There’s nothing better than eating outside when the sun is shining. Some of the best picnic spots include the beach, your nearest national park, or your local playground. Don’t want to travel too far? Don’t worry! Even if you simply spread out a blanket in your back garden it will still be a sensory adventure for your toddler.
You don’t need to invest in too many supplies to enjoy a picnic with your toddler: a large picnic blanket, a couple of outdoor-friendly toys to keep your toddler entertained, waterproof dribble bibs (to catch the inevitable spills), and a selection of tempting and brightly coloured picnic foods.
The key to creating successful picnic recipes for toddlers is that it should be easy to make, and easy to eat. Think finger foods, so that you don’t have to pack cutlery and your toddler can enjoy stress-free eating with her hands. Here are some of our favourite fun picnic foods for toddlers:
Little one wants ice cream, but you want them to have some fruit? Why not compromise and serve fruit in ice cream cones! Simply pack a tub of fruit salad and a packet of ice cream cones and scoop the salad into the cones. It looks fun, it’s easy to eat, and you don’t have the messy clean up that ice cream so often requires. It’s a win-win for everyone!
When making sandwiches for a picnic, think about using ingredients that won’t wilt in the heat. Cheese isn’t a good choice for example, whilst ham is. Avoid creamy fillings, such as mayonnaise, as these can sometimes curdle in the heat. Instead keep your sandwiches simple and think of basic toddler favourites: ham, jam, and cheese spread are all great choices.
Just as cheese isn’t an ideal picnic filler, chocolate should also be avoided. So, if you want to indulge your child’s sweet tooth without making a mess, why not ice some biscuits? Your toddler will love working with you to ice their own!
Buy a packet of plain biscuits and encourage your child to ice them using a bread knife or the back of a spoon. They can then add sprinkles, sweets, and decorate them in any colour or pattern they like: let them really use their imagination and personalise their picnic!
Hidden Veggie Sausage Rolls
Almost all kids love a chunky sausage roll covered in flaky pastry, and this is the perfect thing to make if you want to pop a treat in the picnic basket. Want to make your sausage rolls a little more wholesome and include at least one of their five a day? When mixing your sausage meat, simply add some finely chopped vegetables: peppers, tomatoes, and root vegetables will all compliment the flavour of the sausage, and your little ones will never know!
Finally, why not chop up some crudités? Carrot sticks, cucumber fingers and pepper slices take seconds to put together and are incredibly easy to eat with your hands. If you want to really tantalise their taste buds then why not make some homemade humus or another dip to go with them?
Don’t push their boundaries too far though: now is not the time to try and introduce anything new or complicated. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to tried and tested recipes that will make these fun, first picnics an enjoyable experience for both of you.