Summer is here, the sun is (sort of) shining and what better way to celebrate the new season than heading outdoors with a full wicker basket in hand. Picnics are a lot of fun for the whole family, but thinking up tasty, healthy 'on-the-go' snacks that'll keep your grandchildren happy can be tricky, especially if they're a bit fussy about food at the moment.
But packing a picnic needn't be a pain with these tips from Consultant Dietician, Helen Bond, for PaediaSure Shake, the nutritional shake for young fussy eaters:
1. Veggie tricks
If your little ones usually turn their nose up at veg, trying cut up some carrots, celery or cucumber into small chilld-friendly sticks so that they seem less daunting. Serve them with something your little one likes eating, such as breadsticks or slices of wholemeal pitta, alongside some tasty dips, and encourage them to try a bit of everything from the plate.
2. Ask to be a little helper
Asking your grandchildren to help you prepare food is a great way to get them interested in new foods, textures and flavours. Pick up some wooden skewers and let your kids make their own food on sticks with a selection of bite-sized meats, cheese and vegetables for a balanced snack with lots of variety.
Invite them to help you pack the hamper with picnic essentials too such as paper plates, cups and napkins to get them involved before the meal begins.
3. Nice ices
If you struggle to get them to eat fruit, try blending a selection of fruit with some natural yogurt and then freezing the mixture into ice lolly moulds overnight. Then pack them in a freezer box before you go. These are a lovely and still healthy treat that usually go down a storm with everyone.
4. Think leftovers
We don't always have time to pull together a whole meal on the day of the trip. So a good way to make sure you've got something a bit more substantial in your basket is to cook a little extra dinner the night before, such as a pasta or rice dish, which will taste just as delicious served cold in a salad the next day.
5. Go nuts for nuts
For a quick snack that'll fill them up and keep them happy on the car journey there, pack some nutritious snacks such as dried fruit and nuts. Not only are they tasty and easy to pack, but you can combine your picnic leftovers with any unwanted bread crusts and have fun feeding the ducks, birds or squirrels after your meal!
- There's more ideas for the grandchildren in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.