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Picnic Foods for Kids: Pack Your Cooler and Go Outside, Play Games and Have Fun This Summer

Updated on June 29, 2020
Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel loves to cook all kinds of foods, from baking to a full roast dinner.

Cold Cooked Chicken Pieces

Cold Cooked Chicken Pieces
Cold Cooked Chicken Pieces | Source

Kids Outdoors

Kids love being out doors (after they've gotten over the initial shock of been plucked from their computer or their TV screen) running around and playing in the fresh air.

Playing games outdoors while enjoying a picnic treat is great fun for everyone. Fresh air is a healthy option for all the family to engage in not to mention the bonding that playing together brings to all the family.

A kids picnic doesn't have to be a chore or a bore. Choose a popular picnic spot so other children will be around. Bring a couple of games to entertain the kids: tennis; baseball; football; cricket; rounders; boules just to name a few. Most kids enjoy playing games with the adults. Go on and get stuck in; the exercise will do you good.

Organizing the picnic food for your kids should be a piece of cake. Invest in a picnic box, an ice box and plastic containers.

It's important that the food and drinks stay fresh and squash free. There is nothing worse than warm squidgy sandwiches, mushy fruit or hot drinks (that should be cold) to put you off picnics for the rest of your life.

What Foods To Pack?

On a day out, kids expect a few treats. As adults we need to make sure they eat healthy, however don't overdo it on a picnic, after all it's an occasion and not something you do every day.

Choose a few healthy food options and mix with a few special treats and fun foods and drinks to keep everyone happy.

All the foods listed are easy to make, easy to pack and can be eaten by hand, which means less washing up.

Remember to pack napkins and baby wipes for gooey fingers and sticky faces. Straws for drinks and plastic spoons if needed. Plastic bags for rubbish and lastly a large family blanket or rug to sit on.

Easy Picnic Food Choices:

  • Ham and cheese rolls are easy to make and easy to eat, even for little kids. French baguettes are fab, simply fill with ham and cheese and slice. This is a really quick way to prepare lots of smaller rolls. Add sliced tomato and lettuce or a chutney and diced red onion for more flavor.
  • Egg mayo sandwiches on wholemeal bread are tasty and healthy (especially when you make your own egg mayo). Cut sandwiches into triangles for the little ones. I like to add snipped chives. My daughter loves it.
  • Opt for sugar free juices or homemade style lemonade, readily available in most supermarkets. Buy drink cartoons with straws, so everyone has the same and spillage will be minimal.
  • Easy to eat fruit choices like bananas, apples and pears are popular healthy options. Chop the fruit up if you like and bring along some natural yogurt and honey to top; making a healthy tasty dessert.
  • Mini yogurt drinks are very handy and healthy. Best of all, the packaging goes straight in the bin when finished. Small mini fruit yogurts are a good choice too.
  • Pick up some cold cooked chicken drumsticks. Great finger food for kids that don't sit still. If you like to cook, buy fresh chicken drumsticks adding your favorite flavors and roast in the oven. Lemon and rosemary or orange and thyme are delicious but honey and BBQ sauce are my choice for a picnic. Drizzle the drumsticks with honey and BBQ sauce and leave in the fridge for a few hours or over night before roasting in the oven.
  • Treat the kids to a few tasty favorites; sausage rolls are a lovely savory treat, available from any savory deli or check out this link for delicious homemade sausage rolls.
  • Cold cocktail sausages, pizza slices and mini quiches are delightful tasty nibbles for all the family to enjoy and easy for the little ones to gobble down.
  • Individual babybel cheeses are fun foods for picnics and full of calcium. Perfect for little teeth and little bones.
  • Pack some gingerbread men, animal shaped biscuits or another firm favorite the kids like. If you are a baker, opt for homemade cookies.
  • Treat the kids to a selection of iced mini cakes or assorted cupcakes to finish the picnic in true fun kiddy style.

Older Kids

Older kids might like to try out a few of the foods listed below. All foods are easily found in supermarkets and delis. And of course as mention before if you are a cook or baker as in you love to cook and bake by all means head to kitchen first.

  • Mini pork pies
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Scotch eggs
  • Mini quiche tarts
  • Savory pastries
  • Ready made prawn cocktail
  • Pe-cooked filo wrapped prawns
  • Cheese and biscuits
  • Cheese straws
  • Individual wrapped cream cheese
  • Savory biscuits
  • Twiglets
  • Monkey nuts
  • Olives
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Pickled onions
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Slices of watermelon
  • Individual fresh fruit salads
  • Fresh fruit juice
  • Individual milkshake drinks
  • Sparkling apple juice (my daughter calls this drink, champagne)
  • Profiteroles (freezer section)(pack the box in a cooler, they will be defrosted by the time your ready to eat them)
  • Mini snack bars
  • Individual fruit jellies
  • Individual custard trifles

The most important thing of all when it comes to picnics, is that everyone has a wonderful day out; adults and kids. Plenty of fun foods, fun games and clean fresh air will have smiles on all faces. Picnics are great fun for everyone with a little planning.

If you need to swop a few food choices or your kids palettes are very keen, choose their favorite salads, cold meats, savories and treats. Let them get involved and help you prepare the food for the picnic. Kids love to eat what they've made themselves.

When you've all eaten to your hearts content, it's time to play ball... or boules... check out the list of games to the right. From flying glider planes to playing cricket the skies are the limit. Playing games is a great way to work off all those picnic treats and have fun with your kids too. And you don't need to invest in toys either: I have also listed games that require nothing other than people; catch or tag; hide and seek; eye spy; statues etc

The big bonus: picnics don't just entertain your kids; they create childhood memories. Have fun while the sun shines and create many happy memories with your children. One day soon they'll be all grown up :) and that happens all too quick and all too soon. And those fun loving crazy picnic days await you.

Tasty Food: Easy to Make and Easy to Please

Assorted Filled Sliced Baguettes
Assorted Filled Sliced Baguettes | Source
Delicious Sausage Rolls
Delicious Sausage Rolls | Source
Cup Cakes and Krispy Buns for Everyone
Cup Cakes and Krispy Buns for Everyone | Source

Mini Jammie Cakes...

Mini Jammie Cakes
Mini Jammie Cakes | Source

Outdoor Games List...

  • Acrobatics: get the kids jumping, cartwheeling and rolling for fun
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Blind man's bluff: one of the adults wear a scarf over their eyes and have to blindly catch the kids, a great giggle
  • Blowing bubbles: the kids run about and try and burst the bubbles
  • Catch or tag
  • Cricket
  • Charades (older kids will enjoy this came)
  • Egg and spoon race (with boiled eggs in the shell, they can eat after)
  • Eye spy (great time out game especially for the oldies)
  • Football
  • Frisby
  • Glider planes
  • Hide and seek
  • Hula hoop
  • Kite flying
  • Kickball
  • Rounders
  • Rugby
  • Racing
  • Sack races: each kid gets into a sack, line them up and race or rather jump to the finish line, hilarious
  • Skip rope or jump rope
  • Soft ball
  • Statues: see who can stay still when you shout; no more running about, last one standing still is the winner

Tiny Tots Games...

Games for the little ones really don't have to add up to much: bring a soft ball and play throw the ball or play kiddies football. Bring balloons, kids love balloons. Blow them up and let the tots run about with them. Bubble blowers are another great success with the little ones too. Streamers are great fun too although not too many at once. Pop a music player into your bag or turn the car radio on and leave them to dance about like woodland fairies. Tots love to dance. I like the last one most especially after playing vigorous football with the older kids.

Cast Your Vote

What is your kids favorite picnic food?

See results

What was your favorite picnic food when you were a kid?

© 2010 Gabriel Wilson


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    • Gabriel Wilson profile imageAUTHOR

      Gabriel Wilson 

      5 years ago from Madeira, Portugal

      It's always hard to please everyone, but with a bit of variety and a few favorites a picnic can be good fun without too much hassle. My newest addition to picnics are cold sticky spare-ribs (leftovers). My little girl loves them :)

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i like your ideas. My kids are great fans of hotdogs and sandwiches

    • Gabriel Wilson profile imageAUTHOR

      Gabriel Wilson 

      8 years ago from Madeira, Portugal

      Tanx for reading and for commenting :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      8 years ago from North Central Florida

      This is a great collection of ideas. My baby grandson is really picky ...there is a lot of variety here so I will make a list and go down and check off which of these he likes. He likes the picnic time so maybe he will be more 'in' to food outside now that he is a few months older. Thank you for sharing this.

    • PaperNotes profile image


      9 years ago

      I am no longer a kid, far from being one but I find these foods really very tempting.Thanks.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great, great menu for picnic!!!

      Preparing would be fun to do too.


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