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A family picnic can be a great way to get the kids away from the TV or PlayStation and into the great outdoors come the summer. Yet before you pack the blanket and Frisbee in the car and drive off, why not have a go at making some new child-friendly recipes as part of your outing?
Avoiding store-bought dips and snacks in favour of your own homemade versions is the perfect way to know exactly what is going into your kids’ tummies. While it can be tempting to stuff crisps and chocolate into a hamper, making some homemade treats can be much more rewarding, especially if you can convince the children to be your sous chefs! Plus, any left-over ingredients can be polished up into a tasty dinner with the help of some easy dinner recipes.
If you have younger children, you can distract them from the hamper’s sweeter snacks with some creative sandwich shapes. A burger bear is a perfect example, with the ears made of halved sausages and the face made from strips of nori seaweed. If this doesn’t appeal, you could always cut sandwiches into stars or angels using a cookie cutter.
Instead of store-bought mini-pizzas or pies, try some pizza buns. Shaped like a cinnamon bun, except with a delicious savoury cheese and tomato filling, these are a real treat for all ages. You’ll need to prepare the dough in advance, but this will ensure that you aren’t forced to make everything on the picnic day itself.
Watermelon fruit salad
Instead of a big salad bowl that will add to the washing up, try this idea for a fruit salad in a watermelon! It looks great and will intrigue picnickers young and old. It’s simple to make, too: just cut around a quarter off the watermelon and scoop out the inside with a melon baller, replacing it with a selection of chopped fruits and berries. Drizzle with honey as a salad dressing and refrigerate for a delicious and refreshing dessert.
Saving the need for extra plates and bowls, treats such as brownies, chocolate mini-rolls on sticks are both delicious and handy. If you’re trying to limit your family’s sugar intake, you can try honey-sweetened recipes or opt for simple fruit kebabs.
This one is a bit of a cheat, but so delicious that you probably won’t mind. With Rice Krispie cakes being a firm favourite, this watermelon krispie cake is a great twist on a much-loved treat. All you’ll need is some cereal, marshmallow, butter and green and red food colouring to make this fun dessert.
These ideas are a good start, but the important thing is to be creative and get the family engaged in the preparation process. Enjoy!