Warm weather is finally here. When the kids are home all day, this is the perfect time for a picnic. Pack up some food, cool drinks and a blanket and head for the park, playground or even just the backyard. You can even entertain your little ones with a picnic on the kitchen or living room floor on a rainy day.
Of course you could just fix some PB&J sandwiches, pack a couple of juice boxes and call it a picnic, but there are so many other fun and delicious things you could prepare. Here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.
A New Twist for PB&J
Pack a few rice cakes, a small jar of peanut butter, some raisins and other dried fruit as well as some apples. When it's time to eat, spread peanut butter on the rice cake and let your child decorate it with the dried and fresh fruit. Raisins become eyes, a slice of apple the mouth and a berry makes a great nose.
Crackers and Cheese
Buy some hard cheese, such as cheddar, slice it (or buy it pre-sliced from the deli), and cut shapes out with small cookie cutters. You can also use cookie cutters on thicker slices of ham, salami or bologna. Serve with an assortment of crackers, and fresh fruit, such as grapes or berries.
Deli Style Sandwiches
Get some sub rolls, a little mayo and mustard (the small packs you get at fast food places work great for a picnic), and a variety of deli style sandwich meat and cheeses. Top it all off with a few leaves of lettuce that you washed at home and brought in a plastic baggie. Let each family member create their own sub with their favorite meats and cheeses. A bag of chips completes the meal.
"Fried Chicken Strips" With Veggies n' Dip
Use some crushed cornflakes to bread chicken breast strips and bake them in the oven until done. You can do this the night before the picnic and refrigerate the chicken strips - they are delicious cold. Cut up some veggies like peppers, celery, cucumber, broccoli and cauliflower and add some baby carrots. Bring a little ranch dressing to use as a dip and your picnic is complete.
Fresh fruit of course always makes for a great portable dessert on a picnic. Some homemade or store-bought cookies are another great option. Bake a batch of brownies, cut them and bag them after they have cooled completely for a chocolaty treat.
Grab a cooler, fix some sandwiches and head out to the park, playground or even the backyard for a picnic. Don't forget lots of water on warm days!
Source: Health Guidance
Susanne Myers together with Christine Steendahl, owns and publishes the Healthy Menu Mailer. Each week, we provide you with 7 dinner recipes. Sign up for a free sample menu at http://www.healthymenumailer.com.