Easy-Peasy Picnicking with Kids

I hope you have been enjoying this warm, sunny weather as much as my family and I have. We have been waiting a long time for this wonderful sunshine. For me, warm weather means a lot of things are easier. It’s easier to get the kids dressed because they wear less clothes and wearing less clothes means less laundry. It’s easier to get the kids in and out of their car seats because I don’t have to battle the heavy winter coats. Naptime comes easier because they get to play outside. We participate in more activities simply because we have more daylight hours. Everything just seems more relaxed. We get to do fun things like walking through our neighborhood and enjoying picnics at the park. For some, picnics are just more trouble than fun. You have to make a meal, pack it up, take it outside, keep the bugs away, keep the kids clean, and on and on. For us, it’s a great adventure! If you set things up right and plan ahead, then it can be very simple and fun.

Meghan's son Ayrton enjoying a mini-picnic in their backyard with his green Sili Squeeze on the table.

Meghan’s son Ayrton enjoying a mini-picnic in their backyard with his green Sili Squeeze on the table.

I typically don’t count on my little ones to eat much on a picnic. Let’s face it, they are just way too excited to play! So we play first and then eat. That doesn’t always have great results either. Sometimes they are just too tired to eat much of anything. I don’t worry about it and live by the mantra “They’ll eat when they’re hungry.” I always bring some sort of hand wipes to clean those dirty little fingers. I also try to avoid finger foods. That probably seems the opposite of a picnic, but that way if the kids want to run back and forth from the picnic to the playground then I don’t have to worry about cleaning their hands so much. For lunch, we stick with a cold pasta salad that is eaten with a fork, an applesauce squeezey, (My son loves his Sili Squeeze™!), a fruit and vegetable smoothie, and ice water. I try to avoid sweet smelling foods to keep the bees away or at least keep them in a covered container.

Pick a shady spot for your picnic and have hats, sunglasses and sunblock for everyone. If it’s too hot then pick a different time of day other than lunch to have your picnic. Don’t feel the need to sweat it out at noon just to check ‘picnic’ off your summer bucket list. Breakfast or dinner picnics can be just as enjoyable as lunch picnics, especially as we get into the summer months. You can also have a picnic in your very own yard. Honestly, with little ones all you have to do is say “picnic” instead of “dinner” and they’ll be super excited. We try to eat outside as much as possible during the summer to enjoy these gorgeous blue sunny skies. It does take a little practice, but having a picnic can be relaxing and fun for everyone!

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at Meghan@rochestermedia.com

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