Whether it’s at the park, beach, river or forest, we love summer picnics! Our kids jump at any chance to get away from home, even if it’s just for an hour or two. The break in routine alleviates summer boredom and they get to run wild without wrecking the house, which makes mom (and therefore kids) happy.
The best part about picnics is that you don’t have to go very far to enjoy fresh air and a bit of nature. Oh, and all that running around wears the kids out while we get to relax in the shade on a blanket! With the right essentials, a picnic can be a quick and low-stress activity for the whole family to enjoy.
Our kids are still too young to help carry things to a picnic spot (and often ask to be carried themselves, especially if sand is involved). That’s why we consider a folding wagon a must for every picnic, even if the parking lot is close by.
The wide, treaded wheels of the Mac Sports Folding Wagon allow you to pull a blanket, cooler, and even a kid or two over varied terrain. Letting the wagon carry the load means you can make it from the car to picnic spot in one trip, which is especially convenient with young children.
These wagons aren’t just great for picnics. We take ours to the pool and even the 4th of July parade!
Promise Organic Sunscreen
We’re always on the lookout for non-nano zinc oxide sunscreens and have tried several brands. Some are too thick or greasy and others are too expensive or hard to find. Promise Organic Coconut Sunscreen is easy to apply and can be found at CVS, so we can easily pick some up no matter where we are.
We slather the kids with sunscreen before we head out of the house because once we reach our destination, it’s hard to get them to hold still long enough to get good coverage. For a quick reapplication on faces, backs of necks and other high-exposure areas, we like to keep the Promise Organic Sunscreen Coconut Stick handy. It glides on easily and any white streaks are easy to rub in unlike other sticks we’ve tried.
We also love that Promise Organic Coconut Sunscreen contains certified organic ingredients such as Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Oil, and Jojoba Oil. The lotion comes in SPF 30 and 50, and does not contain parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or petroleum.
This year has hit our allergies pretty hard, especially the kids. We like to avoid pharmaceuticals when possible, so we were glad to discover a homeopathic alternative from Kids Relief.
Before we head out for day of running through the grass, kicking up dirt and rolling around in nature, we give our kids a dropper of Kids Relief Allergy Oral Liquid. This homeopathic liquid is safe for children 6 months and older, and contains a special blend of herbs that helps reduce stuffiness and alleviate irritated and itchy eyes, throat and skin. It also helps with sneezes.
We also keep their Pain and Fever liquid on hand too. Safe for kids 2 and up, the homeopathic blend reduces fevers and pain with natural ingredients such as Arnica, St. John’s Wort and Belladonna instead of ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
For more information on their line of homeopathic remedies for kids, check out the Kids Relief website.
Leave the Tupperware at home and pack your lunch and snacks in lightweight stainless steel instead! Kangovou has a variety of bowls, plates and sippy cups in four colors that are perfect for a picnic. Each piece contains three parts: a food-grade stainless steel insert; a plastic outer cover to insulate hands from the hot or cold contents in the insert; and a transparent leak-proof lid.
We like that the food-grade stainless steel is non-toxic and non-leaching, so you can store food in it without it tasting like metal when it’s time to eat. The plastic outer cover also keeps the bowls and plates from sliding around. The compartment plate is super fun for kids and lets you pack a variety of foods in one container.
All Kangovou parts are dishwasher safe and free of BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Melamine and Lead. The solid construction means it won’t dent or warp, and keeps food fresh and intact, even if it’s tossed in the bottom of the cooler.
Silikids Silicone Cup and Lids
If you’re planning a picnic at the beach or a park, chances are glass containers are not allowed. That’s why we pack eco-friendly silicone cups in our picnic basket instead of disposable plastic cups. Although Silikids Silicone Cups are geared towards kids, they are great for all ages!
The Silikids Silicone Cups are lightweight but sturdy, thanks to the thickness of the silicone and an embedded stainless steel ring at the rim. This means they won’t collapse when gripped or when tossed in the bottom of your beach bag. We like the 8oz size, because they don’t take up too much room either.
Made from BPA-free, food-grade silicone, they are dishwasher and microwave safe (yes, even with the stainless steel ring).
For beach outings, the Silikids Straw Tops are a must to keep the sand out of your drink and prevent spills on uneven ground. The tops are 100% silicone, which means that they are BPA-free, and dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. Unlike the silicone products we’re used to, they are stretchy enough to fit over the top of nearly every cup. We were impressed with how airtight the fit was on the different cups we tried, but keep in mind that the 3-pack only comes with one straw.
Silikids makes all sorts of silicone tableware for kids, from cups and spoons to bibs and place mats.
If you’re just introducing solids to your baby and are wondering what high-quality purees are available, check out OrgaNums. What makes their organic baby food different? Unlike shelf-stable purees that use Ultra High Temperatures (UHT) to kill bacteria, OrgaNums is cold-pressed using High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) and must stay refrigerated. This process preserves more nutrients and vitamins and tastes better too.
Our kids especially liked the Carrot-Apple and Pumpkin-Banana flavors. The purees come in resealable containers instead of pouches to encourage bonding during meal time. We’ve been re-using the 6oz containers for puffs and other snacks on the go. The tight-fitting lid makes the containers great for little slices of fruit too.
At the time of publication, OrganNums is only available by mail order on their website. Hopefully you’ll be able to find them in your grocery store soon!
Justin’s Squeeze Packs and Snack Packs with Pretzels
We’ve been big fan’s of Justin’s Nut Butters for years and always have a Chocolate Hazelnut Squeeze Pack in our bag for when we need to refuel on the go. We’ll be tossing a few in our picnic bag this summer for those times when we are too busy chasing after kids to sit down and enjoy a meal.
Luckily for our kids, they’ve come out with a new product that is fun and filling: the Snack Pack with Pretzels. They get to scoop out the nut butter from it’s compartment with the included pretzel sticks. You can get them in Chocolate Hazelnut, Almond, and Maple Almond.
Unlike a candy bar, these Justin’s treats are made in small batches, aren’t loaded with sugar and won’t become a melty mess on a hot day. And neither will your kids!
Element Snack Cakes
Finding a snack you can feel good about and actually satisfies your snack craving, can be a challenge. If someone in your family is gluten-free, finding quality pre-packaged treats is even more difficult. Rice cakes might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but coat them with a layer of chocolate and you’ll be delightfully surprised!
Element has several flavors of rice and corn cakes, but Strawberry’n’Cream is our favorite. All the Element Cakes are Gluten-Free, GMO-Free, Cholesterol Free and are packaged in BPA-Free packaging. The dyes used in the fruit flavors are derived from fruits and vegetables and the products don’t contain preservatives.
The best part about the sweet coatings is that they are low in sugar and not sweetened with corn syrup. The Strawberry’n’Cream coating compliments the rice cake base and has an intense strawberry flavor in the smooth creamy coating, which is why we like it best. But don’t take our word for it! Try a Sampler Pack and see which you like best.
Silikids, Kangovou and Justin’s Giveaway!
Just in time for picnic season, we’re giving away lightweight, reusable tableware from Silikids and Kangovou! Each set has its own virtues, but unlike disposable plates, cups, spoons and bowls, they are sturdy enough to last for years.
Additionally, FIVE readers will receive a coupon for a jar of Justin’s Nut Butter AND a variety of squeeze packs so you can decide which is your favorite flavor.
There will be SEVEN winners and you can enter up to ELEVEN times. The contest will run until Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 at Midnight, PDT and is open to US Residents only.
One reader will receive a Silikids set containing a Siliskin Silicone Cup with Universal Silicone Lid and Straw and two Silispoons.
All products are made from food grade silicone, which means they are easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher, and are microwave safe.
Another reader will receive a Kangovou compartment plate and snack bowl in the color of their choice! Visit their website to decide whether Frosted Blueberry, Iced Mint, Lemon Zest or Peaches and Cream is your favorite.
The food-grade stainless steel is non-toxic and non-leaching, and the lids are air-tight. Plus, all components are dishwasher safe.
Justin’s Nut Butters
Five of our readers will receive a variety of Nut Butter squeeze pouches from Justin’s, along with a coupon for a full-sized jar of Nut Butter. The hardest part will be deciding what flavor! Even the bloggers at GBG can’t agree on the best one.
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