No matter how long your journey, packing your own picnic lunch can be delicious, economical and fun. When getting ready for a journey, it’s easy to forget the picnic lunch and just grab the easy convenience foods that encourage you to graze. But processed foods can make the kids hyper or just don’t quite satisfy our hunger.
Here’s our list of favourite foods for picnic lunch while travelling:
Homemade Cheese scones (recipe included at end of blog post)
Carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and red pepper sticks
Cooked cocktail sausages
Hard boiled eggs in their shell – eat like a Cadbury’s Cream Egg
Mini pork pies – cut into slivers
Bread sticks or chopped up pitta
Savoury nibbles and rice cakes
Cartons of juice, or drinks bottles topped up with water
Sliced apple, with couple of drops of lemon to stop the apple browning
Grapes, packs of raisins
We just love the finger foods that you can graze on during the journey, all pre-prepared, ready for easy munching.
Our top tips for the picnic lunch:
Pack what you can the night before and prepare those sliced veggies, and store overnight in airtight containers in the fridge. In the morning, add the icepacks, and pack the picnic cool bag. Pre-cooked cocktail sausages can be bought if time is tight. Take a sharp knife and kitchen roll with wet wipes, for easy clearing up and for endless sticky fingers. (The airtight containers will come in handy on holiday for those picnics whilst away).
If travelling in the UK, I always pack a thermos of hot water, small screw top jar of milk, small pot of sugar and small jar of tea bags or coffee. Make sure you take a teaspoon or two… There’s nothing worse than a miserable rainy day and not being able to warm yourself with a refreshing cup of tea or coffee…
Top tips for a harmonious journey:
1 Take a break at lunch. Stop the car. Lay out a picnic if you can and have a proper sit down lunch. It gets you out the car, allows you to stretch your legs and gives you and the kids a change of scenery.
If driving in Europe, it’s easy as there are so many picnic tables at the service stations along the major routes. In the UK, make sure you keep your eyes out for good places to stop, or plan your stops in advance.
2 Take lots of activities for the kids to do to keep them occupied on the journey. DVDs, books, comics, games, CDs. Do what works for you and the age of your kids. Ours have never really slept in the car, too keen to NOT miss a single part of the journey! Our favourite game is the travel game, a game of road signs you have to spot along the way.
3 Keep a couple of activities up your sleeve that the kids don’t know about– our kids love surprises!
4 Take frequent breaks, again if you’ve kids with loads of energy, some service stations do have playgrounds for them to run around in
5 Don’t arrive too late at your destination – nothing worse than fractious, over-tired, hungry irritable kids!
What’s your favourite tip for the picnic journey?
The Lunch Box Lady x
Caroline Job, aka the Lunch Box Lady, set up Lunchbox World back in 2009 following an online search for a washable lunch bag for her own kids school packed lunches. Lunchbox World with its one aim to help you put the FUN back into packed lunches has become a one stop shop for anything lunch box related, covering tips, hints, recipe ideas for packed lunches, picnics or just lunch for work, school or days out.
There are two blogs with lots of lunch box ideas too – The Lunchbox World Blog and 365 Lunch Box Challenge – where every post is a new lunch idea. You can follow her @lunchboxworld on twitter or why not like her Facebook page and keep up to date with all the latest. You can share your lunch on http://www.pinterest.com/lunchboxworld/ and this summer starts the new My Lunch Box Linky, so do join in the fun!
Homemade Cheese Scones
These are really easy to make. Make sure you hide them the night before though, or they’ll be devoured before morning!
1 cup plain flour
1 cup grated cheese – whatever you have to use up in the fridge
Enough water to mix the dough – 60ml max
Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
2 tsp baking powder
Milk to glaze
We use small loveheart cutters to make them bite size
Mix flour, cheese, salt, pepper, baking powder and paprika and enough water to make into a dough. Roll out to 1cm thick on flour dusted surface. Use loveheart cutter. Place cut lovehearts onto dusted baking tray. Makes approx 16 loveheart scones. Glaze with milk, bake in 180C oven until golden brown (approx. 10-12 mins). Cool on wire rack and store in airtight container until ready for picnic!