Following on from our very popular What's New In Our Kitchen series, we'll be bringing you a sister series over the coming months too. Welcome to What's New In Our Picnic Basket! This time round it's mostly about drinks and snacks, all ideal for a spring picnic. So pack your basket, blanket, cool bag and whatever else you need, and off you go. The great outdoors awaits!
We don't really do the barbeque thing, but we're always up for a picnic, so as soon as the weather is reasonably OK we're off out armed with cool bag, hamper, rug etc. In fact this last winter was so mild that our first picnic was on Sophia's birthday, 4th January. Not bad going! Come the height of midsummer, we rarely lunch at home, and most dinners are had on a beach or in the park too. Sometimes though it can be hard to come up with new ideas, so we are always keen to mix up the picnic food and drink options with new products. Here are some of the ones we have tried lately:
Cawston Press has a brilliant range of Kids' Blends, a blend of pressed juice and water with no added sugar or artificial ingredients. The easy to use cartons are available in packs of three and are perfect for freezing to keep them cold in lunchboxes or picnic baskets. There are four great flavours: Apple & Pear, Apple & Mango (Sophia's favourite), Apple & Blackcurrant and Apple & Summer Berries. The 3 packs are priced £1.89 and are available from Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Ocado and Sainsbury's. (They also make great drinks for grown-ups, see our review here.)
Organix snacks and treats are a great range and ideal for kids on the move. We always a have a little stash in the car to make journeys go that little bit easier. The new Organix Goodies Chunky Fruit Bars are available in two flavours: Banana & Date, and Apple & Date. The bars are made form 100% organic fruit all squished up and each counts as one of their 5 a day. They contain no added sugar, artificial colours of flavours, all part of the Organix No Junk Promise. The bars are made up of five bite-sized chunks that can easily be broken off by little hands and can be covered up and put away if they don't want to eat it all at once. These great little snacks are suitable from 12 months. Each box contains 6 individually wrapped 17g bars and costs £2.49, they are widely available.
We love Vita Coco Kids drinks, available in delicious Apple & Blackcurrant and Mango & Pineapple. Their new Sugar Maze initiative, created with the help of nutritionist Amanda Hamilton, is a brilliant idea, especially with as many as 60% of parents feeling confused about what level of sugar is OK for children, and 80% wanting clearer guidelines. Most parents recognise that smoothies, juices and the like should be an occasional rather than a daily drink. Vita Coco itself is a lower sugar drink and has the added benefits of coconut water and naturally occurring potassium too. In fact, it typically has around 50% less sugar and less calories than other leading UK chilled kids juices and smoothies, making it a healthier beverage option. The girls do enjoy these drinks and they make a great picnic treat on a hot day.
Yu! Healthy Snacks are made from 100% fruit yet look and taste just like sweets. The little pieces of real dried fruit and lightly coated yogurt bites are an ideal on-the-go snack, and they do not contain any added sugar. Ideal as a snack or part of a lunchbox, they are available in Raspberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Banana, Mango, Blackberry and Blueberry flavours. The 24g packets are available from Tesco and Sainsbury's, priced around 60p each.
Look out for more great picnic ideas as we head towards summer!