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Quick and Easy Picnic Ideas for Families
Family picnics create lasting summer memories. But for working parents with busy families, they can sometimes feel like one more thing on the to-do list. Don't fret. You don't need to be a Pinterest pro to pull off a quick snack in the park. And a simple picnic can be as much fun as one that took hours to prepare. These four ideas will make your next outdoor meal a breeze, assuring that you can picnic together more often.Continue to 2 of 5 below.
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The Pack-Your-Own Picnic
Many hands make light work. So having everyone prepare their own food makes picnic prep much easier on the parents. It's amazing how satisfied kids feel with a simple meal they prepared by themselves. And since it's important to involve your kids in the family cooking, prepping for a picnic primes the pump for working in the kitchen. Plus, it gets kids ready to pack their own school lunches someday.
The pack-your-own picnic doesn't take much to pull off: an easy sandwich, a piece of... fruit, a handful of veggies, and a sports bottle full of fresh lemonade makes a great on-the-fly outdoor meal. If your kids are too little to pack their own, they can help with simple tasks like putting veggies in a bag or adding items to the picnic basket. Each time you prepare for a picnic, give them a slightly more difficult task, so they can master their skills.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
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The Supermarket Quick-Stop Picnic
Picnic prep couldn't be easier than a quick stop to your specialty grocer. If you have time on your lunch break, pick up the food early in the day. Or involve the kids in this targeted shop by allowing them to pick out their personal favorites for your special meal. Deli-prepared salads, pre-made sushi, take-out pizza, and grilled paninis or sandwiches all make good options for a family picnic. Add a cheese and salami plate as an appetizer, and some flavored seltzers for a fun drink. It... doesn't matter where the food comes from—it's still a picnic if you eat it outside.Continue to 4 of 5 below.
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The Appetizer Dipping Picnic
Kids love to dip, making this picnic not only easy but also loads of fun. First, purchase the items to be dipped: French bread, healthy chips (Is that a thing?), vegetable sticks, and olives for the adults. Next, decide on your dips. For a Mediterranean picnic, choose hummus and pesto. Guacamole, salsa, and sour cream dips work well for Mexican fare. And for the adults, try a crab dip or a pre-made specialty ceviche for extra nourishment. For dessert, a yogurt dip pairs nicely with wedges of... fresh summer fruit, like watermelon and strawberries. And don't forget the drinks and the napkins!Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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The Backyard Grilling Picnic
Picnics don't have to be fussy. In fact, you can have as much fun in your backyard as you can in a wooded park or playground. The backyard picnic also lends itself to a weeknight family "outing" or a hump day festivity that gets you through the workweek. Choose grill items that don't require much prep and can be eaten with your fingers or on bread or buns. Italian sausages, marinated chicken kebabs, and the 'ole hamburger and hot dog go-to's make good choices. Sides can... be simple finger foods like carrot sticks, cantaloupe slices, and chips. Then spread a blanket on your lawn, drag out a cooler full of iced drinks (don't forget the wine—remember, no one has to drive home), and arrange a few beach chairs for this impromptu family feast. Get the kids involved by having them prepare the outdoor setting, filling the cooler with drinks, or, if they're old enough, manning the grill. And if the home setting gets boring, tote your grilling picnic to a park or local campground with on-site grills and picnic tables ... and don't forget the s'more fixings.