Fun foodie ideas for the kids' holidays, from indoor picnics to money-saving lunchbox ideas...
Come rain or shine, getting creative with food is a great way of keeping your brood happy in the holidays. Keeping kids entertained with foodie projects is not only a fun and creative way to spend some time together, but can also help build healthy eating habits and reconnect them to where food comes from - from a day out at a 'pick your own' farm to helping make homemade pizza for supper.
So whether you're sheltering from the storm or taking the kids for a sunny day out, we have plenty of ideas to keep them busy in and out of the house.
The great indoors
Kids not impressed with the great British summer? Don't despair, grab a pint-sized pinny, cover those surfaces and brace yourself for an afternoon of baking fun. Our kids baking feature is packed full of tips, recipe ideas and decoration techniques...
If you want to get really creative with lollipops, marshmallows, buttons and fruit then take a look at our cake decoration guide for fun ideas and inspiration. If you want to go all out, then edible glitter is most children's idea of cooking heaven; you'll just have to embrace the mess.
Or check our some of our following recipes:
Children aged 5 +
The smallest of hands can help sprinkle hundreds and thousands on these simple iced buns, just make sure some make it further than mouths...
Children aged 8-14
Getting kids to help make their own lunch or dinner is a great way of giving them cooking confidence and combating fussy eaters - kids are often far happier to dig in if they've been involved in the cooking process first. Give them enough practice and they might even be making you lunch soon...
Children aged 3-6
Children aged 5-9
Children aged 8-14
For more inspiration visit our kids cooking collection.
Rain won't go away? There's nothing to stop you from having an indoor picnic, whip up a homemade tent (otherwise known as a blanket thrown over a couple of chairs) and camp out with some delicious picnic treats...
- Summer sausage rolls
- Chicken & ham sandwich pies
- Sunshine bars
- Lemon & coriander houmous
- Picnic recipe collection
Celebrate summer, a birthday or just the school holidays by letting the kids ask some friends round and laying on a few, quick to make, party treats - if nothing else it's a good excuse to get out the jelly and ice cream.
- Toffee popcorn bark
- Sausage roll up twists with tomato dip
- Sticky popcorn pots
- Kids' party recipe collection
The great outdoors
Pick your own
Give the kids a taste of the good life this summer and whisk them away to a 'pick your own farm'. There are thousands to choose from and many of them offer a variety of produce to pick from courgettes to cherries. For advice on where to go, what to pick and how to find your nearest farm check out our pick your own article:
What to do with your pickings
Into the wild
You don't have to venture to a designated farm to pick your own fruit and herbs, with a bit of know-how you'll find plenty of free fair not far from your own front door. Kids will love going on a mini adventure to hunt and gather and you don't have to live in the heart of the country to do it.
Take a look at our foraging and urban foraging guides for inspiration. Just one word of warning, if you're not an expert it might be worth sticking to known quantities like crab apples, blackberries and cobnuts, as some common herbs look deceptively close to more dangerous cousins.
Guide to urban foraging
Fairgrounds and theme parks
Avoid overpriced and uninspired theme park food and pack a lunchbox of healthy and nutritious treats which take just minutes to make. Chicken guacamole wraps and cinnamon custard plums will make you the envy of the park and it's sure to save you a dollar or two as well.
What doesn't taste better eaten al fresco? An outdoor dinner is sure to go down a treat with the kids, and giving them a few simple tasks in preparing the food should keep small, impatient hands busy. Wrapping up jacket potatoes, skewering fruit and mixing marinades should all help keep the barbecue harmony.
- Barbecue chicken & coleslaw
- Barbecue baked sweet potatoes
- Sweet & sticky wings
- Frozen fruit sticks with passion fruit & lime drizzle
Ready for a real adventure? Head into the wilderness with the kids and let them run wild. Campfire food doesn't have to mean burnt sausages and cold baked beans. We've got simple, one-pan suppers and make-ahead treats that are perfect for eating around the fire - just don't forget the marshmallows.
When it comes to getting creative with food, there really is something for everyone and no project is too small. Decorating biscuits can be as therapeutic for a tired toddler as it is for a terrible teen. Whatever you decide to do, just try and accept the mess, roll your sleeves up and enjoy!