Children’s day out – Picnic food ideas

Picnic is a synonym for fun and frolic. A time spent laughing, playing and enjoying with family or friends. But the very essence of a picnic is upheld only if it is planned well. This holds ground, more so, if there are children or toddlers. Planning from the picnic venue to the friends who would play with them; from safety kits to loads of food and drinks.

The food basket needs to be taken care of to ensure that the food takes care of all age groups and is not much of a trouble to the mothers of the children. It is always a smart move to pack up finger foods that are not too spicy that the child cannot handle or too mild that the adults find it unpalatable. Hydration is another key thing to keep in mind. Anything in the form of fresh juice or shakes or smoothies or even plain simple water has to be packed more than enough.

1. Oats Idlis

Cook time: 10 minutes + overnight fermentation
Serves: 4 people
Type: Snack



  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok and put mustard seeds to splutter. Add in the white urad dal and chana dal and fry them till they change to golden brown.
  • Add in oats and suji and fry for a couple of minutes. Take this out in a broad vessel.
  • To the oats add in grated carrot, grated ginger and finely chopped coriander leaves. Season well and mix all together.
  • Pour curd over it and mix again. Leave the batter overnight to ferment. (For instant ones refer to tips).
  • Grease idli plate and steam the idlis for 8-10 minutes in an idli steamer.


  • Use sour curd or use 1 tsp. fruit salt/Eno.

2. Paneer Rolls

Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 people
Type: Finger food


For the roll:


  • Heat oil in a frying pan and add in finely sliced onions. Cook till they are translucent.
  • Sauté thin juliennes of carrot and capsicum.
  • Season the veggies with salt and pav bhaji masala.
  • Cut the paneer into bite-sized chunks and toss it with the vegetables. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Knead a roti dough with flour, salt, a tablespoon of butter, and water. Roll out thin square parathas and cook them with some butter.
  • To assemble: Spread some cheese spread on the paratha. Fill it up with the paneer filling in the centre and roll up the roll.
  • Pack up individually with a foil or a napkin around each.

3. Cheesy Sandwich

Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 people
Type: Finger food



  • Spread the sandwich chutney on one of the loaves.
  • Cover that with loads of cheese.
  • Grill that on a hot sandwich grill with butter.
  • Pack them in foil.


  • A blend of mozzarella with cheddar works well.

4. Blueberry Lassi

Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 people
Type: Drink



  • Grind the blueberries into a paste.
  • Whisk together curd, sugar, and milk with the blueberry paste.

5. Choco Bars

Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 per
Type: Dessert



  • Mix together muesli and the assorted nuts.
  • Melt chocolate, butter, and honey in a double boiler with a pinch of salt.
  • Pour this over the muesli and nuts. Mix well and evenly press them on a flat tray.
  • Cut them into bars.

Typically in a picnic, children enjoy the company of their friends more than food. So much thought has to be put to not only make it delicious but attractive too. Care should be taken to ensure the food eaten is hygienic as well.

You may also like:

8 Healthy snacks to tackle your kid’s hunger

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