We love a good picnic and packed lunch. Taking a packed lunch instead of eating out on days out is one of the easiest ways to save money. Do you agree, yet are you stuck for ideas? Perhaps you are bored of having the same old food in your picnics and want some inspiration for cheap, easy snacks and alternatives to sandwiches? Here are 44 ideas for Picnic and Packed Lunch ideas for kids and grown-ups. Enjoy!
Please note: we are vegan. Most of these foods can be altered to suit your own dietary requirements. The good news for vegans is that all of these are suitable!
Alternatives to sandwiches:
- Wraps. We love filling tortilla wraps with our favourite fillings (typically vegan cheese and sandwich meats, but there are so many options) and they stay fresher than sandwiches, too.
- Quesadillas. Instead of wrapping a tortilla wrap, try folding it over for a quesadilla.
- Cous Cous and rice salads. Coconut rice by Tilda is always a hit with my son.
- Potato salad.
- Jacket potato.
- Soup/Stew kept in a meal flask.
- Bagels. Try your favourite sandwich fillings, but something as simple as cheese spread is just as yummy.
- Pita breads. You can either stuff them just like a sandwich, or slice them into fingers & offer a tub of humus on the side; perfect as a snack, too.
- Garlic bread. This is just as nice cold, or wrap up in tin foil before popping into your lunch box to keep warm.
- Pizza. This isn’t the healthiest option, but you can easily make healthier pizzas on your own dough, or using a flat bread, tortilla or grilling a quesadilla. This is a good option to use up dinner leftovers, too!
- Bean salad. Try alternative beans and peas such as chick peas, butter beans, pinto beans and cannelloni beans. I shallow fry beans in a light sauce with seasonings, if you make extra, these can be over-boiled and then spread to make a filling for wraps and pita’s.
- Pasta. Just make extra when you are making a pasta dish up for dinner, it’ll save and can be used as a “main” or side in a packed lunch. We like plain tomato or pesto if it’s going in a packed lunch.
Ideas for sides:
- Pots of dip such as humus, red pepper dip, etc.,
- Potatoes from potato salad.
- Apple slices and coconut slices.
- Rice cakes with spread/plain or with peanut butter.
- Mixed nuts.
- Trail mix.
- Cereal/protein bars.
- Rice cracker snacks
- Baked banana slices
- Savoury or sweet muffins
- Dry cereal in a tub/bag. Shreddies or granola is our favourite.
- Bread sticks
- Grated cheese in a pot.
- Naked bars.
- Avocado slices with lemon juice.
- Mango and watermelon fingers.
- Sweet peppers.
- Onion Bhaji’s
- Prawn crackers
- Green beans
- Mini wraps – instead of full sized tortillas, these work good with a sweet option on a smaller scale. We like peanut butter or jam with these as a treat/desert.
- Gingerbread men biscuits
- Rainbow fruit skewers
- Mini carrots
- Chocolate coated strawberries
- Vegetable samosa
We get most of our lunch boxes from Aldi, they have cheap “bento” style boxes which are perfect for Eric; the ones with separate little compartments. This keeps everything together in one box with a variety of different snacks for throughout the day. I like to keep snacks in separate sandwich bags, bento box or tubs.
What are your favourite Picnic and Packed Lunch ideas for kids and grown-ups? Please give me some inspiration, too, by commenting down below!
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Thank you for reading!
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