Here are some great picnic ideas for entertaining and feeding the kids in the holidays or at weekends.
Healthy picnics can be both fun and green!
Article thanks to MomsKitchenGadgets.com
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Chickpea bake, yogurt and salad - a great choice for a healthy picnic
Looking for some picnic ideas this Spring? Here are a few tips to ensure that your family picnic is as green as the grass you lay your blanket on!
This time of year, everyone is suffering from a little bit of cabin fever – especially kids. After a long winter spent mainly indoors, they are ready to trade in their snowsuits for swimsuits and enjoy some fun in the sun.
A great way to spend some quality outdoor time together as a family is to pack a picnic.
A picnic can be as simple as taking your lunch out to eat on the back deck or jumping on your bike and heading down to the local park.
Packing a picnic is also a great way to educate kids about being “green”. By including them in the process of choosing which foods to pack and how to pack them, they can learn how to be environmentally responsible in a fun and healthy way.
Here are a few tips for preparing and packing a green family picnic this spring:
Scout out great spots around town
Of course it is fun to get out and explore far away places but sometimes the very best picnic spots can be found right in your own neighborhood. Not only is this a great way to familiarize your kids with their community but it also prevents long car rides which aren’t good for the environment - or bored kids!
Visit a local market
Shopping local is a great lesson to teach your children. When you are planning your picnic, stop at a farmer’s market or roadside stand and let your kids choose their snacks. Then explain why fresh produce is always a nutritious food choice and how their purchase is supporting the farmers who live in your community.
Update your picnic basket
Although your picnic may seem more “storybook” if you pack it in a traditional basket, you may find that this method of toting a picnic may cause more trouble than it is worth. A better idea is to pack your lunch in a backpack. A backpack is far less cumbersome than a basket and it also allows you to have your hands free to ride, walk or push a stroller.
Pack reusable items
If you are a Mom who packs school lunches on a regular basis then you have probably already mastered the art of using reusable containers. Picnics are no different. Reusable containers are far better for the environment than disposable plastic sandwich bags or water bottles so be sure to pack all of your tasty goodies in containers that you can bring home afterwards.
You can also take along a damp towel for wiping sticky or sand-covered fingers.
Eliminate plate weight
Packing plates and cutlery in your picnic can be eliminated by preparing a variety of kid-friendly finger foods. Picnic favorites include veggies and dips, stuffed pitas or tortilla wraps and cheese cubes. If you absolutely must use forks and knives, take some from home or use ones that are biodegradable.
By carefully choosing where you go, what you eat and how you pack, a green picnic can be an enjoyable and educational experience for the whole family. So get outside, enjoy the warm spring air and have a picnic!
Article courtesy of MomsKitchenGadgets.com – a great resource for helpful, honest and in-depth reviews on products like the Cuisinart Food Processor, and a few of the most popular KitchenAid Mixer Attachments.
Read on below for more picnic food ideas.
Some of the best picnic foods have to be fruit and nuts and other raw foods such as salads. As usual, I have to put in a word for organic foods and foods which are produced by more sustainable methods!
Local farm shops and quality shops are a great asset when buying foods just for a picnic. Most farm shops now stock items such as artisan breads, quality crackers and crispbreads, olives and other antipasti foods which provide tasty snacks.
When we picnicked with our kids we nearly always packed fruit, cheese and oatcakes as a quick, get-up-and-go kind of picnic. (We were usually keen to get on with exploring, rather than sitting about eating more stylish stuff!) As the author above suggests, finger foods are quick and save on packaging and washing up.
Salads made from garden produce are great for picnics, too. It's very easy to collect suitable leaves and shoots for your very own mixed-leaf salad if you have your own salad garden. Please see How to grow a vegetable garden for more on this.
If you are using cold grains such as cooked rice or wheat berries do be careful that food is kept in a cool place and eaten within a few hours. Rice is notorious for causing food poisoning if not kept refrigerated. That's one picnic experience you would not relish!
On a more positive note, homemade chutney is a good choice for making prosaic ingredients seem livelier.
Other pages related to picnic ideas and healthy picnic foods which may interest you:
All Types of Fruit for Good Health
Fruit Nutrition Facts - Some Top Fruit Choices
Yogurt Drinks and Smoothies for a Cool Summer
This is just a selection of pages which you might want to explore for planning your green picnic. There are plenty of others in the Recipe and Kitchen sections of the site - just click the links on the nav bar.
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