When it comes to the simple pleasures of life, it doesn’t get much better than spreading out a rug under a tree for a picnic with your nearest and dearest. Food and nature together? Perfection!
However, pulling the food out of the picnic basket isn’t the start of the picnic experience. Preparing food together can be just as much fun as the eating of it. That’s why we love the idea of getting the kids involved in preparing the picnic goodies! Not to mention that the kitchen is a rich classroom for a child, full of learning opportunities.
So, teach your little ones the importance of washing their hands, be prepared to let things get a little bit messy, and let your kids get stuck in to the experience of preparing their own picnic food!
Here are 5 simple recipes that your children can help you prepare and pack, for a special picnic outdoors together. (We've also included a few tips to turn your food prep into a learning experience!)
Rainbow Fruit Kebabs
- Variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables, cut up into pieces. e.g. watermelon, rockmelon, apple, grapes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes.
1. Have your child thread the different fruits and vegetables onto a toothpick or wooden kebab stick.
Kitchen Learning Tip # 2: As you work, compare the different colours, textures and smells of the different fruits and vegetables.
- 1 cup dried banana chips - 1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries - 1 cup puffed brown rice - 1 cup cashews - 1 cup coconut flakes - 1 cup pumpkin seeds - ½ cup cacao nibs
(or any combination of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and cereal they can find in the pantry!)
1. Have your child measure out all ingredients into a container.
2. Gently mix the ingredients together.
Kitchen Learning Tip #2: This is a good opportunity to discuss volume and quantity: half a cup versus one whole cup.
1. Blend or process all ingredients together. Add a little water if needed to loosen the mix.
Home-made corn chips
- 8 corn tortillas
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. 2. Line baking tray with baking paper 3. Cut the stack of tortillas into slices approximately 2cm thick. 4. Have your child use their hands to toss the sliced tortillas with olive oil, salt and pepper on the baking tray. 5. Bake for 10 mins or until golden and crispy.
Kitchen Learning Tip # 3: Compare the difference in texture before and after cooking the chips
Rice Paper Rolls
- 50g rice vermicelli noodles - 1 avocado, sliced - 1 carrot, shredded - ½ cucumber, shredded - 1 tbsp fish sauce* - 1 tbsp brown sugar* - ¼ cup lemon juice* - 8 mint leaves - 8 rice paper wraps
*optional: leave out dressing ingredients if your children prefer
1. Place noodles in heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand about 10 minutes or until tender. Your child can then use kitchen scissors to cut the noodles into random lengths. 2. Gently combine noodles, carrot, cucumber, sauce, sugar and juice in a medium bowl. 3. Place one sheet of rice paper in medium bowl of warm water until just softened, then lift onto a tea-towel. 4. Place noodle and vegetable filling in centre of sheet, top with one mint leaf and a slice of avocado. 5. Fold edges of sheet over filling, then roll sheet to enclose filling. 6. Repeat with remaining ingredients.