• Melissa Genee, RD

A Recipe for the Perfect Family Picnic

Today is #InternationalPicnicDay, and with the beautiful weather we are having, what better way to spend time with the family than a beautiful picnic on a warm June afternoon? Family picnics create long lasting memories for children and parents alike. But planning a picnic doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated. Get your kids involved in the planning and preparation of the picnic and you’ll be spending quality time outside with your family all summer long. Below are some tips and tricks to creating the perfect family picnic.


Pick a location that is flat and has trees to provide shade for a warm afternoon. Some great picnic locations in and around Edmonton include Hawrelak Park, Alberta Legislature Grounds or the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens. Click here for more picnic locations around Edmonton. Or if you don’t want to travel, simply have a picnic in your backyard; no one says you need to leave your house to enjoy a picnic with your family.


Is it even a picnic if there isn’t food? When it comes to planning food for a picnic, think simple. There is no need to make a five star meal when you can choose easy recipes that the entire family will enjoy. Have your children help, plan and prepare the food for the picnic. They can wash vegetables and fruits, and help package food into containers or plastic bags. Below are some healthy, family friendly ideas for picnic food.


Lunch or Dinner:


Remember to store food properly - keep perishable foods (meat, dairy and eggs) cold by using an insulated cooler bag with ice packs. Perishable foods should not be kept outside of an insulated cooler for more than two hours.


Here are some essentials not to forget on your picnic!

  • Picnic blanket - an old quilt or blanket works great for this!

  • Basket or cooler - make sure to include ice packs to keep your food cold.

  • Plates and utensils - durable plastic plates and utensils tend to be the best option for picnics. They’re light and can be reused for picnics all summer long.

  • Water bottles - be sure to bring plenty of water. Most parks have water fountains but can sometimes be out of service or far from your picnic area. You can even freeze water bottles, use them as ice-packs and drink the water when the food is gone!

  • Paper towels or wet wipes - children + grass + food = recipe for mess. Be sure to bring cloths to clean hands and faces before and after eating.

  • Plastic bags for garbage/recycle - remember to clean up your area after you picnic and dispose of items accordingly.

  • Sunscreen and bug spray - these two are key for any outdoor summer picnic.

  • Activities - kites, a ball or frisbee are all great items to bring along on your picnic.

We want to see your picnics this summer! Tag us in your posts and use the hashtag #FLIPPicnic

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