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Throw A Quick, Easy Picnic

Last weekend's holiday gave many Parenting staffers a sneak peek at how we’ll spend the summer. Without pool access or a beach getaway, it looks like I’ll be picnicking at parks throughout the city.

The kids-free crowds had it easy: most toted deli-packaged pasta and fruit salads, cheese and crackers, or pre-cut veggies and hummus. Never fear: Your picnic can be stress-free, too.

First, grab the essentials: a large blanket to sit on, plates, cups, utensils, wet wipes or paper towels, a garbage bag (you don’t ant to leave a mess), sunscreen, and insect repellent.

Get your kids involved with menu-planning. They can toss dried fruit, nuts, and cereal together for a quick trail mix. After you cut fruit into chunks, your kids can slide pieces onto wooden skewers for fruit kebobs. Older chefs can spread cream cheese or hummus on whole-wheat tortillas or pitas and top them with meat and veggies. Pasta salads, which can be made ahead of time, are usually a hit, too.

Don’t forget post-picnic activities. Once your family is full, toss around a soft football, Frisbee, or baseball. Cards, books, and travel games are also an easy entertainment option.

Or, ditch the menu and stop by the deli. Hey, we know you’re busy…