I posted yesterday that one of the best reasons for packing a picnic lunch is that it allows me to meet everyone's dietary needs.
We've had a hard time finding gluten-free bread that Lauren likes well enough to eat a sandwich. There's no sense making a sandwich for her if she won't eat enough of it to keep her from being hungry and grouchy the rest of the day.
In addition to avoiding Lauren's food allergies, we must also follow strict food safety rules. Because of her transplant related immunosuppressant medicines, she's at a higher risk for food poisoning than most people. The biggest rule for her is that she cannot have any cold meats. That means no ham and cheese sandwiches or leftover chicken in her lunches.
I used a recipe a friend found on Pinterest (Black Bean and Corn Salsa by You Go Girl!). I also packed some plain jarred salsa for the people that don't like chunks (or veggies) in their salsa.
2. "Cheese" and crackers
We're lucky to find "cheese" that's both milk-free and soy-free. Even better, it actually tastes pretty good. I pack regular cheese for everyone that can have milk products and often some summer sausage.
3. Hummus and veggies or crackers
I found it works best if I pack a small cutting board and a sharp knife so that I can cut up the vegetables when we're ready to eat.
4. Yogurt and granola with fruit
Coconut milk yogurt for some, cow's milk for others. I use my homemade granola so that it's safe for everyone.
5. Mexican rice with avocado and salsaI don't necessarily follow a recipe. It's just cooked rice, canned black beans (drained and rinsed), canned corn (drained) and sometimes a bit of lime juice and crushed garlic. It's good with chips on the side.
I should add that sandwiches are not completely banned on our picnics. My "no sandwiches" policy refers to the way that I plan meals that are not sandwich focused. Packing our own meal allows me to meet both Lauren's dietary needs and often the desires of my kids with strong food preferences. That sometimes means that my veggie-hating child gets a sandwich.
My picnic ideas are part of a blog hop happening with Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers. Be sure to click the button below to read more great ideas on all sorts of subjects.