Summer holidays mean picnics and road trips. Packing nutritious food kids and adults will love can be easy. Here are 20 ideas:
1. Wraps: These are so versatile. Fill with cheese, eggs, cold meat, meatballs, tuna and salad, or for a warm version, add roast veges and lamb with feta.
2. Roast chicken: There is something about cold roast chicken that screams picnic. No reason you can’t bring along other roast meats, too.
3. Skewers/kebabs: Kebabs are a great way to get kids eating more veg. Team veges with meat and grill on the BBQ, or precook as they are really tasty cold. For an Asian slant, marry chicken or beef with a satay sauce. Get creative and mix cheese, grapes and apples or go Italian with mozzarella, basil, spinach and tomatoes.
4. Frittata/quiches: Pre-making frittata and/or quiches provides a grab-and-go munch. Use mini muffin trays for bite-sized snacks made for travelling with hungry kids.
5. Rice/wholemeal pasta salads: Adding veges to rice or pasta creates a full meal.
6. Sushi: Always a crowd pleaser and an ideal snack size.
7. Grilled veg: In-season capsicum, courgettes, mushrooms and eggplant all cry out to be grilled with some olive oil and herbs. Stuff into wholemeal pita pockets, or add grated parmesan or crumbled feta and serve as a delicious salad.
8. Salad in a jar: Packing ingredients into a jar or plastic cup is a great way to keep it fresh. For kids, a ‘salad in a cup’ makes it more of an adventure, too.
9. Lettuce wraps: San choy bao (try these HFG recipes) is always a winner with kids and travels well in airtight containers. Burgers/sausages/meatballs in lettuce leaves work just as well.
10. Veges and dip: The perfect combination – hummus, pesto, tzatziki or your personal favourite, either in a pot or served individually in a cup.
11. Summer veg: Delicious in-season sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, capsicum and radishes don’t need packaging or a sauce as they’re perfect as they are.
12. Home baking: Mini muffins, scones or scrolls pack and travel well. They can be made in advance and frozen.
13. Crunchy options: Crunchy, salty food doesn’t have to mean potato chips! Roasted chick peas, parsnip or kale chips are all easy to make and taste delicious.
14. Corn chips: Plain corn chips or toasted flatbread triangles with salsa or guacamole make a terrible mess in the car but are magic at a picnic!
15. Hunger stoppers: Trail mix or homemade muesli bars are satisfying snacks on a long journey.
Fruit and drinks
16. Summer fruit: Who can resist ripe cherries, apricots, peaches and strawberries? Serve as is or bring along some chilled yoghurt.
17. Fruit salad: There is something irresistible about a bowl of multi-coloured fruit.
18. Watermelon: Nothing screams summer like a wedge of cold watermelon.
19. Drinks: Iced sparkling or still water with slices of lemon and lime, or strawberry and mint, look so enticing.
20. Slushies: Party time calls for slushies! Blitz ice with sparkling or still water and some watermelon and banana. Sure to be a hit..
Judith Yeabsley is a mum of two boys who is passionate about healthy food for kids. She runs a food art website, theartofnutrition.com, focusing on presenting fruit and veges creatively. She also works to change the food environment in schools, community groups and lunchboxes. For information on this and great recipes, see theartofnutrition.co.nz.