My kids *love* going on picnics. It doesn’t even need to be anywhere special. If I tell them we’re going to eat in the backyard (or the front!), they’re just as excited as if I tell them we’re going somewhere fancy for a picnic (and by “fancy,” I mean “the park”).
Picnics aren’t just for the kids, though!
Here’s everything you need to know about what to pack for a picnic, from food to drinks to cutlery and everything in between!
First, pick your picnic basket. No need for a “real” basket, of course – reusable shopping bags, a cooler, or even a plastic box can do the trick. It needs to be sturdy enough to hold al your food and reusable ice blocks (if you have food that needs to be kept cold). If you use a cooler, you can just fill it with ice.
You’ll also want to make sure you have a good place to sit. I’ve been know to throw a sheet on the ground, but if you want to be comfortable – and if you’re not sure if the grass might be wet! – pack a sturdy blanket. There are even waterproof blankets out there made just for this purpose.
The fun part, of course, is deciding what food to pack. Here are some ideas to cover your entire meal.
1. Appetizers: cheese and crackers, veggies and hummus, chips and dip, pretzels, apples, bananas, berries (any in-season fruit!)
2. Sandwiches: Get creative by using croissants or pita bread instead of typical sandwich bread. Sandwiches do best if you can wait to put them together until it’s time to eat. This way, they won’t get soggy. I bring the bread, the meat, the cheese, and the condiments – and then let everyone assemble their own sandwich when it’s time to eat.
Here are some sandwich ideas: turkey, roast beef, chicken salad, ham, tuna, pb&j
Don’t want to take sandwiches? Try one of the alternatives below!
3. Sandwich alternatives: lasagna (so good cold!), pizza (also great cold), fried chicken, quiche, soup, salads (here are four super simple make-ahead salad recipes, AND a recipe for a healthy Ranch dressing alternative)
4. Condiments: mustard, ketchup, relish, mayonnaise
6. Dessert: cookies, pie, cobbler
7. Drinks: tea, lemonade, wine, water, juice
The hummus and Mac n’ Cheese were already in little glass bowls. I used Press ‘N Seal wrap to keep the food where it belonged (this stuff is super tough, too – and it’s microwaveable and freezer-friendly).
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what to pack for a picnic! Tell me your favorite picnic foods below.