July 4th is almost entirely synonymous with barbecues. Everyone looks forward to gathering around the grill while impatiently waiting for their burgers to cook. As it quickly approaches and people are raiding their supermarkets en masse, it’s easy to forget that picnics are a perfectly acceptable and very enjoyable al fresco dining option. It’s a great opportunity to laze about in the shade while the little ones stretch their legs and take in the summer sun.
However, we all know that a picnic isn’t a picnic without the food. Packing the perfect basket (or to be more practical, cooler) that’ll satisfy tummies of all sizes will put picnics back on the summer must-list for you and your kids. Kick off your July 4th festivities with some of these treats:
- Buffalo wings, ribs, Swedish meatballs—all great meaty delights that can be picked at individually without too much fuss. Just remember, on much warmer days, meat will last about an hour in the heat.
- Think pizza, meat pies, and tacos…all in conveniently sized cupcakes! Kids will marvel at their size and taste, and adults will find that having travel-sized food may be better than any travel-sized games they brought to the picnic.
- Wraps and sandwiches are great because they can be tailored for both meat-lovers and vegetarians. Not only that, but they’re tasty hot or cold so sticking them in the cooler won’t take away any of their flavor or appeal.
- Celery and carrot sticks are a simple and healthy snack that can be made more interesting with the right selection of dips. Blue cheese, sour cream, yogurt, pesto, and peanut butter all make for delicious dipping options for veggies or fingers (I recommend the former for handsy kids)!
- Salad possibilities are numerous. You’ve got pasta, egg, potato, and an assortment of vegetables to choose from. Again, they’re good for packing in the cooler and can be kept really simple for the kids or played up with more mature dressings and spices for the grown-ups.
- Fun-shaped fruits are sure to get your kids’ attention with the help of a few cookie cutters. Fruits like watermelon, apple, pear, and cantaloupe will work great and in just a few quick slices and cuts, you’ve got edible art. Depending on the fruit, a little drizzle of honey or dollop of yogurt will also go great with your cut-outs.