Before we get to food let's consider drinks. We all function better when we're properly hydrated. Exerting yourself, being out in the wind and the (rare glimpses of) sunshine all steal our fluids. Water is great. Available everywhere it has no fat, no sugar, no allergens.
If you like a bit of flavour in your water it can be hard to find something decent add to it. We are not fans of Aspartame here (the taste and what it does to you) so we avoid it. Unfortunately, in an effort to keep calories low, most juices and cordials contain it. Not so with Stur. Sugar free, and with no artificial sweeteners, flavours or colours, it is sweetened using Stevia.
Stur make what they call 'Liquid Water Enhancer'. I'm calling it cordial - it is however cordial that'll give you 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C in each glass. This is a really concentrated cordial in a tiny little bottle which won't spill in the picnic hamper, and the range of flavours is amazing. Grown up and children's flavours ranging from Cranberry & Pomegranate or Tea & Lemon to Blackcurrant & Apple and a gorgeous Orange & Mango. There really is something for everyone.
Last year we attended a picnic hosted by Robert's Bakery, and they gave us some amazing ideas for healthier sandwiches containing one of your 5-a-day plus protein. Fun sandwiches that the kids want to help make, and are hopefully more likely to eat. My 2 young boys were both happy to try them all - which surprised and delighted me! This is not cheese and ham....
And if your children moan about crusts, and you want an easy time all round, Warburtons Sandwich Thins are now available in cat and van shapes....
Alongside the sandwiches, crisps are traditional. We've tried a few of the more interesting crisps, and most recently the Pumpkin Crisps from The Giving Tree. They make crisps from broccoli and strawberries, mango and a handful of other fruits and veggies, and each bag is 1 of your 5-a-day!
With freeze-drying and vacuum-frying, The Giving Tree take special care of the nutrients in their crisps, and they are ideal for little ones as they've less salt and almost dissolve in your mouth. I have to say that Pumpkin Crisps weren't my thing, but I'm not a fan of pumpkin. Someone in our house thinks they're great though... available at health food stores and Selfridges and online.
We like chocolate, especially as a pudding for a picnic, it's a treat. Traditional chocolate bars are just a small plastic wrapped package of fat and sugar with a fancy name, that melts into a puddle at the first sign of sun. They really have little in the way of redeeming features unless you find yourself on a mountainside awaiting rescue. We've tried some of the Kallo Kids Milk Chocolate Rice Cake Minis.
I thought my boys would hate the Rice Cake Minis, I was so very wrong. These were a huge hit! They are sold in packs of 6 handy packs, each containing 4 little chocolate topped rice cakes. These are veggie, gluten-free and are really filling. They only contain chocolate and rice (60% chocolate!), and nothing artificial. Available nationwide (currently £1.99 Buy One Get One Free at Tesco!).
We put a tent up and had a picnic in it - just because we can! Liv from Simslife came over to play, and it was great, the kids loved playing in the tent and it saved us from the persistent Manchester drizzle. They thought it was an awesome picnic, and frankly, they were completely full up - and they'd had a sneaky 2 of their 5-a-day and thought it was all a treat, and later they had the fruit for supper that they couldn't finish at lunch and thought that was double ace. An impressive feat.
All of the items in this post we were at some point sent to review. I chose to add them to this post.