Packing Great Picnics

children's picnic

Everyone loves a good picnic. There’s something special about eating outdoors, from finding a suitable spot, to putting down your rug or setting up your chairs and marking your eating space.

Picnics have a certain charm for all the family (especially when there are no midges around!) and kids love opening up boxes and bags to discover what delicious items you’ve packed for lunch. To avoid disappointment, here are some tips on packing great picnics!


These days there are loads of different types of bread available, such as pitta, multi-grain, wholegrain, ciabatta, Panini, bagels, rye, mini baguettes or wraps, so there’s lots of choice to make sandwiches a lot more fun.

Varying what you make them with livens things up and you can even encourage a spot of healthy eating by making sandwiches with part white and part wholegrain bread.

For sandwich fillings you could try:

  • Cream cheese and cucumber.
  • Marmite and cucumber.
  • Marmite and shredded lettuce.
  • Chopped hard-boiled egg with mayonnaise and chopped chives.
  • Humous with grated carrot and cucumber.
  • Cheese and lettuce.
  • Peanut butter and sliced banana.
  • Cream cheese and smoked salmon.
  • Tuna and sweetcorn.
  • Tuna and cucumber.
  • Cream cheese and thinly sliced apple.
  • Chicken sweetcorn and mayonnaise.
  • Ham and tomato.
  • Bacon, lettuce and tomato.
  • Ham with pineapple cottage cheese.

Other Savoury Nibbles

Although you can use knives and forks when you’ve having a picnic, most children love finger foods and being able to pick everything up. So try and pack a good selection of nibbles that can easily be picked up and eaten. Some examples worth trying include:

  • Slices of quiche.
  • Slices of cold pizza.
  • Cooked chicken drumsticks.
  • Hard boiled eggs – dipped into little pots of mayonnaise (spice it up by sprinkling a dash of paprika on or mixing in a teaspoon of mustard).
  • Rolled up pieces of ham.
  • Cheese and pineapple on sticks.
  • Mini tomatoes, chunks of cucumber, carrots and celery – dipped into little pots of sour cream and chive dip.
  • Tortilla crisps.
  • Honey roasted nuts.

Sweet Nibbles

Once you’ve polished off the savoury nibbles, have something sweet handy to finish off the picnic. Ideas include:

  • Chunks of fresh fruit, such as pineapple, apple, grapes, strawberries or banana.
  • Fruit muffins.
  • Chocolate chip cookies.
  • Mini cupcakes.
  • White chocolate cookies.
  • Cereal bars.

Packing Items

Once you’ve sorted out what’s going in the picnic, you’ll need something to put it all into. Plastic boxes with lids, or traditional lunchboxes, are ideal, or you bag things up in plastic bags, or wrap them in cling film or foil. If you’ve got dressings to go on salads, these are best packed separately rather than poured on, as they may go soggy en route.

Take drinks in flasks, or bottles, or buy mini cartons of drinks with straws (just watch the sugar content of some). Make sure all lids are screwed on tightly to avoid leakage en route.

And finally, whatever you’re packing to eat, remember to be creative and have fun!

See Also
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Ideas for garden play in winter
Kids in the pool wearing sunglasses
Summer of Fun