Updated June 6, 2017
The “Kids in the Kitchen” blog series, brought to you by Whole Kids Foundation®, includes tips and tricks to encourage kids’ participation in all kitchen activities—especially in meal planning, prepping, serving and eating. Give kids good choices, and they’ll make great choices!
As weather warms, inspire your kids to lead the way in preparing nutritious foods for a picnic at your family’s favorite outdoor space.
Find Your Spot in the Sun
Give children options on where they’d like to picnic.
Whether it’s your own backyard or a local park, any outdoor space provides opportunity to spend quality time relaxing with your kiddo. Consider a school or community garden opens in a new tab in your area, and utilize our Kids Club hands-on activities opens in a new tab to start a conversation about pollinators, nutrition and sustainability.
Pick Your ‘Nic
Let your little ones lead the way in the grocery store aisles.
When children help select, shop and chop their meals, they’re far more likely to clean their plate. Ingredients for kid-friendly opens in a new tab and healthy snacks opens in a new tab are a great starting point to launch your kids’ imagination in crafting their own picnic menu.
Master Picnicker Tip: Go raw—fresh fruit and veggies make for a grab-and-go treat that travels well and usually keeps fresh in warmer weather. Download our worksheet for more GO RAW opens in a new tab tips.
Prepare and Pack
Enlist your kiddos as sous chef and basket packers.
Chop Before Chomping. Wash vegetables and pat dry to ensure optimal freshens. Next, with adult supervision, let your little ones practice knife skills. Early positive experiences in the kitchen grow aware eaters with confident cooking skills that last a lifetime. Kids are also great at helping with things like snapping green beans and putting cherry tomatoes and cut vegetables into reusable containers or bags.
Master Picnicker Tip: Pick a rainbow of fresh produce. Use our Eat a Veggie Rainbow Coloring Sheet opens in a new tab as a picnic activity that encourages consumption of all colors nutritious and delicious.
Stay Berry Sweet. No need for snacks with added or artificial sugar when summer berries are ripe for the picking. Toss together berries, grapes and even melon for a quick fruit salad. Look for plump blueberries and raspberries that are rich in color but not too soft. Let children toss the salad together with their hands.
Master Picnicker Tip: Whatever packs well in a lunchbox packs well for a picnic. Hard-sided containers with compartments allow children the power of personalization and protect squishy or crumbly treats like fruit and crackers. Visit our lunchbox Pinterest board opens in a new tab for ideas.
Wrap it Up. These sandwiches and wraps opens in a new tab are picnic favorites. Your kids will love spreading condiments and slapping on the last layer of bread or lettuce. Once they’ve built their sandwich masterpiece, wrap it in waxed paper as you would wrap a present. Seal the sandwiches with different colored stickers, and let kids doodle their name with marker.
Master Picnicker Tip: Don’t risk your creation drowning in cooler water! Pack lightweight items and smashables last.
Now you’re ready to enjoy the great outdoors with your favorite picnic planner!