I LOVE a picnic! In my opinion, eating “al fresco” with the family surrounded by nature takes a lot of beating! And obviously with the sun beaming down too!
One of the things we discuss on a Weaning in a Nutshell Workshops (link) is how important it is to realise that food is SO much more than just sustenance for our bodies. As Nutritionists, we are lucky that we understand just how vital food is for a healthy body, however we also understand that food is the thing which can really bring people together and unite them. And this is how I see a picnic. A chance to celebrate life in the outside, eating yummy foods surrounded by loved ones.
And so, what makes a good picnic in terms of filling that picnic basket? And which foods are best for our babies who at 6 months are starting their weaning journey? Well, as there are many choices, I thought it would be a good idea to list them below with the reasons why these are my top 10 picnic foods and tips to ensure your day out is as fun and easy as possible.
- A good old sandwich or wrap cut up into manageable sizes for smaller hands. The great thing about a sandwich is it is “vehicle” for many delicious and healthy fillings. My favourite are tuna in plain Greek yogurt, cream cheese with cut up peppers, tomatoes and cucumber, egg, cheese and salad, houmous and peppers and peanut butter. Why not cover a whole meal wrap with full fat cream cheese, sprinkle over with chopped up peppers and cucumber and then roll up and cut into small pinwheel shaped pieces.
- Houmous with dipping “utensils” such as breadsticks, steamed carrots, cucumber batons and roasted root veggies. Did you know that the tahini paste used to make houmous contains lots of lovely calcium? Which, is great if your baby has a dairy allergy or you are vegan as calcium is often the mineral which we are concerned about when dairy isn’t part of a diet. A tip however is to make your own as shop-bought is high in salt. Here is a link to a homemade houmous made with beetroot which gives any picnic a real pop of colour!.
- Savoury flapjacks or “pinwheels” – try one of our recipes for these (flapjack or pinwheel), they really are a lovely way to include vegetables into the meal and are easy for small hands to hold and grasp.
- Fruit pieces – cut up melon, mango or pineapple into wedges or large slices so your baby can grasp easily.
- Avocado slices – cut avocado up into wedges, you can leave the skin on the bottom of the wedge to give your baby a gripping mechanism. These contain so much goodness for a growing small person!
- Boiled egg. This high protein food is perfect to transport around for a picnic, keep the shell on if easier and remove once you are set up. Cut into quarters for your baby to munch on
- Vital Baby On The Go Weaning Set – the set is perfect for transporting food for your picnic and great for puree feeding as the bowl has a clip on lid to stop leakage. The spoon is attached too for convenience!
- Bibetta bibs – at Happy Tums we have been using the Bibetta Bibs for years with all 4 of our children! The fact they are wipe clean due to the Neoprene material and can be folded into a bag really easily, these are our favourite bibs by far! The sleeves ensure that your baby keeps their clothes as clean as a whistle!
- Wipes or ideally re-usable face cloths – need I say more?! A picnic with a 6 month old is a messy business!
- Free flow cup with tap water from 6 months – fill your free-flow cup with simple tap water from 6 months and encourage your baby to drink when they are eating any meal.
And so, there you have it! The sun seems to be trying to make an appearance at the moment so let’s hope picnic times are around the corner and we can start to really enjoy those special times with good food, family and friends and lots of adventures in the great outdoors!
Guest Blog by Happy Tums