I pick. You pick. We pick. A picnic! I love picnics because they can elevate a simple lunch into a special event. When you carry your food to a new location, suddenly your lunch tastes better, smiles are bigger, and giggles are more abundant. But let’s be honest… it’s hot outside and having lunch in this heat doesn’t sound appealing. Picnics don’t have to be outside.

  • Create a fort in your dining room by covering your table with a blanket and have the picnic inside the fort.
  • Bring the outdoors in! Cut some flowers from the yard and arrange them in pretty vases around the eating area.
  • Allow your child to “host” the picnic in their bedroom and leave it up to them to get the room ready.
  • Head to a friend’s house to picnic indoors with a pal.

RELATED READING :: Top 5 Picnic Spots in Austin with Kids

With your location determined, now it’s time to set the menu! Here are some picnic recipes that are healthy, simple, and not your average sandwich!

Nutella and Banana Sushi

Credit: KidSpot


  • 2 tortillas
  • 4 tbs Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 2 bananas


  • Place bread on a cutting board and spread with Nutella.
  • Peel banana and lay in on the edge of the tortilla.
  • Roll banana in tortilla.
  • Slice into rounds and arrange on a plate with the cut edge facing up. A family picnic favorite!

Cucumber Boats 

Credit: Natural Beach Living


  • 6 Pickle Cucumbers
  • 1 pkg. Vegetable Dip
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Yellow Pepper
  • 2 oz. Mozzarella Chunk Cheese
  • Red Lifesaver Gummies


  • Cut 3 of the cucumbers in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon and set aside.
  • Using a sharp knife or mandolin, cut very thin slices of cucumber lengthwise off the whole ones. You need to take a few slices off first to get to the inner part so there is only skin on the outsides of the slices. These will be the sails.
  • Cut small matchstick-size pieces of carrots, but make them 3-4” long.
  • Now cut 2 tiny holes in the end of each cucumber slice sail, and insert the carrot. The cucumber will curve out on one side to look like a sail.
  • Using the cheese and the pepper, cut little triangles for the flags at the top of the sails. These will be about 1-2” in size.
  • Break a small end of a toothpick off and attach the flag to the top of the carrot so it looks like a flag flying.
  • Fill your boats with dip and attach your sail by sticking a toothpick in next to the carrot and pushing this into the back part of the cucumber boat.
  • Lay a lifesaver on top of the boat as your life preserver.

Tacos in a Bag

Credit: Food Meanderings


  • 6 bags tortilla chips
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 24 g – package taco seasoning mix
  • head lettuce
  • 3 whole tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped

Toppings (optional)

  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • lime
  • cilantro


  • Cook ground beef on stovetop, over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain.
  • Add taco seasoning mix and water (as per package instructions)
  • Crush chips in bag (before cutting open)
  • Cut chip bag open across the top of the bag
  • Open bag and add taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, green onions and cheese.
  • Add topping as desired.
  • Mix together. Eat right out of the bag with a fork and enjoy at your picnic!

Turkey Rainbow Pinwheels 

Credit: Made in a Pinch


  • 4 large spinach wraps
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp dry ranch powder
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper strips, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup orange bell pepper strips, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper strips, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 8 slices oven roasted deli turkey


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and dry ranch powder mix and stir until mixed well.
  • On each of the 4 spinach wraps, spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture onto each wrap. Spread the mixture to about 1/2 inch from the edge.
  • To make the “rainbow” lay out each of the remaining ingredients in the following order: red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, colby jack cheese, turkey spinach and finally red cabbage.
  • Roll each tortilla tightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to slice.
  • Slice into 1-inch pinwheels place in lunchbox or serve immediately. Perfect for picnics and tiny hands!

Enjoy a few picnics as the summer winds down and before the busy fall schedule arrives. The simplest ideas can make for the best memories!

Whitney Otstott is the owner of GirlPower Fitness, a private fitness studio in southwest Austin that’s just for women. Whitney has been in the fitness industry for more than 25 years, teaching numerous group fitness formats and offering personal training in a way that helps women get stronger and healthier in a nurturing and empowering environment. She's passionate about helping women build confidence as much as strength. She lives in Austin with her husband, two teenage daughters, and two poodles, and loves doing paint-by-numbers while listening to true crime podcasts. Learn more about Whitney and GirlPower Fitness at www.GirlPowerAustin.com.


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