It seems like just yesterday that I would help my mother pack a lunch for a picnic to the park or a day trip in the beautiful Idaho mountains. Life seemed so simple back then. None of the children had food allergies and everything was pretty much grown from our own garden. Bread was homemade and there was maybe a loaf of somewhat healthy banana bread. We mostly drank water, and NO soda was allowed in my home. Only for special occasions.
When my kids were younger and the park days were the only way to wear the children out so they could sleep soundly at night, I would pack yummy healthy treats and my kids would never complain. But now as my kids have gotten older and our schedule is pretty much out of control. I tend to find myself buying bags of chips, fruit snacks, cookies and worst of all (don’t judge) LUNCHABLES.
As soon as the weather was nice I decided that enough was enough and that it was time for a change. Just because my husband and I are so busy doesn’t mean our kids should not be healthy. So I decided to throw it all out and and to take my kids on a healthy picnic in the back yard. My kids are old enough to grab a healthy or unhealthy snack so I wanted to show them some easy healthy snacks that they could make on their own with little or no supervision. I was hoping this would teach them to make a healthy snack choice.
We all went to the store and we picked out some California rolls, honey greek yogurt, fruits, veggies, and a lot of other items. I wish I would have taken a picture of my fridge. It looked so pretty and clean. It actually looked yummy with all the healthy items.
We started off by making a healthy cucumber sandwich with hummus and I added a little slice of cheese for my 5 year old.
Lyla helped me and made the sandwich completely by herself. It was just too simple.
Whole Grain bread
There are so many healthy picnic or lunch options
We all love boiled eggs in our home. Add a little salt and pepper and they are good to go.
Here are some healthy options:
ham and cheese roll ups in a tortilla
lightly salted popcorn
peanut butter or turkey sandwich on whole grain bread
granola bar or lara bar
Two of my kids like sushi and one of them is not a huge fan. Trader Joes has excellent sushi for a good price.
I then taught them how to make a healthy greek yogurt parfait. My friend actually made this recipe at book club. It was so delicious I had to try it with my girls.
Honey Greek yogurt
First add the yogurt then the fruit of your choice.
Next add a layer of granola.
Add more yogurt and keep layering the granola and fruit until your kids are satisfied.
Sprinkle some coconut shavings on the top.
Our picnic was a success and all of the healthy food was a big hit.
As I was doing some research on healthy food I came across an article at the Healthy Eating guide that said there are now over 200,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S and that the fast-food industry spends $ 4.2 billion on advertising each year and $660 million on marketing to children and teenagers. It is really important that we as parents set a good example to our children about eating healthy.
It is also important to let your children get involved and let them prepare their own food so they know how to make it. Don’t get upset if they don’t do it exactly the same way you do it. I love the idea of having a picnic in a neighbor’s back yard. Let them set it all up and invite some friends over. Then they can share and enjoy the healthy food selections with a friend.
I know it might be hard to throw the junk food out all at once. So here is an idea, clean out your fridge this week and your pantry the next. Go to the store and make sure you are ready to only buy healthy food for your family. Try for a couple of weeks to not eat fast food and don’t buy donuts (that will be hard for me). I know it will make a huge difference in you and your kids healthy eating habits.
What will you be bringing to your healthy picnic?