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How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

My kids *love* going on picnics. It doesn’t even need to be anywhere special. If I tell them we’re going to eat in the backyard (or the front!), they’re just as excited as if I tell them we’re going somewhere fancy for a picnic (and by “fancy,” I mean “the park”).

Picnics aren’t just for the kids, though!

Here’s everything you need to know about what to pack for a picnic, from food to drinks to cutlery and everything in between!

What to pack for a picnic 2First, pick your picnic basket. No need for a “real” basket, of course – reusable shopping bags, a cooler, or even a plastic box can do the trick. It needs to be sturdy enough to hold al your food and reusable ice blocks (if you have food that needs to be kept cold). If you use a cooler, you can just fill it with ice.

You’ll also want to make sure you have a good place to sit. I’ve been know to throw a sheet on the ground, but if you want to be comfortable – and if you’re not sure if the grass might be wet! – pack a sturdy blanket. There are even waterproof blankets out there made just for this purpose.

The fun part, of course, is deciding what food to pack. Here are some ideas to cover your entire meal.

1. Appetizers: cheese and crackers, veggies and hummus, chips and dip, pretzels, apples, bananas, berries (any in-season fruit!)

Berries2. Sandwiches: Get creative by using croissants or pita bread instead of typical sandwich bread. Sandwiches do best if you can wait to put them together until it’s time to eat. This way, they won’t get soggy. I bring the bread, the meat, the cheese, and the condiments – and then let everyone assemble their own sandwich when it’s time to eat.

Here are some sandwich ideas: turkey, roast beef, chicken salad, ham, tuna, pb&j

Don’t want to take sandwiches? Try one of the alternatives below!

Picnic Ideas3. Sandwich alternatives: lasagna (so good cold!), pizza (also great cold), fried chicken, quiche, soup, salads (here are four super simple make-ahead salad recipes, AND a recipe for a healthy Ranch dressing alternative)

4. Condiments: mustard, ketchup, relish, mayonnaise

5. Side dishes: coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, pasta salad, grape & walnut salad (SO good), fruit salad, corn salad (another personal favorite of mine), corn on the cob

6. Dessert: cookies, pie, cobbler

7. Drinks: tea, lemonade, wine, water, juice

Berries and Tea8. Accessories – don’t forget these VERY IMPORTANT items: Napkins, forks, spoons, a knife, a trash bag, cups, bottle opener, plates

Glad Food Containers Picnic

Glad Picnic ContainersThe hummus and Mac n’ Cheese were already in little glass bowls. I used Press ‘N Seal wrap to keep the food where it belonged (this stuff is super tough, too – and it’s microwaveable and freezer-friendly).


I’d love to hear your thoughts on what to pack for a picnic! Tell me your favorite picnic foods below.



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I love hummus, too. We pack it for lunches and picnics. While I don’t really love sandwiches, I do think they are perfect for picnics. I often make veggies ones with spelt bread, avocado, hummus and red peppers. My son will eat this without the hummus and red pepper because he loves avocado, too.

we love picnics, YUM!!

Most of our picnics are on the front lawn so packing (and forgetting things) is never an issue, ha ha! Thanks for partying with us on Creative K Kids Tasty Tuesdays.

We will try these. Thanks for sharing.

We only “picnic” when we camp – and it’s whatever I can pack into our backpacks or duffel bags that get strapped onto our quads or in our side-by-side. We all wear backpacks on atv rides, filled with In Case Of Emergency items + a few food goodies. The cooler bag or whatever usually gets strapped onto the back of our Yamaha or Polaris, so it holds 1/2 a case of waters and any food in hard containers. I like to fill Rubbermaid LunchBlox containers ahead of time and keep them in the RV ’til it’s time to hit the trails. I drop in baby carrots & grapes, cheese, deli meats, and crackers, and pb&j sandwiches. Pb&j just tastes better when it’s squished and hot!

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