“I’m going on a picnic and I’m taking…” This popular game that used to entertain my friends and I on road trips now goes through my head on a weekly basis as I stare into my fridge wishing our lunch would just pack itself. It’s summer time, we are checking things off our bucket list and usually bringing our lunch with us. I love picnic lunches because it means the mess that comes with feeding three kids five and under stays at the park and out of my house. But after two or three picnics, I usually run out of ideas and resources to feed my kids on the go. Since I’m sure I’m not the only momma out there who loves to picnic but hates PB&J’s, I polled our contributors and came up with a list of 5 easy and fun picnic lunch ideas.
EASY AND FUN (NON PB&J) PICNIC LUNCH IDEAS
Make Your Own Lunchables – a friend of mine suggested this at the beginning of the summer and it’s been my kids’ favorite so far. I pack crackers, slices of cheese and pepperonis and let them assemble their own little sandwiches, or “lunchables” on our picnic. It’s messy for sure but that’s ok because its not in my house!
Chicken salad – My kids are convinced they don’t like chicken salad so I hardly ever make it, but this would be a fun option for the adults on your picnic. Eat it on crackers, croissants or pretzel rolls.
Pasta Salad – This is one of my favorites during the summer time and you can find a ton of recipes on Pinterest to mix it up. Don’t forget to pack a plastic fork!
Plain O Salad – Another great option for adults, this is a great way to use up all those left overs in your fridge!
Monkey rolls – We tried these for the first time the other day and they were a hit! These are simply tortillas spread with peanut butter, a little bit of honey and sliced banana. Roll them up and then slice into inch long segments.
We’ve found in our picnic experience that the right equipment can make or break your outing. While some moms are all about the Bento Lunch Boxes, my husband swears by his Yeti and I’m a Thirty One girl. Something my hubby and I both love, though, is the Hydroflask. We might have one or more in every size. It’s the perfect accessory for a picnic in the New Mexican heat because it keeps your water really really cold. Like you can’t put too much ice in there or it will freeze cold. It’s amazing. I usually grab our 32 oz Hydroflask and fill it up with ice and water for us to share when it’s just the kids and I.
But if you’re not interested in spending a lot of money just to have a nice picnic, you can find a lot of cute and useful things like coolers, bags and picnic blankets at places like Target, Walmart and Walgreens. My Mother-in-law actually gave us a portable picnic blanket from Smith’s years ago that we use on a weekly basis. And if you’re looking for an easier way to feed the baby while you’re out and about, check out my post on the Yummy Spoon.
And when all else fails, leave the coolers and water bottles at home and pick up some KFC on your way to the park. They have a drive-thru, nuff said.