Picnic Finger Foods for Kids
When it comes to serving picnic finger foods for kids, there are plenty of options to choose from. While there are no strict rules, we can classify them into three categories to make it easier:
Although kids might not realize these foods are good for them, they are nutritious options that you can make tasty to ensure they enjoy them. Consider serving plates of raw fruit spears like peeled apples, pears, oranges, and tangerines. You can also cook spears of vegetables like asparagus, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, yams, and celery for just a minute, then serve them cold. To make them crunchy, coat veggie slices in an egg and crushed Rice Krispies paste, and bake them for a few minutes until brown. Arrange these options in an attractive design or create fun shapes like a house or a clown face. Provide bowls of healthy dips such as honey, sour cream, or a frothy mix of cream cheese and milk for added flavor.
When planning a picnic for kids, offering healthy food options ensures that they are fueled with nutritious and delicious choices. Here’s a list of healthy foods that are perfect for a picnic:
- Fresh Fruit Skewers: Thread a variety of colorful fruits like strawberries, grapes, pineapple chunks, and watermelon onto skewers for a refreshing and vitamin-packed treat.
- Veggie Sticks and Hummus: Pack a selection of veggie sticks such as carrot, celery, cucumber, and bell pepper alongside a container of creamy hummus for dipping. It’s a crunchy and nutritious snack.
- Whole Grain Sandwiches: Use whole grain bread to make sandwiches filled with lean proteins like turkey, chicken, or grilled vegetables. Add some lettuce, tomato, and a spread of hummus or avocado for added flavor and nutrients.
- Yogurt Parfaits: Layer individual cups with Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and a sprinkle of granola or crushed nuts. This provides a good source of protein and calcium while satisfying the sweet tooth.
- Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers: Pack small portions of sliced cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella, and pair them with whole grain crackers for a satisfying snack.
- Mini Quiches: Make mini quiches using whole wheat muffin tins filled with a mixture of eggs, spinach, diced vegetables, and low-fat cheese. Bake them ahead of time and serve at room temperature.
- Rainbow Pasta Salad: Prepare a colorful pasta salad using whole wheat or vegetable-based pasta. Toss it with chopped vegetables like cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, and steamed broccoli. Add a light dressing made from olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs.
- Fruit Salad Cups: Combine a variety of diced fruits like melons, berries, kiwi, and oranges in individual cups. It’s a refreshing and hydrating option.
- Homemade Trail Mix: Create a custom trail mix by combining unsalted nuts like almonds and walnuts, dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries, and a sprinkle of whole grain cereal or dark chocolate chips. Portion it into small snack bags for easy distribution.
- Frozen Grapes or Banana Pops: Freeze grapes or peeled banana halves on popsicle sticks for a cool and healthy frozen treat. They can be enjoyed straight from the cooler.
Remember to pack plenty of water and sugar-free beverages to keep the kids hydrated throughout the picnic. Offering a mix of these healthy choices ensures that kids have a balanced and nourishing meal while enjoying the outdoors.
Main Course Ideas
When planning a picnic for kids, it’s important to offer main dish options that are easy to eat, flavorful, and kid-friendly. Here’s a list of main dish picnic foods that will satisfy hungry little tummies:
- Mini Sliders: Prepare mini hamburgers or cheeseburgers using small buns or rolls. Top them with kid-friendly condiments like ketchup, mustard, and pickles. You can also add a slice of cheese for extra deliciousness.
- Chicken Skewers: Marinate chunks of boneless chicken breast in a flavorful marinade (e.g., teriyaki, lemon herb) and thread them onto skewers. Grill or bake until cooked through and pack them in a container for easy finger food.
- Wrap Roll-Ups: Make tortilla roll-ups filled with kid-approved ingredients like sliced turkey, ham, or grilled chicken along with cheese and lettuce. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese or hummus on the tortilla for added flavor.
- Pizza Pinwheels: Roll out refrigerated pizza dough into a rectangular shape, spread pizza sauce, sprinkle shredded cheese, and add favorite toppings like sliced pepperoni or diced vegetables. Roll it up tightly, slice into pinwheels, and bake until golden brown. Serve at room temperature.
- Pasta Salad: Prepare a kid-friendly pasta salad by tossing cooked pasta with bite-sized vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Add diced cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella, and dress with a light vinaigrette or a favorite salad dressing.
- Chicken or Tuna Salad Sandwiches: Mix shredded chicken or canned tuna with a light dressing of mayo or Greek yogurt, and season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Serve the salad on whole grain bread or rolls with lettuce or sliced cucumbers.
- Mini Pita Pockets: Stuff mini whole wheat pita pockets with fillings like diced chicken, falafel, or grilled vegetables. Add a dollop of tzatziki or hummus for extra flavor.
- Quesadillas: Prepare cheese quesadillas by melting shredded cheese between tortillas on a stovetop or grill. You can also add ingredients like diced chicken, sliced peppers, or spinach for added nutrition.
- Hot Dogs: Classic hot dogs are always a hit with kids. Grill or boil them beforehand, and pack them in a thermos or an insulated container to keep them warm. Let kids add their favorite toppings like ketchup, mustard, and relish.
- Sushi Rolls: Make kid-friendly sushi rolls using sticky rice, sliced avocado, cucumber, and cooked shrimp or imitation crab. Roll them tightly and cut into bite-sized pieces. Serve with soy sauce or a soy sauce alternative.
Remember to pack any necessary condiments, napkins, and utensils. These main dish options will ensure that the kids have a satisfying and enjoyable picnic experience while satisfying their hunger with delicious and kid-approved flavors.
When it comes to picnic desserts for kids, it’s important to choose treats that can withstand the heat and are easy to eat. Here’s a list of dessert options that are perfect for picnics and can hold up well in warm weather:
- Frozen Fruit Popsicles: Make homemade fruit popsicles using pureed fresh fruits like berries, watermelon, or mango. You can also mix in some yogurt for added creaminess. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds or small cups, insert popsicle sticks, and freeze until solid.
- Watermelon Slices: Watermelon is a refreshing and hydrating treat for hot days. Slice up a watermelon into easy-to-eat wedges or cubes, and pack them in a cooler. They provide a sweet and juicy option that kids will love.
- Frozen Yogurt Bites: Drop spoonfuls of flavored yogurt, such as strawberry or vanilla, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a container or bag. These bite-sized frozen treats are perfect for keeping cool.
- No-Bake Energy Bites: Prepare a batch of no-bake energy bites using ingredients like oats, nut butter, honey, and add-ins like chocolate chips or dried fruit. These bite-sized treats provide a burst of energy and can be stored at room temperature.
- Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries: Dip fresh strawberries into melted chocolate and let them set on parchment paper. Pack them in a container and keep them cool until it’s time to enjoy. They offer a delicious combination of sweetness and juiciness.
- Mini Fruit Tarts: Prepare mini fruit tarts using pre-made tart shells or graham cracker crusts. Fill them with a layer of creamy vanilla or lemon filling and top with a variety of sliced fresh fruits like berries, kiwi, or peaches. Keep them chilled until ready to serve.
- Banana Sushi: Slice a banana into bite-sized pieces and roll each piece in a thin layer of nut butter. Then, roll them in crushed cereal, granola, or coconut flakes. Skewer them on toothpicks for a fun and portable dessert.
- Trail Mix: Create a kid-friendly trail mix by combining dried fruits like raisins or cranberries, mini pretzels, whole grain cereal, and a sprinkling of chocolate chips or yogurt-covered treats. Pack individual portions in small snack bags.
- Fruit Salad Cups: Prepare a fruit salad using a mix of diced fruits like melons, berries, grapes, and oranges. Pack individual servings in cups or small containers, keeping them chilled until picnic time.
- Rice Krispie Treats: Make a batch of classic Rice Krispie treats using marshmallows and puffed rice cereal. Cut them into small squares or shape them into balls for easy eating. They hold up well in the heat and are always a crowd-pleaser.
These dessert options are delicious, easy to prepare, and can withstand the heat of a picnic. Just remember to keep them cool or pack them in insulated containers to maintain freshness. Let the kids indulge in these sweet treats while enjoying the great outdoors.