Picnics with all the fresh fruits and veggies are one of my favorite things about summer with my kiddos.  Here are some tips to help you have the best picnic with your little ones...and safer meals for them too!

Grab a Blanket!  On the nice days, most of our meals were spent on the deck with the kiddos when they were younger.  The kids help put the blanket out, find their favorite spot...and I don’t care about the mess they make.  ;)

Play A Game!  Help the kiddos practice their letters and numbers during your picnic.  You can use flashcards and show a new letter or number and then have the kids create that on their plate with the food they have.  We usually did this fun activity on days we served peas, green beans, raisins, or even Cheerios.

Fun In The Shade.  Set up some fun ways to keep cool during your picnic.  Take that indoor fort outside! Tie some sheets across some tree branches or area of a deck to create that shaded spot.  You could also use a large umbrella or two and set these up next to the blanket.

Bring out the Finger Food!  Cut up those sandwiches into triangles, bring out the bananas and other fruit that is easy to pick up.  Serve everything family-style too... a plate of cut up pb&j’s, bowl of grapes, a container of strawberries...and let the kids serve themselves!  

*Reminder For Parents With Finger Food* One last caution though for food you are serving to your little ones...be sure that you’ve got all the fresh foods cut in a way that helps prevent choking.  Check out this Facebook post that shows how small, circular foods like grapes can completely block an airway for a child.  According to familyeducation.com, these are the top 5 foods that are choking hazards for kids and the best ways to cut them:

  • Hot dogs are one of the most common foods that children choke on. To minimize risk, cut them lengthwise and then chop them up into very small, irregular shapes.
  • To make carrots a little safer, finely shred them, or cook them until they are a mushy consistency throughout.
  • Apples, along with other firm fruits, should be chopped into very small, manageable pieces, or cooked until mushy throughout.
  • Grapes should always be cut in half before you give them to your young child. If the grapes have seeds, make sure to remove them as well.  (I would also quarter them or make sure they are cut lengthwise - Jessica)
  • The size and shape of nuts make them very dangerous for young children to consume whole, and should be avoided.

What's your favorite food to make for a picnic with your kids?  Add it in the comments or share it with me on Instagram or Facebook!

Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 10 am until 2 pm on Y105FM