This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of Indiana Family of Farmers. Regardless of compensation, all opinions are 100% my own.
Summer is a great time to get out of the house and explore your town, but it can get expensive if you spending a lot of time away from home. One way we save money on our adventures is to pack a picnic. That way when the little ones get hungry, instead of hitting McDonald’s, we have less expensive healthier options within reach.
Packing the perfect picnic can be a form of art, since there are so many things to keep in mind. Will there be a picnic table or will you be balancing your meal on your lap? Is there a good chance the kids will have grubby little hands by the time your food is ready? And those are just a few.
Tips for Packing Picnics for Families
- Keep it Clean! Kids get dirty easily. That’s part of the fun of adventures. Make sure to pack hand sanitizer and/or baby wipes if there won’t be somewhere nearby to clean up before eating. Don’t forget napkins or paper towels.
- Don’t invite the bugs. Bugs can quickly ruin any picnic. The Indiana Family of Farmers recommends filling a spray bottle with 1/4-1/3 peroxide and filling the rest with plain tap water. Spraying this along your picnic surface will discourage bugs from joining in on your meal.
- Pitch-In: If you are going with a group, instead of each family packing a picnic, work together. Assign each family something to bring to help divvy up the costs of food. This works even when it’s just two of you meeting at the park.
- Keep it cool. Keeping your food cold is always a struggle. Did you know that cold food should be stored at 40°F or below? On hot days, I often freeze our drinks when heading out on hot days to help keep our food cold and ensure we have cold drinks when we’re hot. I also freeze any foods that don’t do well in heat or might melt, like chocolate, fruit snacks, and meats, so they’ll say good longer. Insulated picnic baskets or totes are always a great idea!
- Avoid Spills. I can’t count the number of times my kids didn’t finish something and threw it back in the picnic basket, leaving it to spill and create a gross mess that isn’t easy to clean. When packing foods, think about what will happen after the meal is done. You may need to throw in a container with a lid or some Ziploc bags to make the after-meal mess less messy.
- Keep it Simple. Do as much of the work as you can before you leave the home, because prepping meals outdoors is never easy. Plus, try to pack multi-use utensils and containers. Finger foods are always a great, simple picnic item!
- Pack Backwards. Place your ice on the bottom of your picnic basket, then put your items that need to stay cool in next. The last thing you should pack is your tableware, which you’ll need before passing out your food.
Oven-Fried Picnic Potato Chips Recipe
- Oil and/or Melted Butter
- Course Salt and/or Seasoning
First, preheat your oven to 500°F and slice your potatoes into thin round slices. Make sure you have a sharp knife to make cutting the thin slices easier or some cheese graters work great for this job.
Next, dry your potato with paper with a paper towel. Pour your oil or melted butter in a bowl. Throw in your potatoes and toss until the potatoes are lightly covered.
Prepare a cookie sheet by either spraying with non-stick cooking spray or lining with aluminum foil. Lay out your potatoes in a one layer. Sprinkle with course salt or seasoning to taste and bake for 15- 20 minutes until the edges look golden brown.
You can have fun with this recipe by adding different seasoning, like Ranch Dressing Mix for Ranch Chips, to create different flavors! You can even dip them in different dips for something different.
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