This post was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Family Goes Strong. The site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, so the post has been reproduced here.
If you want to take the family on a picnic, that means you’re packing portable food that goes with fun! There’s no need to fuss when your tablecloth is on the ground. Plan a utensils-optional meal and pass the hand wipes instead. Finger food is easy to serve and even easier to clean up. And single portions and packages allow for more variety so there are fewer complaints.
Shorty sandwiches – Cut wraps and hoagies into 1-inch pieces for easy handling and the chance to mix & match these smaller portions.
Bird-in-hand – Prepare chicken legs and wing drummettes your favorite way and let the family enjoy eating them right off the bone.
Meal-on-a-stick – Nothing is more fun to eat than kebobs! Thread them with cooked and chilled meat, poultry, shrimp and vegetables and forget about the need for forks.
Untossed salad – Use a divided serving tray to pack grape tomatoes, olives, cucumber chunks, carrot coins, broccoli florets – whatever your family likes – and a couple of dips so they can be munched as desired.
Stuffed stalks – Fill celery with flavored cream cheese, cheddar cheese spread or peanut butter and raisins, then cut into 2 inch pieces so easy to serve and share.
Finger Fruit – Make sure no peeling, seeding or cutting is needed for the fruit you serve. Try cubed melon, plucked grapes, hulled berries, stemmed cherries, chunked pineapple, and sectioned oranges, either tossed together or packed in separate containers.
One-at-a-time snacks – Pack single serving bags of crackers, pretzels, and chips so there are no leftovers to go stale once the bag is opened. A bigger assortment means there’s something to please everyone.
Two-bite desserts – Cut blondies, brownies, and bar cookies cut into small wedges or bake mini muffins so there’s a chance to sample just what you like, or one of each, without over doing it. Skip anything with frosting that will smoosh and be sticky.
Just enough drinks – You can provide more variety and eliminate the need for cups and refills if you chill an assortment of small drink boxes, pouches, bottles and cans.
Pack to play – A walk through the garage or trip to the dollar store will provide all the toys you need. Look for inflatable balls, Nerf balls, Wiffle bat and balls, velcro mitts and balls, Frisbee, ring toss, croquette set, bean bag toss, butterfly net, soap bubbles and let the fun begin