To celebrate National Picnic Week, our nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed shares some delicious and nutritious picnic options for young children.  It’s easy to get stuck in a cheese sandwich rut, so we hope these provide some fresh inspiration for your picnic hamper!

Picnics are a great way to change up the mealtime environment, give little ones something fun to look forward to and encourage the social aspect of eating – sitting together and sharing food whilst chatting is a lovely eating experience for children to enjoy.

Picnics are also a good way to encourage little ones to try a variety of different foods.  Letting toddlers pick and choose is a great way to give them some independence over their food choices. 

So here are some ideas to try with your little picnic fans:


  • Veggie muffins are a perfect on the go option. Try my veggie muffin recipe here
  • Pasta salads – pesto is a delicious option and tuna, chicken and tomato are all popular choices.  Why not try this yummy Kale Pesto from The Little Dish Family Cookbook to add extra goodness
  • Sandwiches with a variety of fillings – marmite, salmon, tuna, cheese salad and nut butter are all good options.  Don’t forget to vary the bread too – try wraps, sourdough, pitta, fruit bread etc.
  • Easy hummus pinwheels – these no-cook pinwheels made with wraps are great for little hands to hold.  Hummus, tuna and salmon all make yummy fillings.
  • Crackers and oatcakes – spread a little cream cheese, hummus or nut butter on top or take a yummy veggie dip and dip the crackers in like crisps!  This Green Pea Hummus from The Little Dish Cookbook would work well 
  • A quick frittata – dip your frittata in natural yogurt or hummus for a flavour twist. This is a delicious Leek & Potato Frittata from Little Dish
  • Pitta Pizzas can also be fun for little picnic fans.  Make them in advance and eat them cold – they’re also a great way to use up fridge leftovers
  • Pancakes, Healthy Fruit Muffins, Carrot Oat Bars or a box of fresh berries also make delicious picnic hamper fillers.  Something a little different to bring extra fun to the day!

I really hope these ideas make your next picnic extra special!  For more picnic recipes check out: