She’s not fussy when it comes to food, but lunchtimes often seem to be a bit of a battle. I think it’s a mixture of tiredness, boredom about what she’s eating and an eagerness to get on and play. But when we have a picnic she’s almost always more interested in what’s on her plate.
When Organix asked if I was interested in taking part in their next #NoJunk Challenge it was a big yes – all I had to do, they said, was go on a picnic. I was keen to prove that picnics can be a great time to introduce kids to new foods, so I said yes. Yesterday, we put that theory to the test.
We’re on holiday in Cornwall at the moment, staying in a beautiful corner of the county called Crantock, just on the edge of Newquay. Crantock Beach is a huge sandy beach, with a lagoon area perfect for little ones to splash about in. It’s also the perfect spot for a picnic.
The Organix picnic challenge was all about going for healthy picnic ingredients. Aside from the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine’s packet of crisps, I think we managed pretty well.
We’re self-catering for the week, so before we left home I picked a load of fresh veggies from the garden. If I’d been at home I’d have made a courgette quiche (we had one the other night – delicious) and taken it cold, but cooking a quiche was not how I wanted to spend my first morning on holiday. So the picnic consisted of sandwiches made with soya, linseed and sunflower seed bread with chicken and homegrown lettuce, nectarines, cherry tomatoes and half a pork pie from a delicatessen (we chose a homemade deli over a pre-packaged supermarket one to make it a tad healthier).
Usually, Frog would pick out the lettuce, lick a cherry tomato and turn her nose up at the nectarine. Today, however, she tucked into the lot with gusto – excited that the lettuce came from our own back garden. It helped that this was our view while we ate:
It also helped that we were all together as a family, chatting and relaxed as we enjoyed the first day of our holiday. We could have bought chips from a shop up the road, or skipped lunch altogether in favour of ice cream. And, I’ll be honest, this may well happen later in the week – we’re on holiday after all. But it was nice to tuck into something healthy in between the inevitable “naughty” holiday treats that will come later. And it was a whole lot cheaper than buying something pre-cooked from a takeaway.
All in all? A success. The theory was proved (in our case anyway) – change the surroundings and food can become much more interesting.
Despite his grumpy face in this picture (“NOT ANOTHER BLOOMING FAMILY SELFIE!!”) even the NLM was happy….
Thanks to Organix for inviting us to take part in the challenge. The campaign is all about cutting the rubbish from our kids’ meals and being more aware about what’s in the food we feed them. Find out more about the No Junk Challenge on the Organix website, including recipe ideas and techniques for getting the kids more involved and interested in what’s on their plate.
Have you got any tried and tested (and easy!) healthy picnic recipes to recommend? We’re planning another picnic later in the week so I’d love to hear your ideas!