The weather is absolutely gorgeous in Minnesota this time of year, so it's a down-right sin not to be outdoors enjoying the summer season while it's here. Tory, Aden and I have been doing just that with kid's concerts, park play dates, trips to the zoo, the splash pad; you name it. We've been on the go so much lately, I might need a vacation from our summer vacation! A clean house and the laundry are taking a back-seat to our fun, but I don't care. Summertime is all about making memories.
I've packed a picnic lunch or dinner for the kids almost every day this summer because eating outdoors is fun for the kids and easy clean-up for me. I bought these 3-compartment Bento box lunch containers a few years ago, and I use them all the time. They keep food separated and I just toss them in the dishwasher when we're done.
Aden doesn't like sandwiches, so I've had to get creative in packing picnic foods for him. I use a Thermos to keep hot dogs, noodles, chicken or canned vegetables warm. Tory, on the other hand, could eat butter and jelly sandwiches for every single meal. But, seriously, who would want to? I try to think outside the box (Bento box - ha!) with her meals, too. My witty humor has no limits. Really.
Anyway, ahem, here are some of my tried-and-true picnic meal ideas for the kids:
1. Mini Corn Dog Muffins
2. Good ol' Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (I use cookie cutter shapes to keep things interesting and in this picture, there's diced hot dogs and cooked pasta in the Ziploc bag.)
3. Homemade Lunchables (deli meat, crackers and cheese)
4. Hot Dogs, kept warm in a Thermos
5. Warm Pasta, kept warm in a Thermos (I put the noodles in a Ziploc to protect the inside of my Thermos)
6. Homemade Muffins, any kind
7. Strawberry & Nutella Sandwiches
8. Waffle and Cream Cheese Sandwiches
9. Also, Eggo Wafflers (the waffles that don't require syrup -- just heat and eat)
10. Turkey Tortilla Roll-ups with Cheese
And, a few other ideas for snacks and sides:
1. Sliced Fruit
2. Fruit Kabobs
3. Cheese Cubes
4. Pretzels and Hummus
5. Granola Bars
6. Trail Mix
7. Frozen Grapes
8. Frosted Graham Crackers
9. Babybel Cheese
11. Veggie Straws
12. Apple Sauce Pouches
I keep food chilled in a portable cooler bag with an ice pack between Bento boxes, which I then store in a bigger cooler tote with frozen water bottles. My kids are drink-hounds when we're out and about on a hot summer day, so the frozen water bottles are great for both keeping our food chilled and for extra water as they melt.
What are some of your go-to picnic foods for kids?