Beyond the Kitchen Table: 5 Smart Ideas to Take Mealtime Outside

Beyond the Kitchen Table: 5 Smart Ideas to Take Mealtime Outside

Take advantage of the warm weather while it lasts, and get the family outside for a meal.


As a parent, planning meals – and getting your kids to actually eat them – is probably one of your biggest challenges. A change of scenery may help! Whether you’re packing a picnic or having brunch on the backyard patio, we have some great ideas for getting the whole family into the fresh air.

1. Camping trips don’t have to be overnight ordeals. Instead, get into the woods with a daytrip that includes your favorite campfire foods, drinks and snacks, and set off to your favorite spot. Turn the trip into a learning experience by teaching your kids cooking basics. Keep a roll of Bounty paper towels handy to mop up mealtime spills.

2. If cooking food on a campfire doesn’t appeal, pack a picnic and a few blankets and go on a nature expedition in a forest, a meadow or along a riverbank. Have the kids collect pine cones, flowers, snail shells or whatever else interests them. You can also bring along a bird-watching guide and try to spot different species. The fresh air is sure to build up the entire family’s appetite.

3. Plan an outdoor dinner and movie night in your backyard. Set up a projector, lay out the blankets and pillows, and make a dinner that everyone will enjoy. Then munch on popcorn as the movie plays!

4. If you have a patio that can accommodate dinnertime, arrange a stargazing night. Have dinner at sunset. Then, while you wait for the sky to darken, make cleanup a family activity. Have the kids help you load the dishwasher, and then use Cascade Platinum Pacs to get every plate and utensil sparkling clean.

5. If breakfast is the only meal you can fit into your busy schedules, have it outside. Pack fruit, muffins and juice, and take the family to the playground – it’ll probably be quiet early in the morning, and the kids will have the slides and swings to themselves.

Try one of our favorite recipes for dining outside:

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How have you dined outdoors with the family? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!

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