Judy More, Paediatric Dietitian and Registered Nutritionist
Bank Holiday weekends are the perfect excuse to get outside in the sun (if the British weather holds out!) and make the most of the time with your little ones! The Infant & Toddler Forum have compiled their top toddler picnic ideas, to help you make the most of your day out.
What food should I take?
Although it can be tempting to try and offer your toddler lots of new foods at a picnic, to go along with what can be an exciting new experience for your little one, it’s best to stick to the foods they know and love. Even though the setting has changed, don’t forget that this is still your same toddler, with the same likes and dislikes! If you do want to try out some new foods, be sure to say positive things about the new food while you’re eating it. Dips like hummus might be easy things to introduce to your toddler for the first time at a picnic.
Here are some suggested toddler picnic food ideas, with their portion sizes:
- Ham or cheese sandwiches (¼ – ½ sandwich)
- Cocktail sausages (1-3)
- Chicken drumstick (½ -1)
- Cold meat slices – (½ – 1 ½ small slices of ham)
- Pasta, potato or rice salad (2-5 Tablespoons)
- Bread sticks (1-3), Crackers (1-3) or oatcakes (1-2)
- Strawberries (3-10 small strawberries)
- Cherry tomatoes (1-4 cherry tomatoes)
- Carrot sticks (2 -6 sticks)
- Cucumber sticks (2-8 sticks)
- Unsweetened popcorn (½-1 small cup)
- Mini Babybel or Triangle/String of cheese – 1 Quiche (½– 1 ½ small slices or a mini quiche)
- Yogurt (1 average pot – 125ml) or small pot of rice pudding
- An ice cream or jelly pot or small slice of cake would make a nice pudding!
If you’re shopping for sandwiches let your toddler choose the filling – take care some toddlers prefer a very plain sandwich with no salad filling or the salad on the side rather than mixed into the sandwich (¼ – ½ Sandwich or wrap)
- Don’t forget food safety. If you’re travelling to your picnic destination, it’s all too easy for the food to get hot in the back of a stuffy car! Remember to bring along ice packs or frozen bottles of water to pack in with your food to keep it cool.
- Get your toddler involved. Getting involved in the preparation for the picnic can help your toddler be more willing to try new foods! Why not ask them to help you pack up the food and set it out once you arrive at your destination?
- Stay hydrated! Be sure to provide lots of water throughout the picnic
- Picnic must-haves: Wet wipes are always handy, for both young and old! Any why not bring along an old plastic bag, to take all your rubbish away with you!
- Why not try a picnic in the garden? You don’t have to travel far to enjoy a picnic. Setting up in your garden or a local park can be just as fun. If you have a tent, putting this up in the garden as a picnic base can be hugely exciting for your toddler!
We hope you’ve enjoyed these toddler picnic ideas! Be sure to share with your friends! If you want more ideas for portion sizes, click here!