Pacapod Feeder pod is the perfect answer. It’s fully insulated so perfect for those milk bottles or weaning food that needs to stay fresh.
Whilst it’s important to protect the yummy food from the sun it’s also to protect your little one from the sun rays too. We always advise either packing the sun cream, hat and sunglasses or take an ani UV tent along with you for the trip too. The babymoov Anti UV tent is perfect, it pops up in a matter of seconds and is the perfect space for them to play, eat and relax in whilst outdoors.
Let’s be honest, a picnic is all about the food. Whether you prefer your sandwiches with the crusts on or crusts off it is important to pack enough variety of food to keep everyone happy. The tricky thing with picnic food is it has to be eaten cold, can be prepared before hand and easy to eat and transport. It can be a tricky business trying to please everyone and make it suitable for a picnic at the same time. But worry not, we have compiled our favourite alfresco picnic recipes for all ages that are all guaranteed crowd pleaser's.
Mini Sausage Rolls
These are a picnic fail safe option. Who doesn’t love tucking into a sausage roll?
500g/1lb 2oz ready-made puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
1 free-range egg, beaten
8 sausages cut in two
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a rectangle of about 48x32cm/19x12½in and bash the pastry with the rolling pin a bit. Puff pastry is made of fine layers and normally you have to be very delicate with it. For sausage rolls the pastry needs to be slightly puffed, but not too much, so bashing it with a rolling pin reduces the amount it puffs up.
Cut the large rectangle in half length ways, then cut both smaller rectangles into eight equal sections. You now have 16 rectangles in total. Brush one end of each rectangle with a little of the beaten egg, lay a piece of sausage at the other end. Roll the sausage up in the pastry to enclose and repeat with all the sausages. Put the sausage rolls in the fridge for 20 minutes for the pastry to harden.
Once the pastry is hard, remove the sausage rolls from the fridge and score the tops with a sharp knife for decoration, or prick with a fork. Brush well all over with the rest of the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until the pastry has turned golden-brown and looks crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving.
Ham & Cheese Roll Up’s
Every kid loves this fun twist on a normal sandwich, and adults think they’re pretty yummy too.
Sliced Ham or Chicken
Your favourite Cheese
Chive & Onion cream cheese
Shredded lettuce or salad mix
Spread each tortilla with a layer of cream cheese - cover the entire tortilla as the cream cheese will serve as the 'glue' to hold the rolls ups together.
Layer ham and cheese on one side of the tortilla.
Sprinkle chopped lettuce on top of the meat and cheese.
Starting with the meat/cheese edge of the tortilla and roll it tightly.
Wrap each roll up in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Unwrap each roll and use a serrated knife to cut one inch slices.
Serve with toothpicks as an appetiser or pack it up for lunches!
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
We all know kids hate anything green or relatively healthy, so serving up a salad may get you a few raised eyebrows and scrunched up noses. So we’ve always put a twist on a salad to become a chicken Caesar pasta salad. Don’t forget to pack the fork for this one!
12 ounces pasta (any shape you like!)
2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded (why not season with a little lemon and pepper)
1 to 2 large hearts Romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried then chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 cup seasoned croutons
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Your favourite Caesar salad dressing
Boil pasta in a large pot of water until al dente. Drain water and rinse noodles under cold water to cool.
In a large serving bowl combine cooked chicken, tomatoes and cooled pasta. Chill until ready to serve. When ready- add the romaine lettuce, croutons and as much or little Caesar dressing you prefer to bowl. Gently stir to combine everything. Top with Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!
What better way to hit that sweet tooth than with a nutty and fruity granola bar.
100g Sunflower oil
50g Sesame Seeds
50g chopped walnuts
2 tbsp honey
1tsp ground cinnamon
100g muscovado sugar
100g cranberries, cherries or a mix
Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter and line the base of a 18 x 25cm tin. Mix the oats, seeds and nuts in a roasting tin, then put in the oven for 5-10 mins to toast.
Meanwhile, warm the butter, honey and sugar in a pan, stirring until butter is melted. Add the oat mix, cinnamon and dried fruit, then mix until all the oats are well coated. Tip into the tin, press down lightly, then bake for 30 mins. Cool in tin, then cut into 12 bars.
These milkshakes are the perfect addition for any picnic. They’re fun, healthy and tasty!
400ml Whole Milk
1 punnet of Blueberries
1 punnet of raspberries
120g mango chunks (fresh or frozen)
200ml drinking coconut milk
Put the banana, half the milk and half the yogurt in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into two or three milk bottles. Divide the blueberries between two skewers to make stirrers, then drop one into each bottle. Stir before serving.
Put the strawberries and six raspberries in a blender with the rest of the milk and yogurt. Blend until smooth, then divide between two small milk bottles. Push the remaining raspberries onto two skewers to make stirrers as before.
Blend the mango and coconut milk until smooth, then add a squeeze of lime. Divide between two milk bottles and serve with the lime wedges.
Now all you have to do is hope the sun puts his hat on and pray for a sunny day!
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