What I love most about this time of year is the enjoyment you can have with food – trying seasonal fresh produce, whipping up delicious salads and turning mealtimes into an outdoor experience that the whole family can enjoy.
Here are my top tips and recipe ideas for summer picnics.
Top tips for packing up the perfect picnic
• Dress to impress – rice or potato salads are handy to take on a picnic because you can dress them beforehand with your favourite dressing, but make sure you have a box with a tight-fitting lid. You could also take a screw-top jar of the dressing separately.
• Easy to carry – picnic foods work much better if they’re easy to carry, so try not to take things that will fall apart en route.
• Employ some little helpers – get your little ones to help make and pack up the picnic – taking an active role will make their day even more special, and ensure that they take an interest in the food when you serve it up al fresco style!
• Keep food covered up until you are ready to serve it. This will prevent it from becoming warm. And don’t necessarily serve everything at once, for the same reason.
• Picnics in the garden – you don’t have to travel miles or spend a fortune on food to have an enjoyable day. If it’s nice weather, serve up their favourite healthy foods in the garden.
• Sandwiches are always a winner for picnics. Make a selection of super scrummy sarnies so everyone can choose their favourites. Find some new and unusual fillings like cream cheese and mango chutney; shredded cooked chicken mixed with a little sweetcorn, bacon and mayonnaise; or grated carrot, Cheddar and hummus. Wraps are also fun to make and eat.
• Prepare fruit salad – fill a Tupperware box with a variety of chopped summery fruits. This is a great one to get the kids to help make beforehand.
Annabel’s perfect picnic recipes
Why not try some of the following next time you’re heading out for a picnic with your little ones?
You can find more recipes at annabelkarmel.com.
If you have any summer food questions that you’d like to ask Annabel, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass on to Annabel to answer. Please include your name, children’s name/s and ages, and where you live. Please note that in the event of a large reader response, Annabel may not be able to answer all questions received.